Trust is a biological reaction to the belief that someone has our well-being at heart.
– Simon Senik
Trust between people and your business is huge. How do you earn trust? As the quote above points out, you have to establish that you have their well-being at heart. You have to demonstrate you’re looking out for them, that you have their best interest at heart.
After all, you started your business to make people’s lives better. To earn the privilege of helping people you must provide solid evidence so they can believe you have their best interest at heart and come to trust you.
There are five key moments for demonstrating you have a person’s best interest at heart that takes place during what is called the “customer journey”. These are the Pre-Touchpoint, First Touchpoint, Core Touchpoint, Last Touchpoint, and In-Touchpoint.*
You can build trust with people beginning at the Pre-Touchpoint. This is before they directly interact with your business, your brand. This can range from hearing about you by word of mouth, searching online for you, looking at online reviews. If you have a physical location what does your business look like from the street? How about the parking lot? What do they experience when they walk through the doors?
Every one of these moments is an opportunity to begin demonstrating that you care about your people who if the fit is right may become your clients. Some of these experiences you can influence best by having done right by previous clients, i.e. what people say via reviews and word of mouth.
Another way you can influence the Pre-Touchpoint is to offer valuable free content where you can demonstrate your ability to help people the way or ways you do best. People are beginning to learn how you treat people and whether you are trustworthy.
This is where first impressions matter. Yes, there were some impressions made during the Pre-Touchpoint but now this is where they really begin interacting with your business and it matters. First impressions are a huge step toward building trust. Here they are really beginning to experience your brand.
Get the first impression wrong and you’ve pretty much lost that person. So take the time to demonstrate you are putting the customer first by making a great first impression.
This covers both digital and non-digital experiences. If you have a physical location that experience should your ideal clients to feel like they belong. Your website should be designed so that your ideal client feels that they are understood and have found a place that gets them.
A person’s first-touchpoint experience with your business should leave them feeling like you’ve put their interests first. That you care about them and have their best interest at heart.
As people move through these touchpoints it’s important that it feels consistent. Remember to keep the experience focused on the people who have come to you. Continue to demonstrate you have their best interest at heart.
Demonstrate you have people’s best interest in mind by how you develop, contracts, policies, employee training, and sales processes. Keep your focus outward toward people. Make the experience of doing business with you as delightful and easy as possible.
Keep looking for insights that will look you to better serve people and they will develop an ever strong belief that you have their best interest at heart. And that builds trust and trust can lead to longterm loyal clients.
This is where you and your client finish up a project or your service has helped them get what they wanted, needed, aspired to or, desired. As you finish up continue to put them first and you will help further establish the trust you have earned.
The goal is to finish up in a way that leaves them feeling if they need what you offer in the future they will be back to work with you again. If you do the last touchpoint right your clients will feel great about themselves and their choice to work with you.
Your last touchpoint is a moment that is impacted by what is called the peak-end rule. It basically means that what happens at the end is critical to the overall impression a person has of their experience with you. Demonstrate that the trust they have placed in you was a wise choice.
This is where you get to continue to show your client that even though you’ve finished your engagement with them you still care about them. You can continue to provide value to your client. Just keep giving value without asking for anything in return.
This continues to demonstrate that their belief that you really cared about them was true. This allows the trust to remain and possibly even grow between you and your client. You want your client’s life to continue to improve as a result of your continuing to add relevant and meaningful value to them.
Should your past clients need your services again you will have maintained the trust you earned making it more likely they will get in touch again. It makes it an easy choice because they know they can trust you because you have their best interest at heart.
Trust is hard-won and easily lost. Yet putting your focus on people will help you make decisions that put them first. As you demonstrate consistently that you have your client’s best interest at heart they will begin to believe you are trustworthy. As you continue to reinforce there trust across all the touchpoints they will feel safe doing business with you. They will feel they have made a wise choice choosing you. This is part of how you develop a powerful brand for your business.
Now go find ways where you can better demonstrate you have your client’s best interest at heart.
*Inspired by, “What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint,” by Nicholas J. Webb