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Building and retaining customer trust in digital era

Francis Muli

A business that pays no attention to customer trust, especially in the digital era will soon crumble. To guarantee that customers feel safe entrusting you with their particulars and needs, you have to go above and beyond to show them just how important they are to your business.

According to Michelle Bisset who is the vice president, customers for fife at Sage Africa and Middle East, customers expect vendors and implementation partners to help them deliver against their business outcomes.

“Customers want inspiration, innovation, guidance and solutions. If they do not get it if from one vendor or service provider, it is easy to move to another in the digital and subscription world. This means technology vendors and resellers that want to thrive in today’s market must pivot to a customer success-driven approach,” says Bisset.

In a bid to achieve this, businesses should observe the following:-

1. Feedback

It is good to have a channel through which you can get feedback from your customers about your products and services and if possible thrive to respond to all queries raised one by one and not ‘in general’. This makes the customer feel appreciated and special to the organisation.

Experts suggest that customer care representatives should listen carefully and take notes if needed. Resist the urge to move to a defensive responses or tune the person out. The information they are sharing with you is a gift and you can choose how to use it.


The growth of most businesses is attributable to endorsements from customers who have used your products before. If you cannot get the endorsements from such customers, it means that you are yet to gain their trust.

If need be, offer tokens to endorsements that bring in new clients. If not so, make your goods and services the best among your peers, so that you become the reference point.

3.Make them your boss

It might sound ridiculous, but in reality this what the customer is to your business, the boss. Treat every customer like you would an employer. Whether wrong or right, treat them fairly and gently unless they cross the legal parameters.

To achieve this, use the right terms when addressing them, be swift to act, anticipate their comeback and apologise.

Once Sam Walton said, “there’s only one boss, the customer. He can fire everybody from the chairman simply by spending his money elsewhere.”

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