Three Must Haves for Building Customer Trust and Loyalty

Many companies underestimate the value of customer trust and loyalty when it comes to driving higher revenue growth. It might sound counterintuitive, but convincing existing customers to return is more important than gaining new ones. This is because the cost of finding new customers is far higher than the cost of selling to existing customers. In fact, returning customers spend 67% more than first-time buyers.

It’s clear that executives need to put customer loyalty at the center of their company’s values, but how do you actually go about doing that? Let’s jump right in!

  1. Create Personalized Experiences to Build Trust
  2. Go the Extra Mile to Listen and Understand
  3. Quality, Quality, Quality

Action #1: Create Personalized Experiences to Build Trust

Throughout the customer journey, your brand should meet customers where they are. The more personal you make the customer experience, the more trust you’ll cultivate. 

For instance, in the pre-purchase stage, in-store employees should have substantial knowledge about products and understand what customers need. Employees should be trained to create positive interactions from the beginning all the way up to the final moment of purchase. Asking small questions like if a customer found everything they needed—and stepping in if they didn’t—can make a huge impact. Little actions like that help add a nice personal touch to a customer’s experience—and lead to a stronger level of trust!

Action #2: Go the Extra Mile to Listen and Understand 

Trust often leads to loyalty, but your brand has to make the first move. To cement a longstanding relationship of trust, your business needs to show loyalty to customers first. 

An effective approach here would be to engage with and respond to customers, because engaged customers are more likely to promote your company than unengaged customers. Actively responding to customer questions, comments, and complaints can grow loyalty by putting a human voice to a brand. 

One best practice for engaging with customers in this way is to design an open communication and feedback channel. Of course, we recommend utilizing not just a help center as a method to reach out, but any adequate resource, from employees on the front line to digital surveys.

Action #3:  Quality, Quality, Quality

At the end of the day, even if their customer experience was amazing, if the product doesn’t meet a customer’s expectations, all that work you did to build trust and loyalty is in vain. Customers expect value for what they pay for and no amount of sales gimmicks can hide the truth of your product, so it’s key to know customers’ expectations and develop your product/service to meet or exceed that. After all, loyal customers are coming back for a quality purchase; the positive customer experience is an additional element encouraging that return. 

Now that you’ve learned about the importance of customer trust and loyalty, read our eBook to hear about how that trust and loyalty can drive cross-sell and upsell opportunities!

How Operational Excellence Now Leads to Experience Improvement Later

Operations have everything to do with both your business’s bottom line and its relationships with customers. This makes ops’ importance to Experience Improvement (XI) pretty self-explanatory.

However, as foundational as operational excellence is to a company and its experiences, there’s more that brands can do to build a bridge between operations and Experience Improvement. Today’s conversation focuses on that bridge’s two main elements: optimization and innovation.

Element to Connect Operations with Experience Improvement

  1. Optimization
  2. Innovation

XI Element #1: Optimization

Creating operational excellence isn’t a one-and-done. It’s a process that requires constant attention and tweaking. Your experience initiatives can help here by shining a light on systemic issues that might need a closer look. That spotlight can also be used to help come up with fixes for those problems. Of course, a tried-and-true process for identifying and then responding to problems like these is a must here.

Fortunately for brands and organizations everywhere, a lot of the optimizing work has already been completed by the time you hit a stride with your operational excellence! Being good at ops means skillfully gathering the deep analyses and intel your brand uses to be better. This means you’ll already have some idea of what your north star should be as you begin the optimization phase. Desiloing data and sharing it with every team in the organization is also key here.

XI Element #2: Innovation

Innovation is what optimizing your operations builds toward. It’s what allows brands to actually implement their proposed solutions, study how they go, and realize their benefits. Having operational excellence in place makes it easier for brands to forecast market trends and, ultimately, predict exactly what their customers will want. In other words, ops-fueled innovation keeps your company robust and ahead of the curve.

Staying ahead of the curve is a major part of Experience Improvement, and it can only be enabled by:

  1. Operational excellence
  2. Optimization
  3. Innovation

Anticipating what your customers want before they may even know goes a long way toward building the relationships that cause them to ignore the competition (and that let them know you care about them as people). Unstructured feedback, especially from Voice of Customer (VoC) programs, is one of the best sources of additional intel on how to stay ahead of the curve and keep pleasantly surprising your customers.

Click here to learn more about how operational excellence leads to Experience Improvement. Expert Jennifer Passini, Ph.D., goes over additional means of using ops to better your experience and how it all feeds into the grander goal of meaningful transformation for your bottom line and your customer relationships.

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