Ways to restore consumer confidence in a business
Losing consumer confidence is a serious issue for businesses. One of a company's primary goals should be to gain consumer trust, so when this valued trust is lost, this is not an issue to take lightly.
There are several reasons why consumers may lose confidence and this loss could stem from service failures to a lackadaisical attitude from customer service.
What can businesses do to make sure this doesn’t happen? It’s best to be proactive with the goal of working hard to restore customer confidence if they are dissatisfied.
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Provide courtesyRude customer service should never be acceptable, and this increases tenfold when dealing with an unsatisfactory customer experience. If a company makes a mistake, it is important to be courteous and listen to the customer's complaint without attitude, apathy or defense. Company representatives should always be treated with respect, dignity and compassion; this will go a long way in restoring customer confidence.
ApologizeApologies are also an essential to restoration of customer confidence. A customer will likely take a business more seriously if they show sincere regret for causing a situation, or even if they are not responsible for the problem. Apologies must always be present in order to maintain assurance in the eyes of the consumer. It shows concern and a willingness to listen.
Offer an explanationBeing upfront and honest with customers goes a long way with repairing lost trust. If something went wrong (i.e. technical glitch or other mistake), be honest and give the customer some sort of explanation. Do not try to rationalize or absolve wrongdoing, but a simple straightforward answer will be appreciated and remain a part of the foundation in rebuilding faith.
Give prompt resolutionCompanies that mess up or cause the customer dissatisfaction should go above and beyond in offering a speedy resolution. If the situation is allowed to stay in limbo without any sort of promise to fix things, this will likely send customers running to the next available competitor. On the other hand, upset customers are more likely to remain loyal if problems are resolved quickly.
This being the case, customer service representatives should do whatever they can in their power to avoid further dissatisfaction. Chances are most consumers won't even bother with a company if it takes more than two attempts to find resolution.
Offer compensationLast, but not least, a business should offer compensation to an injured customer for their inconvenience and to recompense for their troubles. There is no one-sized fits all answer, as it will depend upon the situation, but possibilities include:
- Free replacement
- Discounts off future purchases
- Full refund
- Coupons or other tangible forms of reimbursement
Restoring customer confidence is not the easy road, but in the long run is the best path to take. Companies that work towards maintaining good consumer relations are those who will find themselves more successful and profitable in the long run through maintaining a loyal and returning customer base.