One of the most powerful currencies you can spend to buy credibility and gain trust from your customers is to "put your money where your mouth is".
Yes, I'm talking about a guarantee. A money-back, no-questions-asked, we-really-do-stand-behind-our-products guarantee. Something like what Nordstrom's and LL Bean offer.
Here is what it says on the LL Bean website...
Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory. (emphasis mine)
Here is what they are really saying...
We believe in our products so much that we will pay you back for anything that doesn't live up to our lofty standards, and more importantly, your lofty standards. We will gladly take a moentary hit on anything that you don't like just to make sure you are satisfied.
More importantly, here is what they are doing...
They are proving to you that your satisfaction is greater than their monetary gain. That builds trust.
We sold a board game to a customer recently who brought it back because they didn't like it. Yes, we took it back. Why? Because we knew she would turn around and buy something else. We steered her away from the games with a similar play as the one she didn't like and she ended up spending another $150 that night. She'll be back to spend more money on more games later. Why? Because she trusts us.
Did I lose money on the return? A little. I more than made it up with the rest of her sales. Plus I put the board game into our demo library for future game nights. Plus I learned about a board game that wasn't getting favorable reviews. Plus I can donate the game and take a write-off if I just want to get rid of it.
Most importantly, I showed through my actions that I believe so strongly in my products that I will stand behind every sale fully and completely. That sends a message of confidence and builds a level of trust that keeps customers coming back time and time again.
PS Yes there are some people who will try to take advantage of you. Yes, there are some exceptions to the rule. We had a customer who brought back 14 puzzles one year, all missing a piece. Of the one million puzzle pieces we sell each year, her 14 pieces were the only ones missing that year. I pulled her aside after #14 and politely told her that she was welcome to continue buying puzzles from us, but I couldn't take any more puzzles back from her. She still buys her puzzles from us. Partly, I think, because I handled it with politeness and kindness. Partly, I think, because she knew what she was doing. Partly, I think, because she trusts us