It doesn’t matter which industry your company is in or what you’re selling—all customers are only interested in one thing. Trust is ultimately what makes people want to purchase your products or services. When people choose your business, it is because they trust that you will fulfill their needs. When people leave your business, it is often because that trust was broken.
The problem is that businesses often lose sight of building trust to meet the bottom line, but if you run your business with the mindset that trust is what customers are buying, you will find that your company will naturally grow to attract more customers and foster loyalty to your brand.
So what are the traits of a trustworthy business?
Don’t try to emulate someone else’s success story. Develop a business strategy and brand that is authentic to you and your employees. When a business does this, motivation comes easier and strengths and weaknesses become clearer. This leads to attracting a specific audience that aligns with your business, making them more likely to turn into loyal and enthusiastic customers because it’s not an act—it’s who your people are.
Authenticity helps with improving the overall business and customer experience. Think of this way—the first people who did content marketing didn’t call it content marketing. They didn’t have a name for at all. They just genuinely wanted to help their customers and thought the best way to go about it would be doing things like creating blogs that answer questions or live video demonstrations.
Authentic businesses help their customers in a way that feels natural and instinctive to them and people are receptive to that. When people find that quality in a business, it makes them feel catered to, and makes them want to stay and spread the word.
Be honest. Even if you’re delivering bad news for your customers, honesty helps customers trust your business as one that will be truthful with them and not try to manipulate them. Word travels quickly. It’s the act of trying to lead people on that lowers trust in your business. When you set out to work for your customer, instead of trying to get the most money out of them you can, people recognize and appreciate that.
Be honest about the capabilities of your business and whether your company can deliver for your customers. If you’re a software company who knows the rollout of the next update to fix bugs is going to last for months, say it. Don’t lead people on into extending their subscription, especially if not receiving this update will be detrimental to their business.
Also, be honest if your competition does something better. This shows that your truly want your customers to have the best possible experience and people take notice of that. Own the mistakes your company makes and use them as lessons to grow and share that journey with your customers. These things are so unique in the business world that it can actually makes your company stand out in a highly competitive industry.
Effective communication is more than just being friendly. A fair amount of negative customer reviews actually stem from a complete misunderstanding of what the product or service does, which can lead to misaligned expectations and disappointment.
This is why it’s crucial to communicate your customers and leave nothing to assumption. Use communication to inform your customers of what they’re getting into and help them understand the value and benefits of your offerings. It should also be easy for customers to continue the conversation over their customer life cycle. They should be able to call, message, or email your company for assistance and receive a response in a timely manner, because if they can’t find solutions with you, they’ll look elsewhere.
Don’t forget that your team should also communicate effectively. If there is high tension, infighting, and heavy political games in your business, that will trickle down into the customer experience as well. Ensure that people are being held accountable accordingly and that you also showing that you trust and care about your employees so that they feel proud to work for you and provide positive and confident energy back to your customers.
The most effective way to earn people’s trust is to exceed their expectations. This means going the extra mile to provide a better experience for your customers beyond the minimum requirements to get the job done.
It means being proactive and fixing problems before they arise and anticipating the want for new products, services, features before your customers even have to ask for them. It means looking out for their best interest and striving to be consistent. It means trying to make up for a bad experience with better memories.
Dedication to exceeding customer expectations is ultimately what helps turn customers into your best promoters. They become so overjoyed and appreciative of their experience that they have to share it with the people they love in their life. Think about it—they promote your business because they believe if their loved one becomes a customer, they will also have a great experience. You’ve essentially earned their trust and when you earn someone’s trust, it rewards you back.
Following this mentality will help your team grow your business. Remember that people have the same thoughts and concerns as you when you make a purchase, so treat them with the same respect and patience you would give yourself.