The Truth about Losing Customer Trust Posted by Puneet In the last decade or so, we have seen the demise of many companies as a result of shady deals or financial scandals. Companies like Enron, Fannie May, Arthur Anderson, and tons of others, as consumers lost trust in these organizations and what they were saying. After all, while on one hand, they were accepting government bailouts on the backs of Americans; while in the other hand they were giving management millions of dollars in bonuses, or flying CEO’s to remote vacation locations. As consumers learned about their indiscretions they no longer trusted them, and when a customer does not trust the company, the company will inevitably fail unless they can rebuild that trust. Rebuilding trust is much more difficult than establishing trust the first time. A new business has no history, and so they start with a clean slate to build trust. However, an existing business that loses trust now has a black mark they must overcome. These days, trust is discussed a great deal in business. It’s a word that’s used all the time. Yet although business talks about it, not all are putting it into practice in their businesses. When a customer believes you have the ability to deliver a product or service with as specific outcome, you have achieved trust. When the outcome the customer is expecting does not occur, then you have frustration, anger, and disappointment, and you lose the trust of that customer. Remember, when people are unhappy, they are much more likely to spread the word then if they are content. This means that when a customer no longer trusts your company, they will tell others who may then not trust your company, and it will snowball. Before you know it you have to do damage control, or you have to work much harder to build trust. © 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved. Jeff Bezos, CEO from Amazon, understands the importance of trust, and to obsess over the customer. From the beginning, Bezos focused on the customer, providing excellent value, ensuring customer satisfaction, and building trust with their current customer base, and potential new customers. Bezos understood the importance of word of mouth in building that trust. Bezos said, “Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have, and we are grateful for the trust our customers have placed in us.” One way to grow a business is to learn lessons from those that have been successful. If you take away only one small message, it is that you need to focus on building trust in the marketplace, and the rest will fall into place. You can offer a better product, even a better price, but if you don’t have the “trust factor” it will not matter, because the majority of consumers will seek out a company and a product that they trust. A business that recognizes the importance of building trust will ensure that the entire workforce understands their role in building that trust. Make no mistake – without customer trust you will not have a business that can grow and prosper. Your business, quite simply, will not be viable. © 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved.
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