Trust is the binding force of great relationships. This leads to greater cooperation and better solutions, especially in sales and customer service situations. When trust increases, communication is more effective and understanding in enhanced. Since most people won’t buy from someone they don’t trust, building and maintaining a strong bond of trust is essential for developing long term customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers believe in getting the best and feeling comfortable with what they have received.
Having a long term customer takes more than good customer service. Sales representatives of any company need to have the “trust-builders” characteristics to help them build strong relationships with clients. In the end this will help the overall profitability of the company. The first characteristic is expertise; this is the extent to which a salesperson possesses relevant knowledge and capability to get the job done right. An example is Digicel, their sales persons are well trained and equipped with relevant information and knowledge of their prices and sale promotions.
Customers can ask a salesperson about a promotion and when the customer research for themselves, it is accurate. This builds trust, when a salesperson shows competence and knowledge. This has pushed Digicel to be the top efficient service provider of telecommunication in Jamaica. Second characteristic is dependability; this is the extent to which a salesperson consistently and predictably follows through on commitments he/she makes to others. Digicel sales practices indicates this when they offer free nights promotion to customers.
This promotion was always offered once a customer puts on two hundred dollars before 9pm. This allows customers to depend on what Digicel said they would deliver. Candor is the third characteristic of a trust-builder type; it is the extent to which a salesperson is honest and upfront with others, especially with regard to issues/factors that may impact those others. Digicel portraits this by allowing their sales personnel or customer care agent to tell customer the truth when they are having technical problems, they even go as far as sending out texts to inform and apologise for the disruptions.
The fourth trust-builder type is customer orientation; this is the extent to which a salesperson values and protects the interests of his/her customers. Digicel trained their salespersons to show empathy while adding value and giving back to the customer’s community and even their lives. Encouraging rebuilding of schools, community centers and developing public areas push customers to trust and build long term relationship with Digicel. The fifth trust-builder is likeability; this is the affection customers have towards you.
There are many factors that contribute to how likeable you are as a person, but in the context of relationships with your customers, these factors encompass courtesy, respect, remembering names and key facts, treating each customer as special, and being interested in them and their lives. Digicel depicts this in their advertisements and when a sale agent is speaking to you. They ensured Jamaican culture and people are portrayed in their ads. They also ensure high quality service by asking for your name and throughout the conversation they refer to you by your name.