Trust is a big deal. It’s the core of EVERY solid relationship. This isn’t anything new or different. It’s biblical, for crying out loud.
But why do so many people forget about it, or treat it carelessly? And why do some people value it personally, but within their companies just dismiss the need for trust with their customers? Internally, co-workers and colleagues violate trust, too. It’s so common that most of us have learned to simply reserve our trust and/or expect that it will be violated in some way. In fact, we’re surprised when it isn’t, right?
Relationships are relationships, whether they’re personal or professional. I say this over and over again, but it means that trust should be a factor in everything we do.
Aren’t you even a little bit nostalgic for the time when a handshake meant that an individual really WOULD follow through? Do you wish people would extend that level of trust to YOUR business? Establishing this level of reliance for your customers can be incredibly powerful. In addition to creating a higher brand value, referral rates increase, return business rates climb and the icing is that you feel good about the business you conduct.
Do you want to establish trust with your clients at a faster pace than your competitors, outpacing them in the long run?
Here are 7 practices you can implement immediately to fast-track your company’s credence:
- Make recommendations for items and services for which you excel;
- Refer customers and clients to others for services at which you don’t. Never try to fake it for the money.
- Listen to your customer’s needs and answer with appropriate information.
- Try not to consider opportunities for ‘upselling’, but rather, offer suggestions for things about which your customers may be unaware.
- Be available.
- Answer your phone and don’t be flaky (this may sound simple, but how often are YOU chasing down people you’ve tried to reach?). Try not to talk about how ‘busy’ you are, sending a subtle message that they are not your priority. This boils over to social media, too. In general, don’t ignore when people are reaching out to talk to you.
- Share information.
- Offer ideas for a faster/innovative approach, even if it means less money for you. Suggest informative workshops, websites and other businesses that can round out a service you’re already providing. Tell them where YOU learn your information and how you keep your knowledge up-to-date. Don’t attempt to make yourself indispensable, and help your client to learn what you know. If you don’t someone else likely will and then your customers will wonder why you didn’t say so.
- Talk about how much you value and appreciate your customers.
- Share stories about terrific interactions with others; don’t bad-mouth. We like everyone.
- When things go wrong, own up to the mistake…don’t try to bury it.
- Offer a solution to rectify the situation and a gift or discount to make up for the inconvenience or mistake.
- Treat your employees well.
Ever heard that story about the woman who falls in love with a man, but breaks up with him when she sees how he treats his mother? It’s not JUST how you treat your customers, it’s how you treat everyone.
There are many more approaches to consider, but starting here will make a difference if you don’t already employ these practices in your business. Do you have any others to offer?