There are a million business books, techniques, experts and websites providing advice on how to build your business. They’ll talk about cash flow, marketing, MVPs, “finding your niche” and a hundred other ways to tweak your business.
Many of them seem to ignore one simple thing – your business is nothing without the trust of your customers. Trust is an elusive emotion, but it’s very powerful. When people trust you, they’re more likely to listen to what you say. They’ll want to hear from you and will treat you in a positive way. They’ll share what you say with their friends and they’ll look to you for advice.
Trust isn’t just good for us as people, it’s also great for the businesses we create. If we can find a way to build trust with our customers, success will naturally follow. Here are a few hints and tips to help you do just that.
Trust is all about relationships
The first thing to remember is that you affect the trust a customer has with your business every time you interact with them. It starts with your marketing and flows all the way through to when they receive your products and services. You need to make sure all of your messaging, marketing, customer service, support, communications and more are built around your authenticity.
Being honest and transparent builds your integrity, and integrity is one of the best ways to show empathy and create trust.
Truly understand your customers’ needs
If you really want people to trust you, understanding their needs and creating products and services to solve their problems is a great way to start. Think about all of the different types of customers who need something from your business. Understand why they need it and focus all of your messages around that. Remember, it’s all about the benefits you can give to people.
Remember the little things
It’s often the little things that make a difference. I’ll use a personal example: I’ve recently been buying from an online store, and in each order I’ve had a handwritten note from the person who packed it thanking me for shopping with them, together with a little picture. It probably took 30 seconds to write, but seeing that against all of the generic service I receive made me feel genuinely warm toward the business.
Look for the little things you can do to personalize the experience for your customers and show in some small way that you care.
It’s not all about the sale
I’ll leave you with an important tip: don’t make everything about the sale. Your customers are looking to your business to provide extra value – the information they’re after, having their questions answered, getting great customer support. You need to spend as much time making sure the customer journey is as good as it can be as you do selling the products and services themselves.
When building trust becomes second nature, you’ll create much more powerful relationships with your customers, which then becomes a virtuous circle of respect, integrity and success.