In your small business, your customers should be your top priority. As a result, it should also be your top priority to gain their trust. Trusting customers are loyal customers. They can count on you and you, in turn, can count on them.

Improve Your Customer Service

The main way you will interact with your customers is through your customer service. Customer service covers everything from the first interaction and returns to troubleshooting and sales. You can give frequent training sessions to your employees on new skills for customer interactions including empathy training. When customers come to your business, they have a need that they want you to fulfill. Your business is a problem solver.  To keep your customers happy and returning, you need to do everything in your power to help them feel like you care and that they can get everything they need from you.

Gain Positive Reviews

Reviews help you as a business to use the customers you already have to get more customers. Most people look to the internet for the majority of their information, and the same goes for business recommendations. They will look at your reviews as a final determining factor before turning to you for help. As a result, you need to encourage your repeating customers to leave you good reviews online. You can do this by sending a follow-up email after a service or purchase, or you can offer an incentive, like a discount, if they write a review. To ensure that your reviews are positive, it all goes back to good customer service and even the way that you ask for a review can impact the outcome.

Protect Their Data

Many people assume nowadays that nothing is private anymore. It seems like every other month or so, there is another report of a company being hacked and private information leaking. Customers have a hard time trusting companies that collect their data because of that. You can protect customer data from IT threats by investing in cybersecurity measures. Losing customer data is something you can never recover from once it happens, which is why having a stronger cybersecurity system is a worthwhile investment. Once you do this, it is also important to advertise this to your customers, granting them peace of mind through your company.

Be Transparent

With the information that you safely connect, you need to be clear about what you do with customer data. Most companies or services have a user agreement, contract, or term and conditions. This is commonly where you should include a description of why you collect data and what you do with it. Additionally, you should allow the customers to see exactly what kind of information you collect and give them the power to decide what you can and cannot share with others. In general, transparency with the customers helps prevent scandals and loss of trust if something does go wrong. You will want your customers to hear it from you first, not the media.

Returns and Refunds

If a customer is unsatisfied for whatever reason, they will want to be able to return the product or get a refund on the service. Your customers may feel cheated if you are not accommodating when there is an issue. Of course, it would not be good for your business if you refunded everything, but you do need to have a fair and flexible policy. If your company is known for having a poor return and refund policy, customers may become more wary about purchasing from you because they see your company as a risk. They will also be more likely to get frustrated with your employees when they are unable to return something, making your customer and employee unhappy. When applicable, you can also offer an exchange service to prevent a drop in sales and still satisfy the customer’s needs.

Grow Online

Along with great online reviews, people tend to trust companies more that have a presence online, and specifically on social media. When customers can follow you on their preferred platforms, they feel like they are part of the family and that they are getting an inside scoop. This also allows customers to directly interact with you through comments, likes, and shares. Customers can also see more of what your company is about and what you value. They like to see that there are real people behind the company and social media is a great way to put a face to the brand. When people feel more connected to the company, they trust you more.

Be Reachable

Customers also base their trust in you on how reachable you are. If it is difficult to find any contact information, whether it be a phone number or an email, customers become discouraged. They want to talk to a real person if they have any questions or concerns. You need to be easily reached throughout the day, and regular 9 to 5 business hours are not enough because that is also when customers are busy. Naturally, if you have a smaller business, you do not need to have helplines open 24/7, but you should get back to customers as soon as possible. You should make a habit of responding to customers within 24 hours.

Let Products Speak

Customers do not trust flashy advertising because your products may come off as a gimmick or too good to be true. Simplistic advertising that lets the products or services speak for themselves gains customer trust. Over-the-top advertising makes it seem like your product has something to hide, even when it does not. Customers are also turned off from buying a product that is being pushed at them. People do not trust companies with aggressive advertising.

Trust can be difficult to earn but easily lost. You and your business need to do everything in your power to grow customer trust. Once your customers feel secure with your company, they will continue to support you with their business and trust.

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