“The best way to learn if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway
Trust is vital to any form of relationship including in the conduct of business. Some base level of trust is required just to have employment contracts, or to engage in commercial transactions and beyond such minimum thresholds, trust also plays a major role. The level of trust in business relationships, let it be external like in sales or advisory roles, or internal like in a services function is a prime determinant of success than anything else.
WHY TRUST IS IMPORTANT TO NEW BUSINESS?
Trust is a bilateral relationship as simple as one trusts, and the other is the trusted. While these two are related, but they are not the same thing. It is all about trustworthiness. Often we intend more than one thing when we use the word trust. We use it to describe what we think of what people say. We also use it to describe behaviors. We use it to describe whether or not we feel comfortable sharing certain information with someone else and we use the same word to indicate whether or not we feel other people have our interests at heart, vs. their own interests.
People don’t primarily trust institutional entities, they trust other people. The components of credibility and reliability are sometimes used to describe companies or websites, but at least as often to describe people. The other components like intimacy and self-orientation are almost entirely about people. Living the four trust values is the best way to increase your trustworthiness.
Here are few reasons why trust is crucial to new businesses:
1) Trust makes you more reputable– Trust cannot be reduced to pure behaviors. You can’t bottle it in a competency model. Our actions are driven by our beliefs, and our beliefs are driven by our values or principles. Trustworthy behavior is way too complex to fake without the beliefs and values behind them. If your values don’t drive you to behave in a trustworthy manner all the time, you’ll be found out quickly.
2)It will also create a good impression on others- If you are always focus on others like your client, customer, internal co-worker, boss, partner, subordinate for the other’s sake, not just as a means to one’s own ends.We often hear “client-focus,” or “customer-centric.” But these are terms all-too-often framed in terms of economic benefit to the person trying to be trusted.
3)Trust can create both joint goals and joint approaches- Trust can create collaborative approach. Collaboration here means a willingness to work together. A medium to long term relationship perspective, not a short-term transactional focus.
4) Trust makes you more transparent- A habit of being transparent in all one’s dealings.Transparency has the great virtue of helping recall who said what to whom. It also increases credibility, and lowers self-orientation, by its willingness to keep no secrets.
WHY NEW BUSINESS IS STRUGGLING TO BUILD CUSTOMER TRUST?
1) There is no business plan or unique values
Consumers tend to distrust new brands at first glance because people think that business firm ultimate goal is to make money, which is true but you have to put that to secondary and reach human values first to establish a more open and trustworthy relationship with people. So, to overcome consumer skepticism is to show the human side of your brand. Consider introducing yourself as the person behind the business to your customers,. This would also add authenticity and credibility to your brand, especially if you sell products that you made yourself.
By focusing on you as the business instead of just your products, you can tell your story and your brand’s story at the same time. This helps customers get to know you more, and build a bond which lays the foundation for them to trust your business, too.Some things to consider in business planning are who are your customers? How will they buy your products or services — in-store, online, or both? What’s your marketing plan? How will customers find out about your business?Answering these kinds of questions will help you ensure your products, services, and business idea are something that people will buy into. And with social media platforms at your fingertips, it makes the market research process that much easier.
It not only that you share personal experience and demonstrates expertise, but also builds the kind of emotional connection with customers that only a small business can. Both of these factors can helps you gain trust and make the customer feel better about purchasing from you. Likewise, you can add a human face to your own business, entwining your personal story with your brand’s story. This is needed in business planning.
2)Incompetent customer service which distorts positive feedbacks
Positive feedbacks are the key to take your new business into the next stage. Systems that double as positive feedback cycles can likewise help you generate customer trust. For example, when your business is the subject of a glowing review, you attract new sales, which lead to fresh reviews, which lead to additional sales, and so on. Look to establish such feedback cycles through social media, press coverage, and word-of-mouth. There are a number of ways to quantify feedback loops. Find those apps and keep track, if you do get a negative feedback do not look away instead take it as a constructive criticism and build yourself from it.
Gathering and analyzing such data, and additional related data, could help you identify feedback cycles to develop. As a young company, one of the most important things you can do is simply deliver a great customer service experience. Customer service extends beyond the product or service you sell it is the end-to-end experience for your consumer. It determines whether one purchase becomes several repeat sales, or whether that customer looks elsewhere to solve his or her pain point. Actions as simple as answering questions and concerns through email, phone, and social media can help you build both customer trust and your sales base.
3) Lack of information, data and statistics
One of the biggest reason why people do no trust new brands is because they tend to be vague and pushy in term of delivering content. Content is a powerful tool for connecting with new users who have no idea who you are. This gives you a chance to slowly introduce yourself but here is where most new business fail as they get aggressive in self promoting. Blogging regularly can show that you’re invested in your business and your customer’s problems which is always a good sign for consumers but do not over do it.
Instead of bombarding with unnecessary informations focus on producing good quality content that can help consumers get more familiar with your brand. Take it a step further by sharing personal experience by using your product or services and develop a distinct brand voice. Both of these things will show the personality behind your brand and help people feel like they really know you and can trust you.
