fbpx

Why Customers Don’t Trust You.

(NOTE: We put on a new “How-To” webinar every month on topics like trust and tons more to help your WOW more customers and make more moneyJoin our webinar series for just $87 a month so you can give your team a new amazing customer experience training every month.)

Trust is the most valuable thing you can earn from your customers.

When customers trust you, everything else falls into place.

“But trust is soft… you can’t measure that and it doesn’t even make sense” says the skeptical CFO.

I get it… with a chorus of sales “experts” coercing you to squeeze every penny out of poor Grandma Sue whose AC just went out, skills like “trust building” can seem like tools for the weak and underperforming organizations – not someone like you.

I hate to break it to you (actually, I’m overjoyed to break it to you) but you do need trust. You need that soft, mushy, warm fuzzy feeling that bonds people to each other.

But the data says we’re bad at it…

New research from Hubspot and Salesforce reveals some not-so-shocking statistics on how much customers actually trust brands like you and me:

Consider this graph from Hubspot’s “The State of Customer Service in 2019” report: 87% of consumers trust reviews from friends and family more than your marketing and salespeople.

And while we all like to say we put the customer first, customer’s aren’t really buying all that mumbo-jumbo:

Looks like those core values you posted on the wall aren’t inspiring a lot of loyalty.

While this data refers to businesses in general, let’s drill down to the home services industry and look at where your people may be losing trust and saying “bye-bye” to all those precious leads – on the phone and in the home.

(NOTE: We put on a new “How-To” webinar every month on topics like trust and tons more to help your WOW more customers and make more moneyJoin our webinar series for just $87 a month so you can give your team a new amazing customer experience training every month.)

On the Phone

There’s a myth floating around the industry that a CSR should start their calls by asking for the customer’s personal information first – things like address, phone number, email, and information about the home.

While this information is certainly useful for you, it’s personal to the customer. And, quite frankly, you’ve done nothing to earn that information from them yet.

Asking for a customer’s personal information before you’ve earned their trust is like asking a stranger where the two of you ought to get married.

It’s pushy, and people don’t like it.

“But Zac… you don’t understand… I have to get the customer’s information in our system before I can move forward with the call.”

No, you need their information in the system before you can move forward with the software – not the call. The software is very different from the phone call.

Let me show you what this should and should not sound like:

What It Should Not Sound Like

You: Thank you for calling Awesome Heating & Cooling, this Zac, how can I help you today?

Customer: Zac, my AC is broken and I need an estimate.

You: Alright, and where are you located?

What It Should Sound Like

You: Thank you for calling Awesome Heating & Cooling, this Zac, how can I help you today?

Customer: Zac, my AC is broken and I need an estimate.

You: I can certainly help you with that! Tell me more about what’s going on with the unit?

Do you see the difference?

In one scenario you’re jumping the gun and taking information.

In the other, you’re giving your attention.

Watch this video by Brigham Dickinson to learn the difference between giving attention and taking information:

In the Home

Now, imagine this…

Your technician walks into the customer’s house poised and ready to win the day.

He throws on his foot covers, shakes the homeowner’s hand with firmness, then gives a compliment: “Wow, I love what you’ve done with the place. And the painting on the wall… it’s just beautiful.”

Sounds like this guy really knows what he’s doing. He’s building some great rapport, right?

Wrong.

This is the in-home equivalent of a car salesman greasing you up with “hey man, I love those shoes. You look like you could use a fresh set of pedals in a new car to plant those suckers on!”

Trying to relate to the customer with “small talk” at the beginning feels way too sales-y. It’ll erode the customer’s trust.

I can’t blame you though…

All the “experts” keep talking about building rapport like it’s the holy grail of customer service and sales.

It’s no wonder 87% of customers trust their friends and family more than your salespeople.

(NOTE: We put on a new “How-To” webinar every month on topics like trust and tons more to help your WOW more customers and make more moneyJoin our webinar series for just $87 a month so you can give your team a new amazing customer experience training every month.)

Here’s a thought for changing your approach

Just be the professional you are.

Let them know what you’re going to do and clarify the expectation up front.

If you don’t, it looks like you are just going around the house looking for something that’s wrong or to sell.

Customers shut down when they feel like you are selling too hard…

They’re thinking “I don’t want to be sold. I’m already freaking out about how much this is going to cost, don’t scare me by selling. Earn my trust by being helpful, by being a professional, and helping me feel at ease.”

After all, it’s their home you are in. You have to earn the right to get a sale. You have to earn their trust.

Go in to serve, be the professional you are, and earn their trust.

Instead of building rapport, ask:

“So what brings us out here today?

It’s a much softer and more respectful way to start the interaction.

It’s what your family doctor would do, isn’t it? The doctor is never going to start the conversation (unless they’re awful with people) with something like “gee Howard, what a nice shirt. I sure love that shirt you got on. And those pants, man they are nice!”

It’s weird.

Don’t be that guy.

Create a Culture of Transparency

The last thing I’ll share with you is to be transparent.

Salesforce found that “91% of customers are likely to trust a company that’s transparent about how personal data is used.”

While you may not be dealing with customer data like other companies, you are dealing with customers. When customers get the feeling that you’re being shifty, hiding things, or not being upfront about pricing or how the business works, they back pedal.

Be transparent, build value, and earn customer trust.

The new research on customer trust can be scary for some, but it can also be an opportunity. An opportunity to different from the rest and really knock the customer’s socks off.

(NOTE: We put on a new “How-To” webinar every month on topics like trust and tons more to help your WOW more customers and make more moneyJoin our webinar series for just $87 a month so you can give your team a new amazing customer experience training every month.)


Zac Garside believes in a world where going beyond expected norms is the norm and where people give more than they take. Described as an “outside the box thinker” with the “invaluable skill to mentor and provide engaged feedback to others,” Zac works on projects that create a spark in others so they can reach their full potential. With 4 years of customer service, leadership, and public speaking coaching under his belt, Zac now serves as the Director of Marketing & Online Training at Power Selling Pros.