Gaining Trust is Hard, Especially Without These Nine Efforts
Trust is a critical factor in running any business successfully. A business owner needs to trust their employees to work effectively, a business as a whole needs to trust its vendors and service providers, and—perhaps most pressingly—a business’ audience needs to trust that business.
Let’s examine just how critical this trust is… and what can be done to help grow it in your own audience.
Trust is a Major Consideration, Especially Today
Regardless of industry or the audience for it, there has to be some sense of trust between a provider and its clientele… otherwise, the business relationship will not be a long-lasting one.
As it happens, businesses are the most trusted institution in the world, according to the 2021 (and 21st) edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer. This survey, which collected data online from over 33,000 respondents in 28 different countries, showed that businesses were the most trusted institution when compared to NGOs (non-governmental organizations), government, and the media, with it being the only one that scored—barely—as both competent and ethical:
- Business was scored at 14 on the competence scale and at 5 on the ethical scale.
- NGOs were scored at -5 on the competence scale and a 16 on the ethical scale.
- Media was scored at -19 on the competence scale and at -3 on the ethical scale.
- Government was scored at -34 on the competence scale and at -10 on the ethical scale.
While the relatively small sample size of this study should be acknowledged as a potentially biasing influence on it, considering these trends just goes to show that—despite business’ relatively high trust amongst respondents—it isn’t enough to take this trust for granted… it has to be earned.
So, let’s go over a few effective ways that your business can do so, through your operations and your marketing.
How to Generate Trust in Your Business Amongst Your Audience
Be Honest in Your Marketing, and Beyond
Nobody likes to be the target of a bait and switch. Why would your prospects be any different? Promising something and not delivering it is a great way to alienate the people you’re trying to attract. Instead, make sure your marketing provides an accurate impression of your capabilities and what a client can expect from your services.
This honesty certainly shouldn’t end once a client has been signed on, either. Let’s say that your business missteps in its processes and it has an impact on your clientele. You need to own up to it. Will your clients be thrilled? Absolutely not, and you may lose some… but those that stay will likely be those that appreciate your candor.
Be Communicative and Supportive
Let me ask you this: how happy have you been after you’ve been left on hold for hours, just trying to get an answer to what you’re starting to suspect is a relatively simple problem?
Yeah, not too happy. We’ve all been there, and we all know that not getting the help you need from a company is a uniquely infuriating experience. This makes it a bit of a no-brainer that you need to ensure that working with your company is a thoroughly positive experience by keeping the lines of communication as open as possible. If your clients are having a challenging time, you need to do whatever you can to relieve them of their challenges. Use whatever tools are available to you to make your assistance available to them, and broadcast that your team can be reached through a variety of convenient communication channels.
I have another question for you: would you feel more comfortable working with a company that (assuming they put any new information on their website) visibly only did so every so often, and it came in spurts of a few days—or, would you rather work with one that made a point of sharing information regularly?
Chances are, you’d pick the latter… and so would your prospects. Therefore, whatever you do in your marketing, you need to do it consistently. Social media activity, marketing emails, blog content… whatever it is you choose to do as part of your marketing strategy (for the record, we generally recommend that you do all of it), you need to be sure you’re doing it consistently. Establish a schedule that you can confidently manage and stick to it. Before long, your business’ audience will be able to confidently predict when you’ll have new information for them to seek out.
Add Value Any Way You Can
You and I know how important your services are, but your audience may not be initially aware of the benefits they can provide. This means that you’ll need to give them the opportunity to learn about the value you can give them. Don’t assume that your products and services will sell themselves—give your prospects the information they need to make the most of them.
The other benefit to adding value to your website is that it helps to prime your prospects to turn to you for assistance. If you can instill confidence in them that you’ll have the answer to the questions they have, they’ll trust (see?) that you’ll have the information they’ll need.
Stand Up for Company Values
Little is as compelling as a unified front, so emphasizing your company’s philosophy in your marketing is a great way to build up the amount of trust that your prospects have in you. Regardless of whether or not they agree with this philosophy, the fact that you stand for something other than your operations can create a good impression. The Edelman Trust Barometer referenced above found that 86% of consumers believe—regardless of the risk—that businesses should take a stance on current issues. While you may alienate some portion of your audience, the ones that remain will find it easier to relate to you and be drawn to your services.
Listen to Their Needs and Focus on Them
As you’ve probably picked up on at this point, trust and communication are directly linked for your prospects and clientele. Listening to them and responding to the needs they express to you will further reinforce that you are a reliable provider. Acting on feedback shows that you are invested in your audience’s needs and the relationships you have with them.
Take Care of Your Employees
Here’s the thing: your employees represent your company, particularly in terms of the communications between your business and your clients. It, therefore, makes sense that you should invest in the well-being of your team members. Giving them their due respect and creating a positive work environment (whether that environment is in-house or remote) will result in an improved customer experience.
Deliver on Your Guarantees
This one may be a little obvious, but in order for your prospects and clients to trust you as time passes, you need to prove that you are a trustworthy provider of managed IT services. When you make a promise, you need to keep it. From your service level agreements to the verbal contracts that you enter into when discussing a prospect or client’s options, you need to uphold your word. To do otherwise certainly wouldn’t inspire much confidence.
We Can Assist You in Marketing Based on Trust
Whether you just need a strategy to follow or you need your marketing materials to be produced, we can ensure that you can use your MSP marketing to build the trust with your audience that your business needs. Find out more about your options by calling 888-546-4384.