2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved. Best Practices for Earning Trust for Your Business Posted by Puneet Trust in a business can be a bit like a stock market with highs and lows. Currently the business world is seeing some of the lowest trust numbers ever. Why is this? In part, it can be linked to the bailouts of big business, when individuals themselves struggle. To have longevity for your business, you must have trust from your customers, regardless of the products or services you offer. This is more important now, in the current economic climate than ever before. Lets have a look at best practices for earning trust for your business. 1. Offer your customers the best possible customer service each and every time. Ensure your staff is trained in how to always give the customer the best customer service possible, even if you cannot give them the answer they want. You should also make it easy for customers to contact a manager or executive. 2. Consider putting in place a system for customers to leave feedback about their experience. This can provide you with valuable information about where you are doing well, and where you are failing the customer. 3. Go that extra mile. Under promise and over deliver, every time this will make a happy customer. They will see you as reliable and trustworthy. Too often businesses over promise and http://www.trustedbusiness.com/blog/best-practices-for-earning-trust-for-your-business/ 2011 Apptivo Inc. All rights reserved. under deliver, which leads to unhappy customers that shop elsewhere. This is no way to build trust. 4. Manage relationships with customers. It takes far less time and resources to assist returning customers than it does a new customer, so take advantage of this. Keep in contact with your customers. Offer those special promotions, newsletters, etc. to keep in contact, and build a bond. That bond will translate into trust. 5. Make your commitments realistic. When your business commits to doing something, you need to keep those commitments. A business should not make commitments it cannot keep. When you keep a commitment it will build trust with that customer. If you commit to something, and you dont keep that commitment, you will destroy trust. Its really that simple. 6. Make sure there are no squeaky wheels in your business. Make sure that your customer hears the same thing no matter what part of your business he/she is speaking to. So make sure that the person that answers the phone tells the customer the same thing as the department manager, who tells the customer the same thing as the executive at the top of the company. When everyone is saying the same thing, the customer can trust what they are being told. When everyone is doing the same thing, the customer can feel they are fairly treated. 7. Take responsibility for whatever occurs. The buck should stop where the customer lands. If that person cannot help, then they should know who can help. Always treat the customer graciously, apologize when necessary, and explain what is happening. 8. Communicate with your customers often. Nurture those relationships whenever possible, and ask for their feedback. Find out how they think you are doing. Anytime trust is broken, it will take longer to rebuild the second time, than it took to create in the first place. Trust is essential to the success of any business. The business hierarchy must train from the top down their policies relating to dealing with customers, and employees must be trained to manage customer expectations. When your entire workforce understands that you see building relationships with customers as critical to building trust and your business, theyll know whats expected of them.