How to Build Credibility and Trust With Customers

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Reputation is everything in business. If people ever come to perceive your company as dishonest or unreliable, you will have difficulty in counteracting this negative impression. Building and maintaining trust is an essential facet of operating a business. It's an ongoing process that requires your time and attention.

Establish a clear-cut image and strategy for your company. Use advertising to accentuate what makes you different from the competition so that customers know exactly who you are and what you stand for.

Create an informative and visually appealing website that attracts viewers and keeps them coming back. Strive for a clean look that is functional and well-organized. Update your website frequently so that visitors know it's current. Include background information on the company, its history and goals to establish a basis on which customers can place their trust.

Solicit feedback from your customers by mailing out surveys or including forms on your website in which they can write comments. This establishes a channel of communication between your company and the customers and assures them that their satisfaction is important to you.

Set up online media alerts to let you know when people write reviews of your company. Respond to any complaints or negative reviews promptly. Use social networks to stay in contact with customers to increase their sense of personal involvement with your company.

Encourage customers to refer others to your company by offering them an incentive to do so. Show your appreciation for customer loyalty by sending coupons or special offers.

Post favorable comments you have received from customers on your website as evidence that "real people" support your company. Incorporate these testimonials in your advertising; use the full names of the customers instead of their initials to give the comments more credibility.

Identify long-standing customers and those who make large purchases. Call, write or email these customers to thank them for their patronage and ask whether there is anything you can do to improve your service. Customers will appreciate the personal touch and it will strengthen their trust in the company.

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