Joe started to write a blog post on building customer trust and we got a surprise visit from one of our best clients. I told him I would give him a hand on writing the blog post so it gets published today.
Why is it important that the blog post be published today? Because our readers have come to expect a blog post every Monday and they trust us to deliver it on time.
As I’m typing this, our client is sitting with Joe going through photos for another website we are designing for him. I’m listening to the conversation for this massive project we’ll be working on and at no point has pricing been discussed because “the client trusts us”. Now, mind you, he’s been a client for approximately 18 years. Trust was built over many years.
I’d like to share a story of a recent buying experience I had which was based on trust built over a few weeks.
A few times a week, I participate in blog hops (links to blogs are posted and participants visit each of the blogs). On July 13th, I read a blog post that really connected with my “artist side”. Roz Tanner from Earth and Moon Design posted about the 80-20 Rule Applied to Fashion. I really enjoyed reading it because it connected with me personally. The post wasn’t “salesy” and had some really useful tips in there that I was able to implement. This showed me that Roz knew her stuff.
The next week, Roz posted “Summer Jewelry Trends: Beach, Baubles and More“. I really enjoyed reading this and I had a question about what type of jewelry to wear when the temperatures are very hot outside. Roz replied pretty quickly and she shared some fantastic information . This showed me that Roz cares about people and their interests.
There was a particular piece I really liked and Roz emailed me about a Christmas in July special she was having in a few days. Roz could have said nothing and I would have paid full price for the set, but she shared the sale with me early. This showed me that Roz is an honest person.
I placed the order based on the trust that was built over a few weeks and when I received my order, it was packaged in a beautiful little bag, along with a handwritten note . This showed me that Roz likes to put that personal touch into each of her orders.
The necklace and earrings were fantastic quality and the photo didn’t do it justice. This showed me that Roz handcrafts top quality jewelry.
At no time, was Roz pushing a sale, she was building a relationship with me and it all started with a simple blog post.
How you build customer trust isn’t hard…what Roz did can be applied to any quality business.
- she answered her emails quickly
- shared valuable information
- showed an interest in my questions
- is authentic
- is honest
- cares about quality
What’s important to you when you are deciding on buying a product or service from a business you’ve never dealt with before?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Just a quick note.. Roz published another blog post on Summer White: Hot Styles for Staying Cool. I think it’s time I go shopping again 😉
Gisele- You are so funny- Go shopping and let us know what you bought.
The answer to your question, Gisele is a big ‘all of the above’. Personally, I like to take informed decisions before making purchases, especially if they are big ticket items and I do ask questions to make sure that I am purchasing something that I really want and which will meet my needs.
Depending upon the service provider or vendor, if they answer my questions, there is always the possibility that I will buy something more expensive which is better suited to my requirements.
When I find a service provider who has my trust, I stick with them. One real life example happened today with my internet service provider whom I had called for an upgrade and the customer service rep told me that the upgrade plan had been discontinued and to wait a few days because the company was coming up with a new attractive scheme and if I decided to upgrade immediately, I would lose all the benefits I had right now because they had discontinued my particular plan. Imagine, he was actually advising me to do something in my interest instead of something where I would have lost out and paid twice as much as my current billing per month!
Putting the customer’s interest before the company’s is the way to build trust and keep the customer in a highly competitive market.
Hi Vatsala, I thought I replied to this yesterday. Sorry for the delay.
It’s so refreshing to hear a story about an ISP that actually cares about their customers. The ISP’s up here can learn a few things 🙂
Hope the new plan works out for you!
Vatsala nice to here you had a positive experience with your ISP. Like Gisele says for us it seems they only want to squeeze another dollar from your pocket to their already fat one.
Ian, thanks for your last line.As you know, I love having you, Kaz & now Joe as my male blog readers comment on our jewelry and fashion, and soetimes, I make it more relatable with history or trivia.
Hi Gisele (and Joe), I agree wholeheartedly that relationships are the way to go rather than direct selling. In fact I have also been busy in a similar way with one of my long term clients over the last week.
In the IM (Internet Marketing) world a few years ago, the gurus started spouting off about a wonderful new method of marketing that they called relationship marketing. The idea was to build a solid connection with prospective clients without directly selling. The fact that they thought this was new amused me.
Those of us who are old enough will all have stories about businesses that have put the relationship before the sale in our experience. From the local butcher who was more like a friend to the owners of the corner store who actually knew you by name and took an interest in what you were doing, relationship building in business has been around for a long time.
I expect any business I deal with regularly to have a similar outlook to myself, building trust is far more worthwhile than making a quick sale. If I cannot build a relationship with a provider, then they will not get my business. Simple.
Great post and the example using Roz was a perfect illustration of how to do this the right way. Cheers, Ian
Agree with you 100%…and you know what’s funny…some IM gurus still to this day push the sale, use scare tactics and threats of failure if you don’t buy their product on first glance. I’m sorry, if I have no idea who you are, I’m not going to give you $5,000!
When I got my first full time job, I was working in a camera shop. I built up a relationship with some of the clients who knew I was deep into photography, had my own darkroom, used a large format camera. They would only come to me when dropping off film, asking advice on filters etc. etc. My boss was getting annoyed that I was spending extra time with these clients and he told me to speed things up so I can take care of more customers. He was of the belief of quantity vs quality. Well, after 2 years, I left and went to another photography company and 95% of those clients followed me there.
I am with you Ian, coming from the retail sector many years ago where I spent almost 25 years we learned that you did not always reap the benefits in initial contact.
You built a relationship and trust that over time paid out 10 times fold.
