6 Tips to Building Trust in Your Home Business

How You Can Help Your Market Feel Confident in Working with You

Build Trust with Your Clients
Trust is an essential part of home business success. Credit: ONOKY - Fabrice LEROUGE | Getty Images

Today, consumers expect a great deal from the companies they do business with. They don’t just want a quality product or service. They also want ​excellent customer service and personal engagement. When a consumer emails, Tweets or posts a complaint or question, they expect a quick, effective, professional response. When you offer a guarantee, consumers expect you to honor it without question. All these actions build trust in consumers and keep them coming back for more.

Further, they feel confident to refer others to your home business.

6 Tips for Building Trust With Your Clients

However, developing trust requires more than answering Tweets and being polite. Here are 6 tips to building trust with clients.

1. Be Authentic and Genuine

Consumers know when they’re being fed a line. For example, the telemarketer who asks how you are or how the weather is where you live, but you know they don’t really care about the answer. They’re asking because they hope it builds rapport, but because you know it’s not genuine or authentic, you see it for what it is; a ploy to soften you up for the sale.

Trying to be, or acting a certain way that isn’t authentic will turn your prospective clients and customers off.  Being genuine requires sincerity that flows naturally.

2. Do What You Say

Have you ever had a business promise you something, and then it didn’t deliver? Certainly, mistakes happen, but whenever you say you’re going to do something, and you do it, you build trust.

Initially, the business deal between you and your consumer is done on faith; a consumer buys from or hires you hoping you’ll deliver. The trust is built when you follow through and provide what you promised.

3. Be Consistent

When a client or customer knows without a doubt that you’ll deliver the same quality over and over, that builds trust.

Each time you follow through, that trust builds more. When you’re consistent and never let a client or customer down, they trust you enough to tell others about it.

4. Be Responsive and Engaged

Consumers have choices and impact over the businesses they work with. If they have a bad experience, it can be in front of thousands on Yelp and social media within minutes. If they have question or comment that goes ignored, they’ll share that too.

However, don’t view responding and interacting with your target market as simply a ploy to avoid bad reviews. Engaging with your market is a great way to learn what they want and need, have them share good things about you, and build rapport and trust. Consumers love it when businesses respond to their kudos, comments, and complaints. And they enjoy being asked their opinion or to engage in a fun activity or giveaway.

Having two-way conversations lets consumers know you care and are listening; which, of course, leads to trust.

5. Be Transparent

Consumers don’t like to feel duped or kept in the dark. The best example of this is paid endorsements or sponsorships. Many consumers were angry when they discovered a blogger they trusted had received free items or payment for a review.

At that point, readers couldn’t be sure if the review was true or simply because the blogger was paid, which resulted in the blogger losing the trust of the readers, and hurting their online reputation.

It’s important that if there is anything that could make your clients or consumers question your authenticity, that you be upfront about it. If you have affiliate links or receive sponsorship income, let your clients and customers know. If you make referrals as part of your business (i.e. if you’re a copywriter who refers your client to a graphic designer), be upfront about the relationship you have with that graphic designer so your client can weigh your potential bias against their own needs.  

6. Admit to Mistakes and Rectify Them Immediately

Mistakes happen. They’re an inevitable part of life.

Even when you’re doing all you can to deliver quality, something can go wrong. Technology fails. The package is lost. There is a tendency to blame outside forces when mistakes happen or something goes wrong, but consumers don’t care about who or what’s to blame. They only know they didn’t get what they were promised.

Own up to any mistakes on your end and rectify them, now. If the issue came up because of something out of your control, you still want to work to fix the problem. When you acknowledge a consumer’s frustration, regardless of the reason, and work to remedy the situation, you build trust.

Consumers don’t trust blindly. Instead, you earn consumer trust by providing the best product or service and experience you can. Doing so builds consumer loyalty, and they’ll keep coming back and refer others to your business, becoming an important asset to your business success.