In recent years, customer dynamics has become a very sensitive topic to brands and service providers in particular. The customers’ preferences and likes have slowly and gradually taken on greater importance as businesses work to provide and maintain an excellent customer experience.
With the increased number of brands in the market, the issue of customer loyalty is no longer the only factor to be considered for customer-oriented services. Today’s consumer has to worry about their data, how information is shared across sites and even the threat of cyber-attacks on a regular basis. In 2017, several massive breaches of personal data were observed after a series of cyber-attacks that saw many brands lose customer trust. The brands impacted ran the gamut from technology companies (Sony, Yahoo & Uber) to Home Renovation (Home Depot).
More than two billion people were affected by different issues, and in addition to cyber-attacks, issues related to ransomware were prevalent. On the political front, it’s now been proven that foreign governments have influenced voters. Customer trust is very sensitive and when it comes to products and services, its something that companies need to keep in mind if they expect to maintain customer loyalty.
Poor Engagement by Employers as a Cause of Customer Distrust
Before any customer decides to purchase a product from a specific brand for the first time, they are always skeptical about the quality of the service and the product that will be provided.
Customer trust is not usually an automatic switch that can be turned on when needed. Customer trust has to be nurtured and allowed to grow in order for customers to be fully comfortable transacting with a specific brand.
The level of employee engagement with customers usually determines how well the customer will trust the brand and the possibility of staying loyal to the brand. Most brands focus on providing quality services to customers and neglect the important aspect of engaging the customer in order to make them assured and comfortable during purchase.
This engagement ensures rapport building which improves the relationship between the customer and the brand. With high customer engagement, brands provide customers with an enjoyable CX through customer support and assistance.
With the development of technological methods of customer support like AI technology, brands can easily engage with customers directly and in so doing develop and maintain customer trust in the brand.
Customer Concerns over Personal Data
After the recent cyber-attacks in this and the previous year, customers have become very wary concerning the safety of their personal data when transacting with any brand.
Recently, we observed Facebook facing lawsuits due to their inappropriate use of personal data to influence poll research that was unrelated to the customer expectations of the brand. Such incidences spiked the customers’ concern over how brands treat and utilize personal customer data.
Most customers have now developed the preference of brands that are more customer-oriented and focused on responding to customer likes before using their personal data to determine the best solution for on-going problems.
Privacy practices need to be maintained and regularly observed by any brand if they want to maintain customer trust. Today, customers are more knowledgeable about how their private information is used to improve customer service and in protecting their individual identity. If a brand breaches this set of privacy practices, then they are very likely to lose customer trust and eventually observe a drop in customer retention.
Personalization and Customer Trust
As customers interact with your support team, they are usually more responsive to an empathetic conversation versus one that only makes them feel like a statistic.
For instance, simple interactions like addressing the client by name and not through a default system of salutations can greatly improve customer trust. A personalized experience on the customer’s side relays the impression that they are important to the company thus making them more likely to stick with the company.
Brands can use customer data from previous interactions to improve personalized customer service and product promotion that will give the impression of a customer-based brand.
Everyone likes being treated like they matter and this often helps ensure that customers, respond better to personalized services. With an improved customer experience, the customer also increases the trust they have for the brand ensuring customer retention for the company.
Continue to Part 2
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I am an ITIL Expert and extremely passionate about customer service, customer experience, best practices and process improvement. I have led support, service, help desk and IT teams as well as quality and call center teams in Canada and the UK. I know how to motivate my teams to ensure that they are putting the customer first.