Think of the businesses and brands you return to regularly. Why do you keep going back to them? Most likely, it is because you trust they will do a good job, provide a positive service and do the same for those who you recommend to use them.
So, how do these businesses generate this trust – and, more importantly, how can you build trust for your own small business?
- Engage and interact – be open, honest and available. Customers value good communication, even when they don’t get the answer they want. There is nothing more annoying than a wall of silence for your customers.
- Provide good service wherever you can, and be prepared to admit and rectify any issues as soon as possible. Again, communication is key.
- Be reliable and maintain a consistent service. Nobody will recommend your business to others if they cannot guarantee what service they, or their contacts, will receive.
- It can be hard to keep small businesses open 5 or 7 days a week, but establish opening hours (which may include when you are available if you don’t have physical premises) and stick to them. If someone arrives at your door and can’t get in, they may not try again.
You cannot ask for customers to trust you – trust needs to be built and maintained. This is no easy feat, but one that is essential to ensure a loyal customer base and ongoing recommendations to new customers into the future, no matter what type of business you run.