Winning Back Customer Trust: 5 Essential Questions for Exceptional Customer Service
Updated: May 17
Building, rebuilding, and sustaining customer trust is paramount in today's dynamic business landscape. As we delve into the latest trends and thoughts about customer service, let's explore the five key questions that are crucial for establishing trust with your customers.
Who do you trust?
Trust is a complex concept influenced by various factors, such as personal biases, experiences, and societal norms. While trust can take time to develop, it remains an essential foundation for meaningful relationships. From the moment we are born, we rely on trust for our survival and well-being. Trust hinges on the expectation that someone's words can be relied upon—a commitment upheld. For individuals, trust can be a delicate balance, as misplaced trust can result in disappointment and heartbreak.
However, when trust is broken, its emotional impact lingers, often leading to a general sense of caution and mistrust. Negative experiences with a few individuals or companies can spread doubts like a virus, tarnishing the reputation of others in the process.
The significance of customer trust
Understanding the importance of customer trust is critical. To quote the former Chairman and CEO of Unilever, "You can have all the facts and figures, all the supporting evidence, all the endorsement that you want, but if – at the end of the day -- you don't command trust, you won't get anywhere." Trust in a brand yields several benefits, as evidenced by a study conducted by Concerto Marketing & Research:
83% of customers will recommend the brand to others.
82% will frequently use the brand's products and services.
78% will turn to the brand first for their needs and desires.
78% will give the brand's new products and services a chance.
50% are willing to pay more for the brand's offerings.
47% believe the brand will keep them informed about products and services they like.
To foster business growth, it is crucial to prioritize trust-building initiatives.
The evolving landscape of trust
The Edelman Trust Barometer, a comprehensive global study, sheds light on trust in various sectors, including business, government, NGOs, and media. In the realm of customer trust within companies, Edelman's research indicates that customers place the highest trust in "people like you" (53%) and regular employees (50%). In contrast, trust in the Board of Directors (35%) and CEOs (33%) remains comparatively low. This data highlights the vital role that "regular" employees play in establishing, rebuilding, and sustaining customer trust --especially evident in customer service contact centers around the globe.
Five key questions customers ask before trusting a company
Over time, it has become evident that customers ask five fundamental questions before placing their trust in a company:
Do I trust that you know me?
Do I trust that you know what you are doing?
Do I trust that you will do what you said you would do?
Do I trust you will do for me what you would do for yourself, your friends, or your family?
Do I trust that you value me as a person?
Let's explore these questions in detail as it relates to the role of frontline Customer Service representatives:
1 - Do I trust that you know me?
Familiarity and understanding customers on a deeper level are crucial. It involves comprehending their complete product and service relationship with your company, both personal and professional. Accurate data management, identifying customer needs, and gaining insights into their motivations are essential aspects of
building trust. Repetition of information and the need to speak with multiple agents or channels for assistance can erode trust. Ensuring seamless and personalized interactions is key.
2 - Do I trust that you know what you are doing?
Demonstrating competence, expertise, and knowledge is essential. Sounding confident and providing accurate information from the start instills trust in customers. Connecting customers with the right resources promptly and consistently across multiple channels reinforces their confidence. Standardizing performance levels within your organization and providing a consistent experience across touchpoints are vital steps toward building trust.
3 - Do I trust that you will do what you said you would do?
Dependability and delivering on promises are critical to trust-building. Customer expectations are shaped not only by your actions but also by those of your competitors and other industries. Eliminating friction, reducing effort, and providing proactive solutions enhance the customer experience. Dependability and consistency are key to driving customer loyalty.
4 - Do I trust that you will do for me what you would do for yourself, your friends, or your family?
It is vital that we attempt to root out bias in the way we interact with customers. Customers need to trust that they will be treated fairly and equally with other customers. Too often, we hear of customers calling back in hopes of receiving a different and more favorable answer to a problem or question -- and getting one. Bias has no place in customer service.
5 - Do I trust that you value me as a person?
Empathy plays a vital role in a customer service environment as it helps build customer trust by showing genuine care and understanding of the customer as a person, not a number. When customers encounter problems, the human-to-human connection becomes even more crucial in (re)building loyalty.
Empathetic customer service agents acknowledge customers' concerns, validate their emotions, and demonstrate a commitment to resolving issues effectively. This creates a sense of reassurance, fosters a deeper connection, and instills confidence in the company's ability to address future needs, ultimately strengthening customer loyalty and trust.
Embracing the evolving landscape of customer trust in a customer service environment
Trust is a delicate yet indispensable aspect of customer relationships. Understanding the important role customer contact centers -- and the humans who work there -- play in building customer trust is vital to fostering loyalty, driving growth, and building strong customer-centric cultures.
Remember, building trust is an ongoing process that requires a genuine commitment to customer satisfaction and ethical business practices. By consistently demonstrating trustworthiness, companies can establish strong bonds with their customers and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
At VEREQUEST, our primary aim is to assist organizations in keeping their brand promises to both customers and employees. We understand the significance consistently high-quality customer interactions have on customer loyalty. That's why we developed a comprehensive suite of solutions to support you in achieving that goal.
VereQuest's Outsourced Quality Monitoring service helps you gain valuable insights into customer interactions across various channels. By leveraging the expertise of our highly-skilled Quality Assurance Coaches and our proprietary technology, VQ Online™, we can take your quality monitoring efforts to new heights and deliver unsurpassed results. Whether it's calls, emails, chats, or video interactions, we provide you with the necessary data to truly understand your customers' experiences. These insights enable you to provide targeted coaching and drive continuous improvements. Additionally, VQ Online™ is available for your internal quality monitoring teams to benefit from the same technology. Available for a low, monthly, flat rate.
To help close performance gaps, leverage VereQuest's Check-Up™ e-learning program. This customizable soft-skills training program focuses on service, sales, and chat/email agents, as well as their supporting Coaches. Our SCORM-compliant modules can seamlessly integrate into your existing Learning Management System (LMS) or be hosted on ours. Available at a one-time, flat rate, with no individual learner fees.
We invite you to get in touch with us today for a no-obligation demonstration and test run of our well-regarded quality monitoring and e-learning solutions. Simply reach out to us at email@example.com. We look forward to showing you how our services can help you enhance performance and exceed expectations within your organization.