I’d like to think I’m a trustworthy person. If I’m told something in confidence, I keep it confident. If a business hires me for consulting I provide the service, which was advertised. If my wife asks me to take out the trash…ok never mind bad example.
Those examples sound great but do they show trustworthiness or reliability? I think it’s the latter. The more I thought about this the more I realized– trust is overrated. Even more so, trust is overrated for businesses that focus a lot of time and resources on building it. So what should your business focus on? We’ll get into that but first lets talk about trust a little more.
Think about how many times in a day you trust strangers. I bet it’s enough time to count on all your fingers and toes. Don’t believe me? Let’s go over a few examples. You are stopped at a red light, planning to turn left and the light turns green. As you begin to turn the oncoming cars slow down then stop at their recently turned red light. Do you sit with your foot pressed firmly on the break pedal waiting? No, you trust that the person knows the traffic rules, will stop and therefore not collide with you. Want another example? You are reading this post right before lunch and the deep thinking has you really hungry. You went out to your nearest and dearest food locale. You order your favorite meal and sit down to eat it. You trust that the food is cooked properly, the fork is clean and the change the cashier gave you is in fact proper change (when’s the last time you counted the change someone gave you?). Get the picture?
Ok, so if not trust then what do customers really want? Great question! Lets take a look at some stats.
82% view accuracy and quality of information as the most important attribute of customer experience. (Deloitte)
When customers come to your website they want honest, useful and accurate information. Wouldn’t you? Create an environment of reliability based on the content you are sharing to provide a desirable customer experience. Build a reliable relationship consistent of truthfulness and transparency.
58% are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service. (American Express)
This is a no brainer, right? Treat customers as respected human beings instead of walking, talking wallets and good things will happen. Establish excellent customer service by communicating with your customers via social media, phone or email in a timely and personable manner. Don’t let the customer remain angry by avoiding them since 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. (Zendesk)
Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
What do customers want? It’s pretty simple. You’re a customer after all. What do you want? Yes, that’s right. You want to be happy! That means happy with the price, happy with the service, and most importantly happy with the overall experience. Even if parts of the customer experience are negative (cant be perfect or please everyone all the time), as long as the issues are resolved, the customer will be a happy advocate for your business.
Break away from big general concepts and take control of actionable steps. Trust is much like success. Instead of thinking I want to be successful, define what success is, break it down into a plan and act on it. Instead of thinking I want customers to trust me, define how you plan to be reliable, relatable, honest, and consistent. Strive to build relationships based on strong communication, respect for each others perspectives and commitment of mutual beneficial end-result. Don’t try to build trust, instead build an excellent experience.
Dr. Gene Shirokobrod
Co-founder, UpDoc Media
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