Customers who trust your business will be loyal customers. Establishing trust with your customers provides you the opportunity to build lifelong relationships with your clientele, which will give you a sense of job security as well as the satisfaction of a job well done.
Here are 5 tips to help build relationships with your customers:
While your customer is describing their problem to you, be present with them. Maintaining eye contact, nodding in appropriate places, and leaning in slightly are all ways to show you are an active participant in the conversation. The bonus is that these non-verbal cues also let you respond to what your customer is saying, while giving them the space to make themselves feel heard.
Be socially active
Make sure your website is up to date and usable (especially on mobile phones). There is nothing worse for a customer to arrive at a website that they cannot use to find the information they need. Use your social media as often as possible. Customers appreciate a company that keeps up with their social media accounts regularly, as it shows them you care about your company image.
Especially as a small business, it is easy to set your own hours and make them work for you. However, it is important to customers that you be available when you say you will be available, and to have hours that are easily accessible to your customer base. Set regular working hours and stick to them. If your website says you are open from 9am-5pm, answer the phones during that time, or at the very least return calls as soon as possible within that time frame. This lets customers know you value their time as well as their own.
Try to stay away from gimmicky or misleading advertisements. Be humble when it comes to claims about your products and services (over exaggeration can be a turn off for customers). Make sure your bids are as clear and detailed as possible. Use contracts that are in plain English rather than legalese. Customers will see the value in your honesty, especially when they compare you against the flashy claims of your competition.
Under promise, over deliver
If you think a job is going to take you 6 hours, tell your customers it will take 8. Making small adjustments like this will help you if you run into unexpected problems, but if you do manage to finish ‘early’ your customers will feel you went above and beyond for them. Being upfront about what you offer is one thing but delivering on those promises is what truly demonstrates trustworthiness to customers.