How To Make Your Customers Trust Your Business
Businesses are built around their customers, yet it’s sometimes surprising how little companies seem to understand what their customers need, want, and expect from the businesses they give their money to. One of the biggest things that entrepreneurs need to work extra hard on is winning the trust of the people who use their company. Without it, the sky is very much limited. But as in real life, trust isn’t just given: it has to be earned. Below, we take a look at some bona fide methods for ensuring that when your customers think of your business, they don’t have any doubts.
Honesty is the best policy, always! If you want to sell things to people when they really don’t need or want it, then you’ll be able to find a job – but it’ll be one of those industries that people generally don’t trust, and which they only use begrudgingly. When it comes to your business, don’t force yourself down people’s throats. Just be honest about what you do, and if they’d rather go elsewhere, then that’s fine. But you’ll often find that people appreciate a job well done and limited “sales speak,” so they’ll be likely to stick around.
Own Up to Mistakes
You know why people are beginning to think Facebook might not be all it’s cracked up to be? It’s not because it’s an inherently bad service (the platform itself is good); it’s that they only decide to own up to their mistakes and make apologies after they’ve been caught doing something wrong. Of course, companies are going to make amends when they have no other choice. The real test is coming clean when you’re not pressured to do so. Now, you’re not (hopefully) going to make Facebook-level mistakes. But you will make errors from time to time that affects a customer. So don’t want for them to notice: make things right as soon as possible. You might lose their business from time to time, but spread over a long period you’ll discover that people really do value honesty.
Businesses that have just started out really want to make sure that they’re going to be a success. But it’s worth remembering that desperation in any aspects of your life is normally not a good thing, and the same principle can be applied to companies who are desperate for customers. In their anxious state to bring money in, some entrepreneurs can be guilty of making claims that they can’t back up. If you’re promising, say, your marketing company can increase sales by 200%, but this is just a number you’ve picked from the “best case scenario” corner of your mind, then you won’t have much credibility if you get nowhere near that number. Instead, just tell the customer up front what you can do (or do the best thing of all: underpromise, overdeliver!).
You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all people all of the time. If you’ve set a price for your goods or services, then make that the price they’ll pay should that continue to proceed. There’s nothing worse than deciding to proceed with a transaction, only for a previously unmentioned tax or service charge to pop up at the last moment. You might make more money this way on occasion, but in reality, you’ll mostly find that people go elsewhere. People have no problem abandoning their shopping casts when all it requires is clicking the ‘X’ button. If you’re a brick and mortar type business, then people will be more likely to check out rather than put their goods back, but you won’t see them again.
Avoid Bad Mouthing
The devil in us really wants to bad mouth from time to time. We can have unpleasant thoughts about another person, and if someone we haven’t spoken to hasn’t yet noticed the same thoughts, then it can be tempting to help them along the way to forming an opinion. However, in that scenario, the person being spoken to usually disregards the opinion about the third person, and instead looks unfavourably on the speaker. The same goes for running a business. If you’re better than your competitors, then let it be self-evident. No good can come from talking bad about other companies. The person you’re talking isn’t going to suddenly think “wow, this company really must be the best if their rivals are doing all those terrible things.” It’ll just show you have no problem talking bad about the others, and will your customer be next?
Train Your Staff
If you’ve got employees, then the trust that your customers have in your company will rest in more hands than just your own. Every member of your team is a representative of your company! And they all have the power to make or break how people view your business. To ensure it’s always in a positive light, it’s imperative that you’re hiring the right people; look for more than what they can do by assessing how trustworthy they are. Once they’re on board, it’ll be your job to train your staff so that everyone’s on the same page. If one of your team faces an issue that might compromise the trust and it’s beyond their duties, then make sure you’re handling the issue yourself.
Trust doesn’t just like in what you say or do. It also lies in your appearance. Customers are more likely to trust a team of workers if they have a uniform and all the correct credentials, especially if they’re working out of the office (let’s say, in people’s homes). So make sure your team looks the part. Establish a uniform code, and also have everyone wear branded identity badges. To make sure your employees are always wearing them, buy some lanyards from The Lanyards Factory, and make it a policy to wear the badge during working hours. Making sure your company’s appearance is on point is a small, easy to enact task that’ll show your customers that they can take you seriously.
Contact Information and Service
A company that makes it difficult for their customers to get in touch with them clearly doesn’t want to be bothered with complaints. But if you can’t get in touch with them, where can you turn if you have a problem? So make it easy for your customers to contact you. If you’re only supplying an email address, then you need to up your game: when people want answers, they don’t want to send an email. They want to pick up a phone. If you don’t have time to monitor all your calls, hire a call answering agency. On your website, you should ensure you have your contact number, email address, corporate headquarters, and social media channels all listed.
Be Secure With Data
It seems like we hear about data all the time now, but with good reason. You’re storing a lot of personal information about your customers, and you need to ensure it’s kept safe from cybercrime, which is rising so fast that police forces are struggling to keep up. Always make sure that you have all the latest security certificates and practices in place. If you don’t, your customers might think twice about trusting you with their information.
Where Possible, Get Personal
You can’t trust anyone who prizes money over everything else. If you’re in business solely to make cash, then you might want to think if you’re really in the right game. You can show your customers that you care about more than the bottom line by getting to know them on a personal level, if it’s appropriate.
Dealing With Complaints
Try as you might, you’re going to receive complaints from time to time. That’s not the important part: it’s how you respond to these complaints that matters. Take them on board, make amends, and review your practices, and you’ll show that you’re not happy just to move on once the sale has been made.
Online reviews are important. Yes, there’s plenty of fraudulent reviews out there, but they’re easy to spot. People do still read and take note of reviews. So make sure you’re managing the review aspect of your online presence. If you’ve done a great job for a customer, then ask them to leave a review online. Not everyone will do it, but any and all positive reviews are worthwhile. If you receive a negative review, then take steps to reply to it online, and make any changes to ensure the same complaint can’t be made in the future.
We live in an age of distrust. No-one seems to trust anyone but themselves! As such, you need to work extra hard to ensure that you’re one of the good guys out there. If this is the case, then you won’t have too much difficulty in succeeding. It’s all about reassuring your customers that you’ve got no hidden agenda, that you are what you say are, and that you’re not going to double-cross them.
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