The existence of any company
As it is observed earlier the customers only safeguard the existence of any company. The customers must be convinced about the quality of the products and services offered by a company in order that the company is enabled to achieve success in the market. The company should be able to know its customers well, assess their problems and needs. In addition the company should be able to gain the respect and trust of the customers through its reliability and thereby the company can achieve a long-term and economically healthy relationship with their customers.
By this way the company is able to communicate its willingness and certainty of a fruitful partnership with other prospective customers. Moreover the company should be able to create an environment that makes it an efficient, competent and service-oriented company which is capable of producing solutions to the customers’ problems. The maintenance of a close contact with the customers through refined procedural processes and also ensuring a physical proximity to the customers would go a long way in the creation of trust in the minds of the customers.
An efficient and effective service would be able to convince the customers about the efforts of the company to enhance the value for the customers and this will also help in brand building exercises of the firm concerned. Another important aspect in the matter of increasing the trust of the customers is that the company should be able to know and gauge both the domestic and international markets in order to continuously assess the development happening in the respective markets and react positively and flexibly to the changed market situations and opportunities.
The mastering of the local challenges by undertaking to comply with the social responsibility obligations in the areas where the company is located, creation of growth opportunities for the local region and providing improved working conditions for its employees are some of the other areas where the firms can show their contribution to increase the trust of the customers. The improved trust would automatically make the company earn its reputation and will result in making the company an admired one. 2. 4. 1 CONSUMER TRUST AS A KEY TO REPUTATION OF THE COMPANY:
There are different perceptions about the list of factors that contribute to the establishment, building and maintenance of the customer relationships. However the most significant and crucial factor that holds the customers together with the companies is the ‘trust’ without which t the business would never grow to the advantage of the firms. “For some companies it might be all about having a customer focus – seeing things from their perspective, understanding their particular needs, and working in partnership with them.
Others may think it’s a matter of communicating effectively with clients, with a focus on practical skills such as listening, asking questions, summarising, and building rapport” . Shaun Smith and Joe Wheeler go deeper still in their book Managing The Customer Experience. They say, “You must re-think who your customers are; what they deeply value; and how your organisation can deliver a customer experience that is consistent, intentional, differentiated, and valuable.
” Even Tesco’s CEO, Terry Leahy, has been quoted as saying, “Our business strategy and our brand strategy are almost inseparable because one so closely defines the other … A brand is a promise, and in the end you have to keep your promises. ” It can not be denied that there are several other factors that contribute to maintaining successful customer relationships but the issue of trust only lies at the heart of any successful relationships. It is important to note that without a basic trust it is difficult to have a relationship.
This is also true in business situations as it is so in the personal lives. The old saying that ‘trust is hard to won and easily lost’ must be remembered constantly by those who look for building lasting customer relationships. As the business of a firm is solely dependent on the reaction of its customers towards its products or services it is important that the firm understands what the customer needs are and the more the company is familiar with the customers’ perspectives it would be easier for the company to achieve the trust of the customers.
To achieve trust the company must behave as trustworthy. The trustworthiness of the company is entirely dependent on the character and competence of the company. Integrity is one of the basic traits that the company should possess to create trustworthiness. It is for the company with an established brand that the leaders of the company should ensure that the customers ‘live the brand’ meaning that everyone dealing with the company’s product or service understand and buy in to the company’s brand values.
In this context it is worth noting that the company should also be able to review the various processes that have a close association with the customer values. It is often the case that many companies fail to look into this direction of reviewing their processes to assess whether such processes live up to the promises they make in respect of meeting the customer needs and finally look for the other reasons for their failure.
An illustration on the customer satisfaction can be drawn from the experience with a telephonic conversation with one of the call centers. Amanda Vickers and Jackie Smith observe that “If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of those call centres that endlessly ask you to select from a list of options and then experience the phone go dead when you think you’ve finally made it through to speak with a human being, you will know how a customer might come to think of the service offered as at best unreliable and at worst downright infuriating. ”