Trust is crucial to your business’s success. You probably know this intuitively, but if you need numbers consider a 2009 US study which looked at the actions of people who trust a brand or business. They found 83% would recommend that business to others, 78% would look to that brand first whenever buying and an amazing 50% would actually pay more.
Unfortunately trust is increasingly difficult to come by. In a world of computer scams and corporate fraud, people are skeptical. And trust is fragile. Even after you have gained someone’s trust, one false move can destroy that trust forever.
We look at 7 ways to build and retain business trust in a cynical world.
1. Focus on the Customer
The best way to build trust is to demonstrate that you understand your customers’ needs and that you can help them. Whether it’s in person or online ensure that your communication is about what you can do for your customer.
Create helpful resources that make your customers’ life easier. Write all your website copy as though you were addressing a customer individually.
2. Be Consistent
The need for trust does not end once you’ve made the sale. Your customer needs to retain their trust from the first contact, through delivery and implementation to service and care. All of your processes and employees need to uphold your business promise. One weak link and trust could come tumbling down.
3. Be Honest / Avoid Trickery
Nothing damages trust more than overselling and under delivering. Know the limitations of your products and services and present these honestly.
Be straightforward from the outset. Your customer does not want to get all the way to checkout and then discover there’s a huge shipping fee or the offer is only open to members.
4. Own Your Mistakes
You don’t have to be perfect to be successful in business, but you do have to respond quickly and openly when you make a mistake. Tackle errors, problems, complaints head on as soon as they occur. Responding appropriately when a mistake is made could actually improve trust.
5. Be Available
When your customer has a question or a problem they want help now – not two days from now. Make sure your contact details and opening hours are easy to find on your website and on sites like Google Maps and Trip Advisor. Ensure that you have a system in place to manage customer queries in a timely manner. It’s all very well having a chat bot that pops up on your website, but it’s not likely to make people trust you if there’s no one on the end of that chat bot and it takes days for questions to be answered.
6. Be Yourself
Unless you have millions to invest in your brand, then it’s going to be much easier to build trust in your people than your logo. Include an About US section complete with photographs and personal information. Even better create a video that explains who you are and why you do what you do.
7. Let Your Customers Do the Talking
Particularly in the early stages of a business relationship, people look for cues from others as to your trustworthiness. Include testimonials, client logos and positive business reviews and ratings on your website and in your marketing materials.