The following is part 2 of a 2 part series on establishing trust.
On segment #27 of the Business is ART podcast at the TrueChat Network, my guest was business owner Kevin West of Your Home Comfort Guy, a heating and air conditioning company. Kevin is also the president of the Champion City Chapter (Springfield, Ohio) of BNI (Business Networking International). Our topic of discussion was “Trust” and during the course of the conversation, Kevin listed several means for building trust in your business, summarized in this 2 part series. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, follow this link and click on Segment #27 – Trust Me.
In part 1 of this 2 part series, we discussed how appearance, behavior, and knowing/defining who you and your business can be 3 means of establishing trust. In this part, we complete the series with 3 additional methods for doing so.
Seek Out Referrals
Referrals drive business and save advertising costs. That goes without saying. But the level of trust in a referral situation goes much deeper. First, again stating the obvious, referrals instill a level of trust that the customer has in your and your business simply because “someone else said it was good, so, I’ll try it” comes in to play. But second, the person or party providing the referral trusts you won’t let THEM down either. They believe in you enough to recommend you and if you fail to deliver, not only is your reputation on the line, but so is yours.
You don’t have to know a person well to receive a referral from them and they don’t have to be rock stars for the referral to mean something. The best way to receive a referral is to ask for it. Once received, asked permission to put it on your website or use on social media. Adding pictures and videos makes it even more powerful.
You may consider joining a business network group, whose primary mission is for group members to be advocates for one another’s business, such as Business Networking International (BNI).
Own Your Mistakes
Mistakes happen. No one is immune to them. The simple rule of thumb to own your mistakes rings especially true in business, where perception is reality is real impact to your reputation and bottom line. Sometimes “They messed up at first, but boy did they make it right afterward” is an even more powerful message than “They did a good job.”
Note: That is NOT an endorsement for making mistakes on purpose so you can come back in and be the hero. No, no. Do your best to do it right the first time. But if a mistake happens, fix it (without complaining about the “pain in the A” customer).
It’s true. Smiles are contagious. Every once in awhile you run across a seemingly permanently grumpy person. I once had a guy working for me who always smiled. Even in bad times, he could find a way to smile. During a contentious meeting with my boss at the time (one of those said permanently grumpy people) this guy was actually told by my boss to wipe the smile from his face.
Do not be that person (or someone will eventually write about you in an unflattering blog post). And if you run in to that person, keep smiling anyway. In my unscientific survey (in which I asked only myself the question), 99% of the time, the customer will smile back and feel they had a better experience.
And ultimately that is what it is all about.