While there might be a shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela (we’ll save that for another day), there certainly isn’t a shortage of people wondering about why it’s important to have trust with your customers.
I suppose the same question could be asked of coworkers, friends, or even spouses, but the answer to those situations seems a bit more obvious.
But while those relationships require much more reciprocity in their trust, the trust factor in your relationships with your customers is much more one-sided.
In other words, there’s one person that needs to worry about trust.
Trust in Customer Relationships Comes from the Company Side
With every transaction you perform, every new lead that comes in, you are trusting that the customer will have the money to pay, and you hope their interest will be with you and that they will buy from you.
But your level of trust in them is infinitely less important than what you need to do in order for them to put their trust in you.
Because if a potential customer or simple browser doesn’t trust you, they’ll be running from you like a jackrabbit in a bath of red hot magma.
Trust is a commodity, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly and it shouldn’t be treated like money.
The more you have, the better you are, and you never ever want to go into trust debt.
Trust is Positive or Negative, Never Neutral
There’s no middle ground when it comes to trust. Either you are trustworthy or you aren’t.
Even when someone is just starting to look for where to buy, they gauge their options based on their previous experiences and go from there.
If you offered them a good experience, they are more than likely to choose you over someone they don’t know and haven’t built trust with.
But, if you’ve offered a bad experience, you’re already in trust debt and that outweighs any unknown that customer has with another company.
Build Trust Over Time
Nobody likes sitting on a chair only to find that it had 3 legs, or all 4 legs were about to fall off.
One, even in the slightest possible way, will examine a chair before sitting down to inspect it’s sturdiness.
It’s a physical manifestation of the trust you can build in order to sit down without fear.
Just as a well-built, antique wooden chair gives you confidence that it’s O.K. to sit down, you should build confidence through many years of honest, hard work.
How to Build Trust with Customers
There are plenty of ways to build positive trust with your customers and potential buyers, here are a few ways to get started:
1. Be Honest. This one is a given, but it never hurts to repeat it. Don’t ever lie, don’t ever cheat, and don’t ever hide anything from your customers. It won’t turn out well for you.
2. Get Listed. Find out where your potential customers go to find new places to buy from. Whether it be Yelp, Google Local, or Angie’s List, you need to be there with a complete listing and good reviews. If they find you here, you’re already high up on their list.
3. Ask for Reviews. Customers are increasingly flocking to social proof to tell them what’s good. You need good reviews to exude confidence, so do good work and ask your customers to provide reviews for you on the places you found in #2.
4. Be Transparent. Keep your curtains open, your windows down, and your doors unlocked and open to greet new customers. Don’t hide anything from them and make them feel at home.
5. Be a Consultant. Don’t just sell; that tells people you’re only interested in them for the money. Make them feel like you’re their personal assistant who’s there to make sure they have everything they need to feel welcome and taken care of. Answer their questions, recommend them the best option (not the one that most benefits you), and get them the help they need.
6. Be Communicative. Don’t skip out on one of the greatest relationship builders to have ever existed: social media. Get on social and communicate. Be open on email and phone channels and stay in touch with your customers without overloading them.
Make Trust Building Your #1 Goal
So, why is it important to have trust with your customers? It’s the main driver that puts them over the edge to even be interested in you. It’s what gives them the confidence to pull their wallet out.
There is so much you can do to build positive trust with your customers, but almost everything will come naturally as you actively strive to simply be a trustworthy organization and team.