Ending out 2013, the Associated Press repeated a poll that was originally done in 1972 by the General Social Survey. The study polled a group of Americans on their level of trust between each other; there were some alarming results.
In 1972, half of Americans were able to say with confidence that most people could be trusted. Today, only a third of Americans are able to say the same.
So the question you’ve gotta ask yourself is: do my customers trust me?
A customer’s trust is invaluable
Trust couldn’t be a more important virtue to have. It’s one of the defining attributes of a good business and a pillar of good business itself.
Never take you customers’ trust for granted. With only a 3rd of Americans trusting one another, there are little chances that this trust will come automatically.
It’s your job to earn that trust.
Earning trust from your customers
While you can’t always affect 100% of the level of trust others have in you, there are plenty of things you can do to earn as much trust as possible from your customers, leads, and partners.
Always tell the truth
It may seem obvious, but a customer’s trust is built on good impressions and constantly good encounters.
Every time you talk to or meet with the customer, it’s extremely important to always be truthful with the customer. Those interactions will help build a relationship of trust that will continue on through repeat business.
Give clear, honest estimates
Don’t hide behind complicated mathematics or estimation trickery. Make sure all your estimates are clearly understandable and be sure to ask for and answer any questions your customers might have about the estimates.
If you need to add something else to your job, tell the customer in advance. If you used something else but won’t be charging them for it, tell them that too. In general, be open to talk about almost any part of what you do for them in order to make them feel like they understand completely what is going on.
Do good work
Your customers’ trust is heavily based on the quality of your work. If they can’t trust you to do a good job, you’ll be on the black list for a while and they’ll generally tell their friends all about it. Conversely, if you do a great job, they’ll talk about it even more.
Be on time
Do your best to always start and complete the job on schedule. If you know you’ll be running late, call ahead of time and let them know. If you’re going over schedule, give them a ring beforehand and give them a complete new schedule.
Be sure to use your CRM and project management software to program out your day and keep yourself organized. You’ll have all your tasks set up for success and will always have the contact information available if you need to call ahead of time for any delays or changes.
Let’s change an important statistic
When I first read this statistic, it was very alarming. If we can’t trust each other, what’s left of the world?
We have to change this statistic, and the only way to do it is by being someone trustworthy. Being an example to those who no longer trust their fellow men and showing them that their trust can be rewarded.
It’s not too late.