Empathy and Integrity: 5 Keys to Rebuild Customer Trust #cx
by Kate Nasser | 6 Comments »
Empathy and Integrity: A Must to Rebuild Customer Trust
Customers make a leap of faith when they first buy from a company. The trust they initially offer is a request for a respectful human bond.
When they are dissatisfied, do you respond with empathy and integrity? A broken trust can spread throughout social media and damage your business and your brand. Empathy and integrity can prevent that. It RSVPs the customers with the respect they want and deserve. Here’s why it works and how to do it simply and consistently.
Empathy and integrity rebuild customer trust because it stops the customer from feeling like a fool. They don’t have to doubt their choice nor their future decisions. They can trust their own judgment, trust you, and stay with you and your brand.
Empathy and Integrity: 5 Keys to Rebuild Customer Trust
- Empathize before you analyze. Once you hear that the customer is dissatisfied, give empathy to manage the emotion. Then move on to analyzing how to solve it. Analyzing before empathizing is one of the most common and worst mistakes you can make. While you are analyzing, the customer’s mistrust is building. They are wondering if you will care about them or will they feel like a fool for selecting your company?
- Transform with listening don’t defend with details. After you have offered empathy, wow the customer with more great listening. You will uncover the expectations you missed and how to please them now. If instead you defend your actions with details, the customers will think you are telling them you are right and they are wrong. Details seem like a defense of your ego. Which do you care more about — your ego or them?
- Apologize with no ifs or buts. Two words that destroy a heartfelt apology and trust are IF and BUT. “We are sorry IF we fell short.” The customers have already told you that you fell short. The word IF waffles with a gross lack of integrity. Why would they trust you now? “We are sorry but …” also cancels out the apology. No empathy, no integrity, no trust. It’s just that simple.
- Fix the problem and prevent the repeats. Follow through with the littlest details and communicate throughout the organization to prevent a repeat failure. When you fall short with a customer, they see a crack in your company’s effectiveness and they lose trust. If you prevent new or bigger cracks, you re-secure the trust.
- Show urgency. The longer you take to respond to customers, the faster their trust erodes. Even if it’s going to take time to fix the problem, respond early and keep the customer informed. Delays and lack of communication are the vacuums that suck customer trust away permanently.
It doesn’t take a huge mistake to dissolve customer trust. Regardless of the issue, view it as the customer. Empathize before you analyze, deliver what you promise, and rebuild trust with unparalleled integrity. It speaks volumes to the customer and to those they speak to!
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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I would add documentation. The event of a unsatisfied customer is unfortunate but it’s an opportunity to be better. So such events will wake us up and will give us that important feedback to improve.
Documentation is a great tool — especially to break through silos and prevent repeat or future problems. Many thanks for adding this!
Those are 5 outstanding actions to respond with empathy and to rebuild trust. I particularly appreciate your advice of apologizing unconditionally. Using conditional language like “if,” “but,” and other qualifiers only diminishes the strength of your apology.
Thank you Randy! I agree with you about the uber importance of an unconditional apology. This is the moment of truth. It can make or break a business relationship.
Grateful and honored by your time and input,
Actively listen to your customer is a skill that should be encouraged and I believe training all staff dealing with customers, will greatly improve customers experience. Marian Dineen
Thanks for your comment Marian. Listening and training for great customer interaction improves the entire experience!
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