Thank you so much, Gisele, for your accolades. It gives us great pleasure to provide information, educate and meet a prospective customers needs. To answer your blog question, I’d have to say we offer what we ourselves look for in selecting a new product or service. Ok, maybe we go a wee bit beyond, but there is no greater reward than customer satisfaction. We want women to adore wearing our jewelry and to feel comfortable bringing out their natural beauty through accessorizing.
You are most welcome! the fact that what you offer is what you would do for yourself makes your business even more authentic.
I agree that I need to trust a business before I’ll buy anything. The same goes for my customers. I build trust by publishing blog posts consistently, having secret sales for my “Super Fans,” sending care packages to my clients, answering emails promptly, and more.
and when you do your webinars, we can hear the joy in your voice that you truly enjoy what you are doing. Some webinars, the speaker sounds like a robot and well, it’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t believe in what they are doing.
Clients have a greater trust in us when they receive a timely reply.
We have greater confidence and trust in our providers when they give use a quick solution or fix especially when our business depends on it.
Hi Gisele and Joe,
Fantastic post! Roz is the perfect example of how to build trust the right way and you have done an excellent job of explaining this.
As for your question, I use “all of the above” in the decision making process on whether of not I will purchase a product or service from a business that I’ve never dealt with before. Building the trust factor is huge.
Do you find that you do research on a company you’ve never bought from if they offer something you really, really want?
Robin Strohmeier, thanks for concurring with Gisele.
As a friend of Roslyn’s, I couldn’t agree with you more about how caring, sincere and “real” she is. She always offers wonderful information on not only her specialty, but on being an authentic human being in a world that often forgets the importance of this. This is very exciting for me to see how you shared your experience with her, as an example for all of us, whether we have a small business or are a multinational. It is becoming increasingly important to honour and value the “other” in this world and that means creating relationships that are give and take, not just all one-sided. Thanks Gisele and Joe, for sharing everything about this amazing experience you had with my dear friend Roslyn! Kudos!!
I have one thing left to do and that’s to take a picture of me wearing the set Roslyn designed so everyone can see how beautiful it is 🙂
Beverley Golden, what a tribute to an online friendship. AS they say, I’m ‘kvelling’. And you Gisele Grenier, your blog post has lifted my spirits during the summer slump and giving me the support I need to push on. We are working with our webmaster/seo/coach over the next 2 months intensely to provide a new look, tweaks, surprises, etc. Your blog post is my best affirmation. Again, thank you.
I have scheduled a few tweets where I tagged you, pinned to our About board & don’t know what other actions I can take to show appreciation. Just thought of one- share your blog to my page. YES!
This is a great example of building relationships; lots of people give lip service to the theory, but don’t actually follow the model. Roz is a great source of information and provides a lesson in taking the time to let people know, like, and trust her before doing business with her.
Totally agree… starting with a simple blog post, Roz has a customer for life with me 🙂 Joe, well, not so much ’cause he’s a guy 🙂
I think trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to any selection process and that’s pretty much across the board. However since your blog relates to the business world, it’s pertinent to look at the weight of it in this arena. I think people are willing to pay more for a product or service if it’s with a company they can trust. Amazon or Apple are pretty good examples of this and are two great companies that have managed to convey that trust and reliability intrinsically in the mind of their customers and potential customers as well.
I love that you’ve used a real example and highlighted Roslyn superb service. Your points on how to build customer service are spot on and easily implemented. Thanks for an informative read Joe.
With every single branding/marketing seminar I attend, Apple is used as a case study. They’ve done it right, have a loyal following, even though, they can release a phone full of bugs. The loyalty is there. I’m not one of those with Apple, but with Amazon for their file storage service. I trust them to store my art courses for my creative business and we use them to store our backups for all our web hosting servers. With them, is stared with a tiny little email to me asking one question.
I totally agree with you. Roslyn’s blog is very interesting and I always enjoy reading! I now understand blogging is a great way to build a good relationship if you share lots of value to your target audience. That’s very important. Thank you so much for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed the post. Blogging is something that a few people think is a waste of time, but I don’t think so. Yes, it takes a while to craft something interesting and there are hundreds of experts out there that will tell you that topic A is what you should write about. If you blog about what you are passionate about and what you believe it, anyone that wants to connect and build a relationship with you will have the same type of values and there is your target audience.
It is so important to build trust online, especially if you are a blogger or affiliate marketer and have products that you earn commissions from 🙂 I have found that the more value that I share, the more people will come to trust me and what I have to say, and that is why I do what I do….to inspire…..and to offer simple tips that anyone can implement easily. The key to online success, is building those relationships and having the know, like and trust factor play in, which for me, is the ultimate. Because people DO NOT buy from those they do not know, like or trust.
Agree with you. I go into such a state of stress when there is something I absolutely need and it’s only available from companies I’ve never dealt with.
Joe’s cell phone which was a Samsung finally kicked the bucket. We went out today and thought he’s pickup another Samsung, because we’ve bought that brand many times for TV’s, smartphones and monitors. But no, he went with LG… we spent a fortune for an LG refrigerator, have LG monitors and have had LG TV’s.
It’s all about trust.
I am liking my new phone, just need to figure out how it works. Trust is in both the product manufacturer as well as were you go to purchase the product.
Gisele, you rule. I love the article about Roz, because she is wonderful. I love your attitude towards trust, because I agree with you completely. I am having issues deciding on my next computer, and the decision is even more difficult because the friends I have are of multiple worlds, so I get several different perspectives. It’s almost as bad as my picking out the perfect jewelry, or just one Christmas ornament, lol. Awesome post.
I know what you mean about making a decision on a new computer, no matter what you pick it’s out dated in a month. I have always picked HP because they have also been reliable for me. Other people I talked to say they would not touch an HP.
Matter of opinion and trust.
Thanks for your feedback: it’s good to know I’m not alone! 🙂