Trust is one of those business intangibles that’s difficult to measure and, in some cases, difficult to maintain.

Your company is an entity to customers, clients, employees, vendors, outsources, investors and lenders, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders. Building trust takes time. Losing the trust of a customer can happen in a wink. Further, building trust doesn’t cost much. Rebuilding lost trust can cost a lot – a whole lot!

Here are some tips that will help you demonstrate that your company is trustworthy:

Honor your promises. Your business should be prepared to deliver what’s promised on time, on budget, and on target. In business, “honesty is the best policy” for all involved in company activity. This includes “transparency” – simple to understand contracts, clear statements of work, guarantees and warranties with no fine print. Deliver on your promises and trust follows naturally.

Maintain business consistency in your company’s operational systems, rules and regulations, procedures for customer care, and all engagements with those who make the company successful. Consistently engage customers and clients with the same terms and conditions they’ve come to expect. Those businesses that consistently operate to the expectations of others may be businesses worthy of trust.

Don’t be a phony. Customers and clients recognize hype, so respect the intelligence of your revenue base. The fake smile, the overly-enthusiastic handshake, a warranty that requires a microscope to read – all indicate a business that, at least on the surface, appears unworthy of complete trust. Just be yourself. People will respect you for your honesty and integrity when you admit, “I’ll have to check on that and get back to you. I don’t know the answer.”

Communicate with all stakeholders throughout the project or sale. We operate in a fast-paced business environment with emails, texts, smartphone apps – it’s easy to keep customers apprised of their order or project. Open communication can be a powerful trust builder.

Join groups. Industry groups, professional associations, local business groups like the local chamber of commerce, the Better Business Bureau®, service organizations, and other groups may enhance your business reputation. Joining groups demonstrates business integrity, commitment to standards, a pro-active corporate culture, and dedication to the community and the local economy. To build trust, get noticed through business networking, contribute to the betterment of your community, and maintain the highest professional standards.

Be professional. Look the part. Dress well. Speak well. Prepare for meetings so you can move them along. Competitors, clients, and customers respect a professional approach. 

Check your company’s credit reports. A new prospect may ask to see your company’s credit history, and maybe even the credit history of key members of your team. Regularly check your credit worthiness. Others may find issues with information contained in your business credit report that can be fixed – and fast!

Finally, conduct an Internet search of your company by name. You may discover negative reviews from clients or customers that can be fixed before they tarnish your reputation. Address negative online reviews quickly to limit negative impact.

Trust in your business is one of your most important and effective commodities you can manage. Be yourself. Be worthy of trust and clients and customers will trust you to do what’s in their best interests. They’ll also come back for more of your products or services – and that’s how you grow a business.

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC