Earning a Client’s Trust
As business owners, we know the stress of making sure that everything is in order so that our businesses can be successful. There are bills to be paid, meetings to be held, paperwork to be completed—and sometimes we even get to sleep. However, there is one aspect of running a business that is all too often overlooked. As ignored as it is, it is also, perhaps, one of the most important factors to consider: trust.
Would you marry someone who you felt you couldn’t truly trust? Would you give your money to a flaky friend for safekeeping? Most would probably answer no. The same concept applies to business practices. Customers will not enter an agreement, or buy a product or service from someone they don’t trust. Gaining a client’s trust is vital to ensuring that your business prospers.
So, how can you accomplish this? Is it possible to ever fully gain a client’s trust? Absolutely. Keep in mind that this does not mean you will never make a mistake. As human beings, mistakes are completely inevitable. That doesn’t mean that every misstep will blow your chances. Often, businesses lose the trust of customers because of how they choose to handle their mistakes. Below, I’ve provided some of my favorite tips for making sure that you gain the trust of your customers.
Be transparent. No doubt, you run a fantastic business. As mentioned earlier though, this does not make you immune to stumbling every once in a while. That’s okay. What matters is that when you do stumble, you don’t try to hide it. If you make a mistake, tell your clients before they find out on their own. You’d be surprised how far an apology can go – as long as it’s sincere, that is. Don’t put up a wall between you and your customers. Instead, open the door and invite them in. They’ll appreciate your honesty and trust that you won’t lie to them in the future to save face.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. People hate being lied to. Broken promises may not start out as a lie, but when you don’t come through it feels like one to clients. If you say you will deliver 100 widgets to their doorstep in one week, make sure that you deliver 100 widgets to their doorstep in one week. Not 75 widgets and most certainly not in a week and a half. Be upfront about what you can realistically supply them. If you’re unsure, tell them so. You may think that this will drive them to look for what they need somewhere else and chances are, it will. That doesn’t mean they’ll never come to you again. It is a far better option than them leaving after you broke your promise. They won’t come back—guaranteed.
Do a good job. If you work hard and don’t try to take shortcuts, there will never be a reason to be dishonest. Produce a good product or offer a fantastic service that is so great, no one will ever have reason to question your practices. For example, if you own a cleaning business, don’t just wipe down what is at eye level. Dust the tops of ceiling fans, and get to all the nooks and crannies. Later, you won’t have to deal with angry customers who are demanding a refund.
Losing clients over completely preventable scenarios is not worth it. Be honest, be transparent, and most importantly, be someone you would trust. If you do that, you can’t go wrong when it comes to becoming a trustworthy business owner.
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About Ben Hubbert
Benjamin Hubbert, President of Champion AC, is a former USAF Combat Controller (12 years, 4 Tours), who has now committed to helping San Antonio reduce our community’s demands on the energy grid. Ben brings an innovative perspective to marketing and customer service. He ensures that Champion AC is a household name, educating the public with…