As a new consultant, you will need to find ways to gain your customers’ trust, especially if you want to tempt customers away from consulting businesses they’ve worked with previously—remember the age-old adage “better the devil you know.”
Gaining Customer Trust Through Good Communication
Trustworthiness will be a vital component of your reputation as a business consultant and one which you’ll want your customers to shout about when they provide you with references or respond to your requests for testimonials
One way to score highly in the trustworthiness department is to develop good communication habits.
Gaining your customers’ trust is paramount. If you follow these five golden rules for communication, it will help your clients feel assured that you’re committed to their project or business goals.
- Always return customers’ phone calls promptly.
- Reply promptly to your customer’s emails, even if only to acknowledge the message and let them know you will respond fully as soon as possible.
- Provide your customers with regular progress reports, even if the news is not as good as you or the customer would like it to be—nobody likes surprises and, contrary to popular belief, no news is not good news.
- When you have a scheduled call with a customer or are expected to join a conference call, make a point of logging in a few minutes earlier than the scheduled start time. Make sure you’re not the one to hold up the proceedings.
- When you host meetings or conference calls, always make sure they start—and finish, at the scheduled time. Good communication is about timing and timeliness, as well as the message content.
Communication: The First Step to Gaining Trust From Customers
Of course, good communication is only a start. There are other important ways to gain the trust of your customers. I’ll pick up on these in a future post or two.
For now, though, commit these five good communication habits to memory and be sure to apply them religiously when you deal with new or existing customers.
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