The key to success for any business today is building long-lasting relationships with customers.

All businesses want to create relationships with their customers that increase sales, ensure loyalty, and result in great recommendations and reviews. Trust is an essential component of a good customer relationship – and having the right communication channels and receiving ongoing feedback is an excellent way to build trust with your customers.

Trust can do a lot for your brand, especially when 83% of customers say they would happily recommend a brand to others if they trusted it and 82% will continue to use that brand frequently. While trust helps generate positive word-of-mouth, it also creates customer loyalty, which can help your business grow immensely as returning customers spend approximately 31% more than new customers. Customer trust and loyalty go hand in hand and are both crucial factors in a brand’s long-term success.

People need to trust a brand before they move forward with it.  If you can do this, you will have an easier time retaining and gaining customers. Here 5 ways you can build up trust and credibility for your brand:

1. Deliver Great Customer Service

While hardly anyone talks about the time you went above and beyond for a customer, you’ll certainly hear from the disgruntled ones if you failed to make a deadline or delivered a product that didn’t do what you promised.

Earning a customer’s trust starts with giving great service. How would you want to be treated if you were a customer? The reality is that service should come naturally, instead of being strategically planned. The more you plan for great service, the less time you’ll spend delivering it.

2. Be Transparent

Customers and clients are smart. They know when you’re being up front or when they are told a mistruth. If honesty is the best policy, they’ll appreciate and admire you more when you admit to a mistake, rather than playing games or even worse, avoiding the topic altogether.

Don’t try to hide or cover up your errors. Address the issue directly, explain how you will handle it and share what steps are being taken to prevent the errors from occurring in the future. To implement transparency effectively, lead by example. Your employees will also admire you more for your honesty.

3. Get Customer Feedback and Use it to Improve Your Business

Whether you have a focus group or an online survey, customer feedback is crucial for understanding what your customers want from your business. Customer feedback provides businesses with valuable insight into what aspects of the business are most valued by their customers and what can use improvements.

Once you’ve collected all the information on what customers like, dislike and want from your business, use those insights not only to improve existing products or services but also to develop new ones.

4. Respond Quickly to Customer Questions and Concerns

Quickly responding to customer questions and concerns is a great way to show them that you value them and their experience with your business. Customer service should be viewed as a priority in order to maintain your relationships with customers and retain them over the long term.

Customers want to feel confident that they can rely on the business if something goes wrong. The sooner you respond to their inquiries, the better. They’ll appreciate that quality customer service is available to help them when they need it.

5. Create a Positive Reputation for Your Business

A good reputation will let potential customers know that your business is reliable. Quality products or services, helpful customer service and high customer satisfaction rates are great ways to improve your business’s reputation.

A positive reputation can also be cultivated through doing charitable work or other good deeds. Customers will appreciate the compassion and generosity of a business that goes out of its way to help others.

Trust is a Make or Break Factor for Any Business

Building the right level of customer trust will help you garner more customers, increase customer loyalty and ensure longevity in your industry. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to strengthening the trust you have with your customers and building a reputation as a company that can be counted on.