Service excellence – transfer of trust
Now that we have been on our best behaviour, engaged the customer and made a good first impression, the real work to ensure service excellence begins – we need have our customer trust us.
Transfer of trust refers to the process of winning customers over and indicating that you have their best interests at heart. But how do you best show customers that they are important?
First, it is important to listen attentively to a customer’s every need and not go straight into the selling process. Regardless of the number of questions a customer asks, give him or her the time to feel at ease regarding their purchase.
A common concern, shown after making the purchase decision, is the possibility that an alternative product could be preferable. This is known as cognitive dissonance. Be patient and give your customer the assurance that the correct decision has been made.
Let’s look at a few key factors:
Remove anxiety, doubt or reluctance
Reassure the customer that he or she has made the correct decision by answering any concerns, pointing out that the purchase answers the needs established at the start of this journey.
Listen and respond appropriately
Listening is the most important factor of a conversation. Listen attentively; identify exactly what is being asked. Never anticipate what you think customers
want; let them tell you and always
operate within legal and ethical parameters.
Identify key factors or fears
Identify what your customers want or what they are unsure about and then respond appropriately. Do not confuse the situation by offering alternatives they have no interest in.
Do not interrupt
This is a clear indication that you are not interested in the customers’ needs and only want to push a product you feel comfortable with.
Do not get distracted
Exercise total focus on your customer. If you do not make customers feel they are your sole priority, they could easily move on and purchase an opposition product or service.
Make customers feel understood, important, comfortable with their decision and that they will receive great value for the money they are spending.
It is generally an indication that the transfer of trust is breaking down when customers become negative or difficult. However, it’s often a simple cry for reassurance that the right decision is being made and the deliverable or service they want is on the right track.
To identify if the customer is negative or difficult, follow the following steps:
• Focus attention on the customer and listen attentively.
• Don’t get distracted by negative comments or take them personally.
• Seek the key issues that need to be addressed.
• Get clarity on what has happened and what needs correction.
• Empathise with the customer; put yourself in their shoes.
• Explain what process you will follow to correct any concerns.
In the next article, we will focus on “the date night” with your customer.
Jannie Koegelenberg is passionate about promoting positive customer experiences. He runs the EDGE Training Consultancy, a leading provider of world-class training and development programmes that meaningfully change and impact on people’s lives. He has a 38-year track record in the motor industry, having worked at Mercedes-Benz distributor United Cars and Diesel Distributors, Ford Motor Company SA and Toyota SA Marketing.