Companies are beside themselves trying to capture new clients and retain their existing relationships with their clients. They’re anxious and rightly so, given the value they’re up for losing to an every changing marketplace. Albeit technological or socio-economic and geo-political in nature, everyone is affected in some way.
Over the years, I’ve found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference! Building that trust starts from the inside. The high-trust companies are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. Hence, resulting in employees who are better at attracting and building healthy relationships with their clients.
Companies with great customer relationships are able to grow their businesses without frills and gimmicks, fee cuts or special offers or discounts. You have to be good at what you do, of course, but having a truly successful business is based on one simple concept: trust.
With trust, you’ll have customers (or clients) for life. Without trust, you may as well pack up your bags and go home, all over red rover.
Building trust takes time and a lot of hard work. But is entirely doable if you and your team work on three of your most important core competencies: service, consistency and transparency.
Make great service great again
When customers trust a brand, they are more likely to recommend a trusted company to others and will continue to use that brand on a regular basis. While hardly anyone talks about the time you went above and beyond for a customer, you’ll certainly hear from the disgruntled ones if you failed to make a deadline or delivered a product that didn’t do what you promised. Earning a customer’s trust starts with giving great service. How would you want to be treated if you were a customer? The reality is that service should come naturally, instead of being strategically planned. The more you plan for great service, the less time you’ll spend providing it.
Consistently stable goes hand in hand with providing great service. Internal expectations lead to external results.
From a business perspective, being consistent applies to every aspect of what you do:
- Your employees should provide equivalent levels of service.
- Equipped with the tools it needs, your sales team should answers questions the same way.
- You should stay the course with your products and services, rather than constantly shifting gears to try new tactics or initiatives.
- Create meaningful measurement to determine whether something is working. If it isn’t viable, you should have a plan in place to make changes.
- Consistency also puts your money where your mouth is within your company. From a leadership perspective, consistent performance shows employees what you expect from them.
Being Crystal Clear
Transparency is another competency that should come naturally. Yet so many businesses have trouble coming to terms with what it really means.
Customers and clients are smart. They know when you’re being up front or when they are told a mistruth. If honesty is the best policy, they’ll appreciate and admire you more when you admit to a mistake, rather than playing games or even worse, avoiding the topic altogether.
Don’t try to hide or cover up your errors. Address the issue directly, explain how you will handle it and share what steps are being taken to prevent the errors from occurring in the future. To implement transparency effectively, lead by example. Your employees will also admire you more for your honesty.
by Visceral Vixen