Topic: Research/Metrics

How To Measure Client Trust?

Posted by ldavenport on 125 Points
I use social media to build a relationship and gain my client's trust. The company I work for has a "small town" policy meaning we want our clients to enter as strangers and leave as friends. We do our best to be on a first name basis with our clients. My hope is that by building a strong social relationship with clients that it will encourage brand loyalty. But how do I measure client trust? How do I know if my efforts are working?
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  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    You could run a market research study, but the cost would probably be greater than the value.

    If you want to pursue the research approach, I can point you to a professional who would give you some direction. Could be worth a brief consultation, especially if there's a chance the trust-building effort would be cancelled.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    Are you asking how to measure if they'll stay loyal to buying from you, or if they'd recommend you to others, or how much price elasticity you have before they look elsewhere for products/services?

    Is your social media bidirectional - are you having a conversation, or are you simply sharing information? Ideally the best social media is face-to-face or a phone call to find out how you can best help them.
  • Posted by ldavenport on Author
    Jay Hamilton-Roth,

    I'm asking how to measure if they'll stay loyal to buying from us and recommend us to their friends. Our social media is bidirectional.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Friend recommendation can be easily measured (depending on your business type) by giving people (and tracking) their referral codes. Such codes should offer both the customer who shares the code and their friends a tangible benefit.

    Staying loyal is trickier - since people may switch for a variety of reasons: better price, better service, better technology, better community of users, etc. You'll need to figure out the various tipping points for your segmented customers. If you're in a competitive marketplace, then you could ask people how much it take them to switch. This type of study is best done by a research consultant (since the way you ask and gather answers is subject to all sorts of biases that'll invalidate your efforts). Michael Goodman works with a great research person, if this the direction you want to go.
  • Posted by ldavenport on Author
    Thank you for your advice. While a market research study would be helpful, we are a small company of under 40 employees and I don't think its a viable option for us cost wise.
  • Posted by Mike Steffes on Accepted
    If you desire these clients to actually become friends, sit down with them (one on one) and ask them how much cheaper the product/service would have-to be for them to have-to buy from someone else. Then let them talk, if they won't talk, ask a few open ended questions. Get them talking. The issues they bring up are the important ones to them. Gauge their satisfaction logically (costs, etc.) and emotionally (goodwill).

    This discussion in this conversation could help cement a growing friendship, tell you what you need to do to begin one, or let you know friendship is out of the business question for this client. There is no simple survey or form to fill out that will just give you the answer. These are people... Yes, in B2B logic is involved as much as possible but it is mostly used to build a nice frame around their emotional decisions.

    You want a friendship, build an honest relationship. That's the best you can do.
  • Posted by ldavenport on Author
    Great advice, thank you!

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