Transparency, Trust and Consistency

We like to do business with those we trust. Even if we do not personally like them, if they are trustworthy we will still do business.

I saw this in my financial services days where we had certain people who were not very likeable, but their clients trusted that they could get the best deal done and so they got business.

On the other hand, any whiff of incompetence or violating that trust for personal gain and relationships built over years would crumble trust overnight.

Building trust is a long process but it starts with being transparent and honest—no hidden costs or surprises.

It holds true with customers, employees, supplier and potential investors and acquirers.

Deals often fall solely because the trust disappears.

It maintains good supplier relationships – which comes in handy when terms have to change or a favour is needed.

Being honest is key to gaining a customer’s trust.

It establishes loyalty. Clients use your information to decide whether investing their time and money in a product or service is worth it.

My ex-Boss used to tell us we “were the eyes and ears” of the market for our clients and he was 100% right.

If we got complacent or held back crucial information from the client, they wouldn’t stick with us. They would go to our competitors who were clearer and more concise in a fast-moving, opaque marketplace.

Let’s talk about pricing.

If you throw in sneaky fees or lie about the pricing, customers will not want to invest in what you are offering, or if they did an initial transaction they will not come back – and let everyone know it.

Be honest about the true value and cost of your product or service.

Don’t be embarrassed to charge what your solution is worth. If a prospect can’t handle it, they will walk away. Being honest upfront benefits both parties as there are no surprises.

Also price like an adult.

Don’t be a cheap *** nickel-and-diming every little thing when it comes to pricing out services or products. Be clear on what the customer can expect so there are no surprises down the line.

Clients should know exactly how much they’re paying for each item or service offered by your business.

And your pricing communicates the quality of what you offer. If your business is providing cheap commodities than you can offer cheap pricing to reflect it. However, if you are trying to be high-end and high-quality, your prices and service delivery must match.

Finally trust depends on consistency. If people see that you’re reliable, professional, and trustworthy over time, then they’ll start trusting your business more quickly than if this isn’t the case.

To ensure consistency make sure there are clear and accountable policy guidelines for employees to follow. That allows them to provide a consistent experience.

And when mistakes happen; apologise for any errors instead of trying to cover them up. This will go a long way to not only maintain a customer relationship, but often turning one around that has started going downhill.