Establishing customer trust is one of the most important and easiest ways to build your business. If you trust someone, you’re going to want to work with them! So here are my top three ways to establish customer trust.
VALUE YOUR CUSTOMER
Your customers are the most important aspect of your business. Without them your business would not survive so it’s important that they feel valued. This doesn’t mean that you have to do some big declaration or send a hugely expensive gift, but a simple handwritten note saying thank you for their custom, a follow-up phone call asking if they liked their products or just offering a cup of tea or coffee at your studio can make all the difference.
TAKE THE TIME
I had my hair cut recently and while I was explaining what I wanted, I was struck that the hairdresser was really listening to me. Not listening while she was tidying her table or sweeping up but actually making eye contact and giving me her full attention. This might seem silly to you, but how often can you say that you were truly listened to by a business?
She probably didn’t need to hear half of what I said – most likely she had a vague idea of what I wanted when I walked through the door or simply had heard my words a millions times previously – BUT she made me feel listened to and that made me feel important to her. I think in total we probably talked for about three minutes (hardly a lifetime) but from the moment she picked up the scissors I trusted her. I fully trusted her in three minutes!
BE CONFIDENT, NOT COCKY
There is a very fine line between being confident and being cocky. Obviously you want to show your clients that you know what you’re talking about and that you are confident in your skills. However you don’t want to ostracise them by being cocky. Have you ever worked with someone who has made you feel wrong, every time you open your mouth? It’s not nice, is it?
Let’s say a client really wants a photograph in a location e.g. under a tree, but you know that the lighting will be too dark or that the shadows will cause havoc. Instead of saying “No I think that will look really bad. Move over there” you could say “I’m more than happy to photograph you there, but I think you might prefer the lighting somewhere else. So why don’t we try both and you can tell me which you prefer?” This simple statement isn’t rude but is subtly telling your client that you are confident you can get them the image they want but it might not be their way.
How can you implement some of these lessons in your business to establish trust?