This is further aided by encouraging discussions that allows you to connect with people. Even if users only leave a quick comment, this gives you a valuable opportunity to talk to them one-on-one, establishing a personal relationship through their screen and inviting them to revisit the conversation again.The more customers know about what they’re about to buy, the more likely they are to actually go ahead and purchase it. Being specific instead of being general about the description of your product. If you are selling coffee state what coffee it is. For example, instead of coffee, Brazilian coffee sounds much better. Some things that you can consider adding to your product descriptions include exact measurements of the item, weight of the item, product ingredients/manufacturing materials, warranty information and any special product features and their benefits
Adding many images and videos as possible to demonstrate the product quality and how it can be used also helps. This allows people to envision it in their own lives, and the clearer they can see it, the more likely they are to believe you can deliver what you promise you will.
4) Provide no sense of security to the buyer
You always have to make sure that your site itself looks trustworthy. Cyber security is a huge issue in today’s world so if your business involves online purchasing bare in mind with consumers are wary about giving anyone their credit card information. So, they way to overcome this is make sure your site has protection. For example, use security-boosting apps, by display security badges on your store or use plug in like the McAfee Secure plugin and so on.
You can create multiple payment options. This will make consumers feel a little more comfortable about buying from you. For example, like offering PayPal. PayPal acts as a secure financial gateway that many customers prefer to use, feeling it adds another layer of protection. One study even found that while customers trust their primary banks more overall and didn’t like to deposit funds into PayPal, 69% of those surveyed believed that PayPal was better at protecting their financial information. If you’re able to offer payment options that users trust more, they’ll trust you more, too.
5). Poor accounting and financial tracking
Uncontrolled spending and poor money management are among the biggest problems for new businesses to fail. Startup owners mistakenly assume that if you build it they will come, and justify their expenses on the belief that the product release will bring in all kinds of sales. But there are no guarantees that customers will buy your product. Not knowing where the money is going is just setting the stage for an epic fail.
If your accounts is in complete chaos, chances are your finances aren’t too far behind. From insufficient capital when getting started, to cash flow problems induced by bad inventory management, your account back is most likely not in a good way.
To make set your business up for long-term success, it’s absolutely critical that you track every penny coming in and out of your small business. A major key to a successful startup is controlling finances. And one way to do this is through bootstrapping, or paying your own way by stretching resources as much as possible. This should be your first option for funding if at all possible.
6) Failure to understand the customers and their needs
Ask any successful business owners and they would tell you, the best way to increase revenue and is “get more customers.” While that is definitely a major way to add revenue, it isn’t necessarily the quickest or most efficient. We all know that it’s infinitely easier to sell something to someone who’s already bought from you than it is to a stranger. Your past customers already know, like and hopefully trust you. Beyond that, they understand the significance of what you offer and have proven themselves to be action takers.
However, small businesses you are just starting hence customer is and should always be your first priority. Think from the shoes of your customer and strategies yourself from there. Always remember give enough attention to customers.Listen to their feedback and understand the demand. Put in extra effort in tracking your customers buying pattern and social media always helps in this case. You can compliment your existing products or services to increase customer value, provide additional benefits to your buyers by focusing a portion of your efforts on those you’ve already won over, you can decrease costs while increasing revenue. Best of all, you can begin to see results almost immediately.
If you find your new business can use some work in any of these areas, now is the perfect time to get started. If it seems too overwhelming to refine multiple aspects of your company at once, try starting with what’ll have the biggest impact and work your way back from there.
HOW TO BUILD TRUST WITH CUSTOMER?
Here’s a clearer break down of trust in sales context as follows:
- Engage: “I heard no return policy may be an issue for you, is that right?”
- Listen: “Wow, that’s interesting! Tell me more about it.”
- Frame: “It sounds like what worry about the most is the price of the product.”
- Envision: “But, think about how you would look once we helps you get this fix?”
- Commit: “What if we were to do a product demonstration ?”
Bond building leads to trust building. Remember to build a bond out of credibility, trust and loyalty and it would keep your customer base loyal and strong and grow bigger.
Here are few tips to how to create that bond:
1.Engage the client in an open discussion about the issues that are key to them
Listen to what is important to the client and earn the right to offer solutions. Avoid selling a solution that isn’t in the customer’s best interest. Sometimes you just don’t have the right solution at the right price. If that is the case, it is always best to be honest with the customer, instead of proposing something which you know will not fully deliver the outcome the customer is looking for.
2.Take personal risks to explore sensitive issues
You probably know the objections prospects have to buying your product or service. Address those head-on in your marketing materials and on your website.The more honest and forthright you can be when you take on possible objections, the more your prospects will notice and appreciate it. Articulate a point of view and give customers more options and reason to buy in your products rather than just emphasizing the fact they should invest in.
3.Envision an alternate reality or solution
Do not promise what you cannot deliver . New businesses find it very difficult to say no to the customer about anything. Telling the customer that a certain solution with specific features and benefits will be delivered by a specific deadline, when you know you can’t deliver, is a recipe for disaster. So, include win-win specific descriptions of outcomes and results and Clarify benefits and it make clear what’s at stake.
4. Be tangible about future states
Commit to actionable next steps that imply significant commitment and movement on the part of each party. . Always honor the relationships and finally make promises and keep them. Above all, you must do what you say, when you said you would do it. This one skill alone will put you head and shoulders above your competition.
5. Provide proof
You probably know the objections prospects have to buying your product or service. Address those head-on in your marketing materials and on your website.The more honest and forthright you can be when you take on possible objections, the more your prospects will notice and appreciate it.