If nothing else, the current pandemic has taught the corporate world to always be prepared for the worst and be adaptable. Customers are becoming more critical about their purchases, and therefore building and keeping trust is exceedingly important for businesses.
Once customers feel that a business has failed them, it is extremely difficult to earn back their trust. The following are four recommended steps to recovering the customer bond.
Find the Source
Before solving a problem, it is important to identify and understand its origin. Businesses can monitor their customer service calls, check their Google ratings, or even collect customer satisfaction surveys to gain insight about their customers and where any detours are taking place.
Acknowledge the Problem
It does not help when corporations brush away their mistakes and do not acknowledge one has occurred. It is crucial for businesses to be transparent about their errors as quickly as possible. When customers feel their voices are ignored or, worse yet, they are made to feel not smart enough to recognize a product or service has failed, the customer is unlikely to return to the business and is probably going to share negative comments about the company to whoever will listen. The trust will rapidly deteriorate if a problem is not acknowledged and atoned for.
Execute the Solution
It is not enough to recognize the mistake that has been made and validate the customer's concerns. Companies also need to identify the solutions to the problem and compensate the customer for the lost trust. This could mean accepting a faulty product return, providing gift rebates, or any other incentive for the short term. But it also means solving the issue long-term by creating a new product, incorporating features a customer requires, or promising better service. Leaders need to recognize that the execution of the resolution needs to be implemented as swiftly as possible to avoid further disgruntled consumers.
Maintain the Brand Message
For leaders, it may feel easy and tempting to deviate from their branding and become invisible during a time of crisis. This is the opposite of what needs to be done. Leaders must remain the voice and face of the company, upholding the brand message to ensure customers feel that, despite problems that have occurred, the business is reliable enough and doubling down to stay true to themselves.
While companies cannot avoid every disaster that comes their way, it is crucial for them to have backup plans to deal with any problem that they face. It is key for companies to ensure that during any crisis they retain or regain their customer's trust. Otherwise, companies will lose more than just Plan A.