By | Charlie Fletcher
Any business can put together a marketing campaign. Any business can hire employees and keep them busy. While those aren’t bad business strategies for getting off the ground or giving your brand a boost, they aren’t sustainable for long-term success.
A successful business establishes trust on multiple fronts. It’s important for your customers to trust your brand and for your employees to trust your company, as well.
Without trust, you’ll lose business and your work environment won’t be as productive or positive as it should be. You’ll also see a greater turnaround with employees, and your brand will suffer as you have to constantly train new team members.
Let’s cover the importance of trust in business when it comes to both employees and customers — and how you can build better relationships with both.
The Importance of Trust
Building trust takes work, but it’s important to put in the effort if you want your business to last. A lack of trust in your business will end up being an expense. You won’t be able to keep your employees happy, and customers will be hesitant to purchase your goods or services.
From a leadership standpoint, trust has many benefits. When your team knows they can trust you, they’re also more likely to trust each other. This can lead to more productivity, better creative ideas, and the following benefits:
- Psychological safety;
- Better questions;
- Fewer miscommunications;
- Boosted morale.
When your employees trust you and the brand, they’re going to put more of their heart and soul into the work they do. If they don’t feel comfortable with the brand or feel like it’s untrustworthy, that will come through in the work they produce, making it difficult for your customers to trust you.
Consumer trust is just as important. Nowadays, consumers view brands as relationships, so it’s a good idea to view yourself that way, too. Successful relationships take work, and when trust is broken, it’s hard to gain it back. In the short term, that means fewer sales. However, it could lead to a long-term brand disaster that you never recover from.
Building Trust With Your Employees
Establishing strong trust with your employees starts with a positive, healthy work environment. When your workers feel seen, heard, understood, and valued, they’re more likely to trust the company.
Trust and empathy in leadership are the cornerstones of building a committed, productive workforce. You need to be able to identify what your team is experiencing, or what they’re feeling, so you can better fit their needs. When you’re tuned into those needs, your employees will know they can turn to you rather than feeling like they’re on their own.
Think about building long-term relationships with your team. The longer someone is working in one place, the better they’ll be at the job and the less turnaround you’ll have to deal with. Be honest, helpful, and vulnerable when the situation calls for it. The more open and true you are to yourself, the more comfortable your employees will feel about opening up and trusting you.
Additionally, make sure you’re prioritizing your team’s well-being. Help them find a healthy work-life balance. Encourage mental health awareness in the office. Secure their digital data and protect their privacy by using the right office equipment for storage. There are countless ways to establish and build trust. If you’re not sure what you could be doing better, consider asking your team directly.
Building Trust With Your Customers
Once you have a strong team and a positive, trusting workplace culture, you can work together to build that same trust with your customer base.
The best way to build trust with customers is to start with excellent customer service. When consumers know you’re listening to what they want and you value their opinion, not only will they trust you, but they’ll tell others to do the same.
Encourage customer reviews and feedback as often as possible. Seeing positive public reviews can help potential customers establish trust with your brand before they even make a purchase. Be reachable to those potential customers, and work to cultivate relationships. Reply professionally to feedback, and use the data you gather to make tangible changes.
Trust builds loyalty, and your loyal customers can eventually turn into ambassadors for your brand if you continue to prioritize their needs.
Don’t be afraid to be transparent. Because consumers are so interested in forming relationships with brands, it’s important that your business has a “human” side. Engage on social media. Post photos and videos of what’s going on behind the scenes. Ask questions and respond to ones that people ask. Let your creativity and personality shine through, and your customers will be more likely to choose you over your competitors.
Trust takes time to build, so don’t worry if you don’t see changes overnight. However, by putting some of these practices in place, you’ll build lasting, trusting relationships with your employees and customers — growing your business from the inside out and establishing loyalty that will last.