Building Customer Loyalty and Trust: A Conversation with Natalie Oldfield
As the host of the podcast “Leadership Powered by Common Sense,” I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Oldfield, an expert in building customer loyalty and trust. In this blog post, I’ll share some of the key insights from our conversation, which revolved around the importance of trust in business, regardless of the company’s size or type.
The Journey to Trust
Natalie’s journey into the field of trust began with her experience in sales and a curiosity about what matters most to customers. This curiosity led her to pursue a master’s degree and conduct research on how customers decide to buy. She discovered that trust is a crucial factor in this decision-making process.
To help businesses build, manage, and protect relationships of trust, Natalie developed a framework and measurement tool called the Client Trust Index. She started teaching others about this tool and eventually founded her company, Success Through Trust, where she offers workshops and training programs. Natalie also wrote a book called “The Power of Trust” and is on a mission to help companies grow by building relationships of trust with their customers.
Building Trust: The First Steps
When I asked Natalie about the first steps in her process of building trust with client companies, she explained that it starts with having a customer-focused culture and aligning everyone in the company with the vision and purpose. Trust is built through cumulative interactions, which involve effective communication and behavior.
We discussed a story about a plumbing company in Denver called High Five Plumbing. The owner of the company has built a strong culture of trust and customer focus within his team. He challenges his employees to review personal vision boards every quarter, where they share their hopes and dreams for their lives and how the company can help fulfill them. This approach has built a strong sense of trust and motivation within the team.
Trust and Engagement Start with People
Natalie emphasized that trust and engagement start with the people in a company. It’s about how employees interact with customers and how they communicate and serve them. When employees are internally motivated, it reflects in their behavior and the way they treat customers. Trust is crucial in building strong customer relationships, and customers can feel the impact when a company has trust in its employees.
The Power of Referrals and Customer Retention
We also discussed the importance of referrals and customer retention in building trust and growing a business. Satisfied customers who trust a service provider are more likely to refer them to friends and family, creating a positive snowball effect. Natalie emphasized that becoming a trusted advisor is key to receiving referrals and gaining more business from existing customers.
The Role of Online Reviews
The power of online reviews was another topic we touched on. Customers often rely on them when making purchasing decisions. Natalie agreed and mentioned that Amazon leverages customer feedback to the fullest.
When Things Go Wrong
Our conversation also covered the downside of customer relationships and what happens when a deal goes wrong. Natalie shared an example of a client who faced a situation where a team member used a negative tone with a customer, leading to a loss of trust. She advised owning up to the mistake, responding empathetically, and resolving the issue quickly. She emphasized the importance of deliberate and intentional choices to build and protect trust in every situation.
The Life Value of a Relationship
I brought up the concept of the life value of a relationship, highlighting that sometimes a simple apology may not be enough if there has been significant financial damage. I shared a story of a company that caused a service interruption for a hotel and how they took responsibility.
Trust as the Most Important Asset
Natalie believes that trust is the most important asset a company can have and that building a customer-focused trust culture is crucial for success. She offers a complimentary team trust assessment on her website, which helps businesses evaluate their trustworthiness and customer focus. She encourages listeners to download the assessment to gain insights on how to grow their business.
In conclusion, trust within a company and with customers is of utmost importance. As leaders, we should strive to become trusted advisors for our customers and build a trust bank account by making consistent deposits. For more insights, I invite you to visit the YouTube channel “Leadership Powered by Common Sense.”
To connect with Natalie Oldfield and take the team trust assessment, visit her website at www.successthroughtrust.com or reach out to her on LinkedIn.
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