We’ve all heard it before, existing clients are more valuable than potential or new ones. What we fail to realize at times is that the clients we have managed to retain aren’t necessarily loyal to us. In order to inspire client loyalty, you have to first gain their trust. Here are a few tips on how to do so with the help of James Alexander and his article, “Brilliant CX: Compressing the Cycle Time of Trust.”
For starters, in order for your client to be able to trust you, you need to prove to him that you are trustworthy. The easiest way to do that is to be completely open with him. The more transparent you are with your client, the easier it will be for him to see that you have nothing to hide and what he sees is what he’ll get. Don’t make weak promises or even stretch the truth with your client, be honest with him and he’ll quickly identify you as someone he can trust.
Next, you’re more likely to do business with a friend than with practically anyone else, right? You need to establish that sort of business bond with your client. While you’re reaching out to him for customer service feedback, get to know him on a more personal level. Chat about popular TV shows, food, books, anything that you can identify as a potential common interest between the two of you. Similarities are more often than not the first steps to friendship and that will pay off down the road.
Everyone has one or two friends that they’d hesitate to do business with. Don’t be that friend. You need to establish yourself as the salesperson who does his or her research to keep your client up to speed on new products you’re offering that could fulfill his needs. You need to be on top of every problem that may arise, large or small, and fix it while being courteous and empathetic. A dependable salesperson is a trustworthy one.
Empathy is a trait that you can’t fake. It’s not just an apology when things go wrong, it takes more effort than that. Empathy requires you to listen to everything your client has to say, whether he’s screaming at you because a situation with your product or service arose or he’s thanking you for a job well done. Listening can help you better console an angry client and it can also give you further insight into his personal life. You can pick up on if he has kids and you can inquire about them the next time he calls. You can send him a card on his birthday. Showing that you can identify and understand your client’s feelings with ease gives you a trait that fewer and fewer salespeople seem to have: humanity. And showing you’re different from your competition in that crucial of a way is another key to building your client’s trust.