Trust is a two-way street
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them”, according to Ernest Hemingway. This applies not only to personal relationships but also to professional ones. When customers and organisations trust each other, it creates a strong and meaningful bond that can lead to real loyalty and long-term success.
Why trust matters for customers
Companies must earn and maintain their customers’ trust in order to create meaningful relationships. Customers need to be able to trust a company before they will do business with them. They need to know that their data and privacy will be respected, that products or services will be delivered as promised, and that customer service interactions won’t leave them feeling frustrated or unheard. If a company is consistently failing in any of these areas, it will be difficult for them to gain the confidence of potential customers or foster loyalty among existing ones.
How trust can help companies surprise & delight their customers
Trust goes both ways; an organisation trusting its customers is just as important as the other way around. Companies should strive not only to satisfy customers but also go beyond what is expected in order to deliver truly exceptional customer experiences. This could mean going the extra mile and taking ownership when dealing with complaints, offering personalised service based on customer behaviours, or giving customers more control over how they interact with the company (i.e., allowing them self-serve options). These kinds of initiatives build strong relationships between companies and their customers by showing them that they are trusted by the organisation—and this kind of respect can often surprise and delight those customers.
Customer focused processes based on trust make a difference
I recently had an amazing experience that illustrates how companies can encourage customer loyalty and improve retention and recommendation by trusting them. On my birthday earlier this month, I purchased some jewellery online, but discovered the ring size was too big for me. After using the online chat service to find out about an exchange process, the company quickly organised everything with minimum fuss and effort.
What surprised and delighted me was that ‘to avoid any unnecessary delay’, they'd send the replacement ring free of charge in the smaller size immediately. And that they trusted me to send the original ring back 'at my convenience' - without having any prior relationship or knowledge of who I am as a customer.
This showed their commitment to being customer-centric: they knew I wanted the jewellery as soon as possible and may not have been able to post the original ring back immediately. This level of trust and service truly made me feel valued and my expectations were exceeded. It was a great experience overall, built upon customer centric processes that surprised and delighted… and will make me recommend the company and buy from them again in future.
Building loyalty through two-way trust
The moral of the story is this: trust is essential for companies who want to build strong relationships with their customers. Customers need assurance that a company has their best interests at heart before they are willing to do business with them. And companies should demonstrate this same level of trust in return in order for these relationships to flourish.
By trusting customers as well as providing exceptional service, companies can create memorable, customer-centric experiences that will ensure customers come back time and time again. A customer who trusts a company is more likely to become a loyal customer, which in turn can lead to increased revenues as well as positive word of mouth marketing.
Understanding the importance of a two-way street of trust between organisations and their customers, businesses can create experiences that will surprise, delight—and ultimately retain—their target audience for years down the line.
Helping brands deliver an excellent customer experience across their products and services, incorporating product design, co-creation, user experience and positioning as well as more traditional customer experience.
Professional researcher with more than 25 years' experience of designing, implementing and analysing global research...