I’ve just returned from the Direct Gardening Association (until recently, the Mailorder Gardening Association) conference, packed with excellent speakers. Among them was Tom Funk — until recently of Timberline Interactive, now of Green Mountain Coffee – speaking on 7 Ways to Make More Money Online.
One of the 7 was Earn your customer’s trust. In addition to pointers on earning trust, Tom made some excellent observations about how trust is often inadvertently lost. The consumer faced with legalese, disclaimers, fine print, warnings, overly detailed instructions, error messages and broken links feels like “I’ve already messed up.” Their frustration quickly dissuades them from proceeding further.
I’ll add one more trust-breaker to the list: poor communication. Customer emails that go unanswered for days, unanswered questions on your company Facebook page, defensive responses to customer reviews all chip away – and sometimes even shatter – the trust you’ve worked so hard to build.
Just as customer retention is as important as customer acquisition, so is trust retention as important as trust-building.