Every business relies on trust and strong bonds with customers and suppliers in order to thrive in the long-term.
However, trust is no easy thing to build, with many small-business owners finding it hard to develop trust with other companies and their customers.
Levels of trust in Australian businesses are also declining. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, Australia recorded one of the largest drops in trust towards businesses anywhere in the world in the last 12 months.
After dropping 11 points, less than half (48 per cent) of the public now have trust in local businesses.
While this may pose a challenge for companies, there is plenty businesses can do to build a strong rapport, both with customers and other enterprises.
So how can organisations begin to build trust with customers and other businesses? Here are four of the best strategies for companies to use:
1) Focus on your sales relationship
Your sales staff will likely have a range of things on their mind at any one time - from individual KPIs to the importance of making new sales in order to drive future growth.
While all of these are important, they can often overshadow the actual conversations that a sales team is having with potential customers, in turn lowering the level of trust between these staff.
The solution for companies is to invest the time and energy in building a rapport with customers at a personal level. If staff can really take the time to focus and listen to the problems that clients are having, they will be well-equipped to build a strong, trusting relationship.
Not only will this lead to a better outcome for your company and greater customer retention, it will also build that trust that is essential for companies to achieve long-term growth.
2) Be disciplined and consistent
Inconsistency and poor discipline are both easy ways to erode any trust you have built with customers. No matter what industry you work in, infrequent and poorly planned communication with clients is an easy way to destroy any positive relations.
For a small business, consistency and discipline are therefore essential skills to master. By effectively following up with clients and ensuring that every stage of the sales process is seamless, companies will be well-placed to achieve future growth.
3) Build faith in your product internally
Regardless of the product or service you sell, being able to build customer faith in your product is essential to develop faith in your organisation as a whole.
This begins with business owners and sales team having faith in the products they sell. They need to believe wholeheartedly that the goods they are offering are the best and will meet the needs of potential customers.
If you can't build this faith in a company's products internally, customers will pick up on it and quickly lose trust in the sales process and the business as a whole.
4) Develop a process
Internal processes are essential for every small business, but especially when it comes to working with customers. Having a clear set of steps that take a new lead right the way through to an ongoing customer is one of the most important ingredients for building trust.
The value of this in terms of building trust comes down to knowing the sales process back to front. By having a system that works, small businesses will be able to create that level of confidence that customers value.
This also comes back to the second point about consistency. By implementing processes that are consistent, clients will know exactly what to expect and have faith in the performance of your company.
Any small business that can address these four areas will be well on the way to developing a successful company and fostering a strong sense of trust among their customers.
If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].