If we do not trust a particular medical professional, we do not allow him or her to treat our ailments. If we do not trust a certain politician, we do not vote for him or her. We instinctively understand that trust is a critical factor when it comes to interacting with individuals.
However, it is easy to lose sight of this truth in the business world. Surrounded by financial reports and marketing analyses and other types of paperwork, business owners sometimes forget about the human aspect of business success: building trust with customers.
Recently, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) released a study on the “5 Gestures of Trust,” which looks at relationships between businesses and their customers. On average, consumers rated the importance of trust to be 8.6 on a scale of 1-10. In other words, trusting the company that they purchase products from or otherwise do business with is of high importance to most consumers.
How can businesses gain trust?
The BBB recommends focusing on specific aspects of the business-consumer relationship to help bolster trust and increase a company’s overall reputation. These aspects are:
- Honesty and transparency – Being real with consumers, which includes the avoidance of false advertising.
- Humility – Valuing consumers and making their interests just as important (if not more important) than your business’s interests.
- Equality – Treating consumers as partners or teammates throughout the process, not mere fodder for sales.
- Proactivity – Taking preemptive action to anticipate and meet consumers’ needs.
It takes time, but it is worth it
Establishing trust is not something that can be accomplished overnight. It may take years of consistent effort for a company to develop a reputation for trustworthiness in the marketplace. However, the dividends associated with such a reputation are significant. It is well worth the time and energy to focus on this important factor to success.