Traditional salesmen can lead customers to anticipate a pitch and put up a guard. Given this awareness of targeted sales tactics, building a foundation of trust with customers is an increasingly important aspect to removing barriers to a sale. For example, one is more likely to read a book from the recommendation of a friend or colleague than from the recommendation of something impersonal like an advertising campaign.
The question is, how do you build a foundation of trust in the business world? Here are some best practices.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
Trust is hard to build but easy to lose. Consider every client as a long-term relationship, rather than a one-time sale. Over a period of time, demonstrate that you are a company of your word. Do not promise things you cannot deliver, and be prepared to admit when you simply cannot agree to the terms or conditions for which they ask. Empty promises lead to loss of future sales, and churn and burn is not a long-term business strategy. Customers will respect your openness and honesty, which in turn increases their level of trust in you.
The rise of social media has changed the trust landscape drastically. If you provide a less than satisfactory experience for a customer, they can easily spread public criticism across limitless follower bases. The impact of this reach can be detrimental to a brand’s image.
Do Your Homework
Stand out from the crowd by making a conscientious effort to learn more about your customers, the daily challenges they face, and the nuances of their specific industry. Customers want to feel valued, and showing your desire to understand their needs by practicing a high level of care gives customers a deeper reason to trust your company. This level of care and integrity will further distinguish you from your competitors.
Always Deliver Value
In the business world, the word value is all too easily denoted by facts, figures, and targets. However, its implications need not be solely monetary. Sometimes a strategically timed piece of advice, guidance, or help can significantly build trust. If you only approach a customer when selling them something, chances are that they will leave their guard up. But if you regularly offer salient and valuable advice, rather than being seen as an annoyance you will be seen as an asset. Especially if your advice and input regularly prove to be valuable and valid, the customer will trust your opinion and break down any existing barriers.
Prioritize Customer Support
Build trust in your company by properly dealing with customer interactions when things go wrong. Crisis management is one of the bedrocks upon which Apple has built its reputation. Countless online testimonials report cases in which Apple covered the repair of faulty products, even when the product was a few weeks outside of the warranty period. This policy has generated a huge amount of positive publicity and respect for the company, resulting in a loyal customer base. When developing your own policies, think about what the customer might expect, then plan to meet or exceed those expectations. This not only builds trust and loyalty, but clients will be more inclined to recommend you to their friends and relatives.
Be upfront and honest. There will be times when your business won’t have all the answers, solutions, or offerings in place to make the customer happy. Online servers will go down, and stores will run out of stock. Instead of lying or sugarcoating the truth, explain the situation to your customers and offer some plan to solve the problem. This will not only surprise your customer but impress them with your honesty and integrity, even at the cost of a single sale. This ensures that your customer values and trusts your advice and opinions in the future, which can prove to be more valuable in the long-term.
Provide A Consistent Experience
Remain consistent in all of your customer interactions. Always be prepared, schedule plenty of time for your meeting, and arrive early. Consistency builds trust, demonstrates predictability, builds your brand’s reputation, and requires demonstrated dedication.
At Novel Coworking, delivering high-quality service to all of our customers is a top priority. We value our brand and reputation and are always looking for ways to increase our clients’ trust. If and when we do make mistakes, we embrace and rectify them by putting measures in place to ensure they won’t happen again. In times of adversity, a company or individual stands to learn and develops the most. This is something in which we passionately believe. For more business tips and advice visit our blog, where we regularly publish the latest business ideas and strategies.