Trust is a huge part of why anyone makes a purchase – it doesn’t matter what it is, from a pair of socks to a luxury car, a software license to a cup of coffee.
Believe it or not, trust is involved in every transaction.
By making a purchase – any purchase at all – the customer is placing his or her trust in the seller. They are expecting to be delivered a product or service that meets (or exceeds) their expectations in quality, service, and value.
After all, you wouldn’t buy a pair of socks if you didn’t think they’d last, if you thought they were made from inferior materials, or if you didn’t think the company would honor their return policy if things didn’t work out for you… would you?
Companies of all shapes and sizes can build trust in a variety of ways.
Having a reputation for outstanding products will get you a long way.
So will establishing your brand as an industry leader for innovation and expertise…
HOWEVER, this is not where the real moment of truth happens. It’s much smaller than that…
The real trust between a customer and company actually begins with the customer and just a few employees… sometimes only one!
The employees on the “ground level” are the real face of your company, not the logo or brand name, not the CEO…
All of these are important elements of your company’s identity, of course, but customers deal with cashiers, servers, customer service reps, technicians, and the like – they will rarely speak to upper management.
So what does this say about how your employees represent your business?
The people interacting with customers are establishing the baseline of trust for you company – if they are friendly and knowledgeable (and given the freedom to ensure customer satisfaction), they make your company trustworthy.
Just look at the success of companies like Starbucks and Apple, who make industry experts out of even part-time and seasonal employees.
There is a reason people feel confident going to an Apple Store with complex questions or giving a Starbucks barista a complicated order… The employees are a living, breathing reflection of the expertise of the company as a whole…
Customers trust that they will be taken care of.
By giving your employees the power and the know-how to be true representatives of your brand, you can rest easy knowing that they are offering the very same kind expertise you would offer yourself.
In fact, a study from Edelman shows that the average customer has more trust for the average employee than the CEO!
Especially when an employee has technical experience, they are seen as far more trustworthy and knowledgeable…
With all of the competition out there, trust and customer experience (which go hand in hand) will make or break a company – no matter the industry…
This means every employee is responsible for fostering trust in potential customers, and that takes knowledge of products and services, the freedom to make their own decisions, and a great attitude!
Trust truly begins at the very bottom of a company – if prospects and customers can’t trust the very first person they deal with, how can the ever trust the company as a whole?
It doesn’t matter if your business is 2 people or 2000 – trust is paramount, and every single person in your company needs to understand that.
In your corner,
Known as "One of America's Leading Business Coaches," Charles Gaudet offers more than just great business advice – he helps entrepreneurs push beyond what is considered “ordinary” to build great companies. His advice has been featured on Fox Business, Forbes, Inc.com, Success, Entrepreneur and others. He’s the founder of Predictable Profits and author of The Predictable Profits Playbook.