AMiable Solution #383: Building Trust
You can’t really build a relationship with anyone—personal or professional—without having some level of trust in them. Trust that they won’t betray you or take advantage of you. Trust that they’ll be true. Trust that they care about you.
Although building trust with clients can be more complicated—reputations, results, and resources are involved, after all—it can be as easy as building relationships with friends. It’s all in how you treat people. Your company can do it. Here are some ways how:
· Be respectful of your prospects’ and your clients’ time, resources, and concerns. Don’t try to trick them or sneak something past them. Don’t make uneducated assumptions. Do your research. Ask questions. Get to know them.
· Be prompt. You want results quickly, and so do your customers. Return phone calls immediately. Follow-up to email inquiries the same day. Process returns or refunds as quickly as you can.
· Be honest. Always. In your marketing, in your operations, and in your personal interactions.
· Be transparent. If you’re collecting personal information—and you should—make sure you’re clear about what you need, why you need it, and how you’ll protect it.
· Be good at what you do. That means building or providing quality products and services, employing skilled and professional people, and knowing how to answer questions authoritatively.
· Be dependable. Make sure your behavior and the behavior of your company is consistent and predictable.
· Be yourself. That applies to how you present your leadership, your company, your salespeople, and your mission. Putting on pretenses and airs will backfire.
· Be open. To ideas. To criticism. To failure. You can’t improve and grow if you’re not willing to listen to others and change policies, procedures, or products, when needed.
· Be grateful. It takes a lot of work to gain and retain customers. Don’t take them for granted. Be grateful for their business, and treat them like gold. Let them know you appreciate them, and take the time to get to know them and understand what they’re looking for and how they use your products or services.
This year has been tough on all relationships, but it’s also presented a great opportunity for companies to step up and show their customers just how much they value them.