Every company wants to build trust with its clients because when you earn a client’s trust, you earn their loyalty and their business, both of which serve to benefit your company.
But sometimes prospective clients never pan out. Deals fall through. Promising leads never deliver. Could your clients’ lack of confidence in your company be the issue? The following tips should help you to foster a sense of trust within your clients:
Jargon – language and terms used exclusively by individuals who are intimately familiar with the industry – should be avoided while interacting with clients. Unless the client is just as knowledgeable about your field as you are (and most aren’t), specialized terms, acronyms, and industry-specific references are only going to leave them feeling confused and excluded. And if they don’t have a firm grasp of what you’re saying, they’re unlikely to place their trust in you as a business.
Instead, speak plainly and candidly. If you use any acronyms or jargon, be sure to explain it so that the client can come to a full understanding.
Hold yourself accountable.
No one likes people who shirk on their responsibilities, so it’s important to hold yourself accountable in the eyes of your clients. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Give a sincere apology (not an excuse), and explain what went wrong and how you’ll fix it in the future. If you make a promise that you end up not being able to keep, be honest with the client. Again, apologize to them and explain what happened.
In short, do whatever you can to stay honest. Take responsibility for your actions, as this shows clients that your company is respectable, responsible, and worthy of their confidence.
Keep contracts and other agreements simple.
Like jargon, complicated contracts and agreements are likely to make your clients feel excluded, which is hardly conducive to earning their trust. Lawyers and HR representatives like to create in-depth contracts and agreements to close off loopholes and prevent confusion, and understandably so. But such complicated language can leave clients feeling stranded and wondering if your interests truly align with theirs.
If your contracts must use complicated language, consider creating a simplified version for the client. Give them both the contract or agreement in the original language and a summary of the most important parts of the agreement. On this summary, be sure to indicate where the statement is reflected in the official contract so that the client can refer to both documents. This helps to increase transparency, something that every client can appreciate.
Make yourself accessible.
This tip is simple: Be available. If a client needs to reach you with a question or concern, they’ll want to be able to contact you quickly. If you’ve given them no direct way to reach you, they’re likely to become frustrated.
Give them multiple ways of contacting you, including your office phone number, work email address, and even (if you think it’s appropriate) your cell phone number. It’s also important to return their correspondence promptly. Clients need to know that they can count on you, and if you let days pass before answering a simple email, they’re unlikely to feel completely secure doing business with you. Showing your clients that you are available to meet their needs makes them more inclined to place their trust in you as a business partner.
The above tips are all great ways to build your clients’ confidence in you as a company. But the easiest and most effective way to build trust with a client is to simply be a trustworthy company. Be sincere in everything you do as a business, and your clients will take notice.