Trust. It takes time to develop and no time at all to lose. It’s also one of the most important ingredients for any business or individual to achieve success. No trust and a business will suffer, guaranteed.
We’ve had the opportunity to see a number of companies lose the trust of their clients and end users. Whether it’s Facebook and the other social media companies manipulating our feeds, or more industrial companies like Volkswagen lying about their emissions. Interestingly enough, neither of these companies have failed from lack of trust but they have been hampered, they have lost revenue and they have had to spend incredible sums of money to protect their brand and begin to rebuild trust.
While larger businesses can sometimes afford to slip up, that’s not as realistic for many small businesses that live and die by their reputation and the trust they have with the people they serve.
Here are 3 of the most common ways businesses LOSE trust and how to avoid doing it yourself.
1. Setting Poor Expectations
It’s ok for results to turn out differently than you expected in business. Not everything will happen as you’ve intended, life does have a habit of surprising us and that happens in business too. The key problem with setting poor expectations is it throws into question your competency and ability to follow through on your promises. No amount of guarantees or money back can eliminate this risk.
To avoid this loss of trust, maintain constant communication with your clients so you can reset expaectations as needed.
2. No Accountability
We’ve all heard excuses from people and businesses before. They are tired, pretty lame and we don’t buy it for a second. Things will go wrong and when it’s something in your domain you need to own it. If it’s your company, your product, your brand, it’s on you to own the bad with the good. Failing to take ownership for mistakes and not holding yourself and your business accountable is a surefire way to lose trust.
This is an easy one to fix. If it’s on your watch, it’s on your watch. Own it, don’t offer excuses and make a true promise to be more conscientious about preventing the same thing from happening again. Use it as an opportunity to get better in the process for all of the people you serve.
3. Forcing a fit
If you’re in business or a service based professional you have something that someone wants or needs. Understanding exactly who your ideal client is incredibly important to building a successful business of any sort. Working with the wrong clients is a proven way to put yourself and whomever is unlucky enough to be working with you into a bad situation. In this instance, it’s always best to stick to your sweet spot. Serve the clients you serve best and be very careful about who you choose to do business with. One of the fastest ways to lose trust is to take on a client or business that isn’t a good fit.
To avoid this make sure that you’re willing to turn down the clients and the business that is not right for you. You can do this by making your value proposition to your clients and prospects incredibly clear. You can also make sure you vet people OUT from purchasing your products or services to ensure you have a good marriage between your services and the people using them!
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