10 Ways to Gain Your Customers’ Trust
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Trust is integral in building your business’ credibility and fostering customer loyalty. With the ease of technology, new companies are popping up by the hour. To grow and sustain, you have to have customers who believe in you and your products or services. The success of your business depends on you getting in front of your core customers and making sales. Not only are sales necessary, but having repeat customers and referrals are crucial to keeping a positive cash flow.
There are inexpensive things that you can integrate into your business that will show your customers and potential customers that you are professional, you take your company seriously, and you plan to have long-term success.
1. Have a website. This may sound like common sense, but there is still a considerable amount of small businesses that have yet to create an online presence. It may seem like a daunting task, but having a website allow your customers to answer entry-level questions that they may have regarding your company. This will allow you to be more productive, by freeing your time from mundane tasks that can easily be addressed with your website. Also, you may be better able to capture leads and make sales, by having a website that is operable 24/7.
2. Have active social media accounts. There are countless platforms and trying to manage them all can be overwhelming. Finding where YOUR customers devote the most time, in search of services and products similar to yours, is important. Once identified, create a recognizable business account, and actively engage. Engagement is pertinent to the success of your social media account(s), post often, go live, reply to customer messages and comments, and it does not hurt to post an occasional giveaway. Social media also allows you to update your customers in "real-time," so you are better able to keep your customers in the loop of any need to know info. Most importantly, please keep personal and private information away from your business account, be respectful, and responsive to your viewers.
3. Encourage client reviews/ testimonials. People tend to shop where they see others have had pleasant experiences. Even if the review may be a little off-putting to you, there is a lot that can be learned by a seemingly bad comment. Customers tell you what you need to do or implement to keep their business, so be sure to listen and read for the hidden gems.
4. Have a business number. Once again, technology has simplified this process, long gone are the days of putting in phone wires and paying costly phone bills. There are free services that exist that allow you to claim a stock number through apps and your email account. Having a professional number detached from your personal phone line, and even better, all your calls will reroute through your private phone. Separating your business and personal numbers will hopefully help you to organize your calls and increase your customer service.
5. Utilize a payment system. Business in the age of technology is all about professionalism and consistency. Therefore, from personal experience, trust is given to those who present themselves as worthy of it. When making a transaction, I expect to receive an invoice, receipt, or some other formal documentation that ties my sale to your company. CashApp is highly convenient, but wouldn’t you rather do business with someone who has a legitimate processing system that secures my transactions? Most website hosting companies provide secure processing options along with companies such as Square, Clover, Honeybook, and countless others.
6. Be a registered entity. A serious business owner knows to invest back into their company. Taking the necessary steps to be formally recognized in the eyes of the national and local government is a great indicator of a company who values their business. An important tidbit to remember is that just filing with your secretary of State is often not enough to be seen as a legitimate business. You still have to file your EIN (Employer Identification Number), pay for your business/ privilege license, and sometimes you have to submit certain credentials to show that you are accredited and certified to operate this type of business.
7. Have promotional materials. Most business owners are eager to purchase promotional items with their logos, taglines, and contact information. You will rarely find a serious business owner who will not have a flyer, business card, a social media account, website, or something that has their information on it. Run occasional promotions and advertisements to show that you enjoy giving back to those who have invested in you. It does not have to be expensive, but a $10 gift card may earn your $500 in business if done with the right intentions.
8. Collaborate with other trusted, reliable brands. If there are countless negative reviews about a company and people are accusing them of scamming their patrons, it is important to steer clear. Your reputation is vital in this fast-paced economy, and you do not want it jeopardized by aligning yourself with businesses that are known for taking advantage of consumers. It is important that people feel that they can support your brand while receiving the services and products that they have paid to receive. Do not allow another company to take advantage of you and cause you to take losses that you may not be able to recover.
9. Rectify mistakes. If a client or customer has a complaint, for the life of your business, handle it with grace and professionalism. It is naïve to think that you will never make mistakes or have issues that arise in your business. Therefore, it is important to have protocols in place to address these inevitable situations with swift and sound judgment. Yes, your business is your baby; however, your customers are the lifeline, and without them, your baby will not be able to grow. Treat your customers fairly, and be sure to fix your problems instead of allowing them to fester.
10. Deliver consistent products or services. As small business owners, sometimes we work in waves. When things are going well, we have more to give and devote to the business; however, when we are in a negative space, it sometimes will show in our dealings and behaviors. Do not allow personal situations to negatively impact what you are creating with your business because research has shown that it costs more to gain a new customer than it is to retain a loyal one.
In Proverbs 13:20 (NIV), we are told, “whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” As business owners, as consumers, as people, we must be mindful of the things that we allow ourselves to partake. It is easy to become a follower in a culture of oversharing. It is detrimental to our success that we will earn the things of some of our counterparts when success is indeed subjective. It is essential to stay your course and remain ethical and consistent in your actions to reap your rewards.