BBB Business Tip: 7 Steps businesses take to build trust during COVID-19
Milwaukee, Wis. – If there’s one thing we’ve learned from COVID-19, it’s that communication is a must. Of the nearly 1,000 BBB Accredited Businesses recently surveyed, business owners shared that being transparent and communicating to customers led to a better in-person and online experience.
The truth of the matter is that having excellent communication with customers is often easier said than done. With increasing customer demand, unpredictability across the market, and intensified competition, many businesses are scrambling to survive. In July’s BBB COVID-19 Business Impact Report, 71% of companies surveyed anticipated the pandemic would hurt their business.
While many firms cut costs and took advantage of financial assistance programs, business owners tell BBB that doing simple, customer-centric tasks can not only create loyalty, but build trust. When asked what businesses are doing more or differently to build trust with customers, here’s what they said:
Communicating and Educating Customers
Business owners say they’ve had to ramp up their communication game big time over the past few months. From checking in on clients to offering free resources and tools for customers, successful businesses have made it a priority to strengthen relationships. Many companies have posted their COVID-19 policy on their website and published business updates on social media.
In addition to communicating more with clients, businesses tell BBB they’ve made it a point to be open and honest about how the pandemic is impacting business and customer expectations. Some owners call customers personally to talk about specific measures the company is taking to prevent the spread of the virus and keep employees and customers safe.
Take Extra Safety Precautions
Beyond city and state health mandates, many businesses have gone a step further to ensure their business is operating safely. Some of the most common precautions include social distancing, wearing gloves and masks, extra cleaning and sanitizing service areas, and offering face masks and hand sanitizer to customers.
Offering Discounts and Reducing Prices
There’s no question that the financial impact of COVID-19 is hurting some consumers just as severely as businesses. By providing affordable paying options for customers and offering discounts on services, business owners can restore confidence with buyers. Some companies are offering relief programs to work with families in distress, such as allowing customers to defer payments on loans.
Adapting to Customer Needs
Taking a customer-first approach, business owners tell BBB they’ve provided special accommodations for clients. Some companies have offered full refunds on products or services. Aside from following proper safety guidelines, companies are being empathetic and following additional customer safety requests.
Many businesses have had to go entirely online, adopting digital applications to help with payments, customer inquiries, and consultations. Creating an online presence helps in communicating with customers and fulfilling orders.
Promoting BBB Accreditation
Customer trust is essential, and many BBB Accredited Businesses are making it a priority to act with integrity, honesty, and excellence. By promoting BBB Accreditation, companies are telling customers they’re an ethical and vetted business.
Are you interested in learning more about BBB Accreditation and how the Standards for Trust can be part of your business? Visit https://www.bbb.org/become-accredited to see how you can add trust to your brand and potentially get in front of even more customers.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.