The Role of Trust in Customer Service
Trust is at the heart of any customer-provider relationship, especially when there is an exchange of money for products or services. For a customer to hand over his or her hard-earned cash to you and your organization typically takes a bit of persuasion through advertising or word-of-mouth endorsements from previous customers. All of this is developed by an ongoing investment of time, effort, and money from your organization and commitment and initiative from each service provider.
For trust to start and grow, your customers must believe several things about you and your organization:
1. You and the organization have the customer’s best interests in mind before, during, and after the transaction.
2. You and the organization are honest and forthcoming with customers and your goal is to deliver the best products and services possible in a timely manner and at a fair price.
3. You have quality products and services that are backed by a guarantee that should something go wrong, it will be quickly and earnestly taken care of.
For customers to continue doing business with you, they must trust you and your organization. The thing about trust is that it has to be earned, and that does not happen overnight. Only through continued positive efforts on the part of everyone in your organization can you demonstrate to customers that you are worthy of their trust and thereby positively affect customer retention. Through actions and deeds, you must deliver quality products, services, and information that satisfy the needs, wants and expectations of your customer(s) when, where and how you promise them. Every touch point with a customer is an opportunity for you and your organization to influence customer loyalty.
Even when you win the trust and achieve customer satisfaction, the customer relationship is very fragile. It is easy to destroy trust quickly; an inappropriate tone, a missed appointment, failure to follow through on a promise, a lie, and a misleading statement or information to a customer are just some of the ways you can sabotage this relationship.
For more ideas on how to build a more customer-centric organization in which trust becomes part of the customer-provider relationship and can lead to customer and brand loyalty, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success by Robert W. Lucas.
About Robert C. Lucas
Bob Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author who has written thirty-seven books on topics such as, writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Bob retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.
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