Trust is important when it comes to running a small business, wherever you are in the world. We all need customers and ideally repeat customers who are happy to use our product or service again and again. Trust, when when acted out with the best of intentions for the customer and served with competence provides a great opportunity to build lasting and loyal business relationships.
Here are some tips to help build trust :
Use testimonials. Testimonials help convey to customers, who have not used yet, that you know what you are talking about. We have all met those who have the gift of the gab. Great at sharing how good they are at the job, but very little to substantiate it. If you are good at your job, your existing customers will be only too pleased to tell you. If they tell you, use it to tell others.
Under promise and over deliver. The making of a promise is centuries old. Promises kept help tell the world that we are trustworthy. A broken promise chips away at that trust. There is nothing worse than a customer being promised that you will be there before lunch on Thursday, only to find chase you because you have failed to turn up or failed to make contact. If someone has placed an order with you and you need 5 days, tell the customer that you need 5 days. If on the 3rd day it is done and on it's way to your customer, how happy will they be when you have confirmed the good news.
Be professional at all times. As a business owner, it is easy to forget that you are an ambassador for your business at all times. What you say, and how you behave, creates perception. How you talk to your customers is equally important. Ask questions and listen with both ears. The art of asking, listening and confirming that you understand what they want provides you with ample opportunity to provide them with solutions, without having to wade in with the weight of your words first.
Appreciate your clients. It goes without saying, customers are the life blood of any business. It takes little effort to 'thank' them and make them feel valued, whether it's an email or a card in the post. If you have customers who are out their singing your praises and it's reaping business for you, go that extra mile.