There is an old saying in the south that goes something like, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” The variations on that theme are numerous, but the core message is the same: You gain far more by offering something pleasant. When it comes to business, this is especially true. Your “honey” is your credibility with your community, customers and staff, and maintaining that credibility is of the utmost importance to your success.
Building Trust With Customers and Staff
Something that new and existing businesses seek to establish with their community is trust—the easiest and, yet, the hardest thing to do. You can start doing so in a few different ways:
1. Have Clear Rules: The rules that govern your staff must be fair and logical. Likewise, customers whose rules are clearly outlined and displayed are less likely to buck the system you have set in place. A suggestion: From time to time, you can reorganize and rewrite some of the rules as your business grows or the staff changes. It’s alright to make adjustments if it’s not on a whim so long as the rules are very clear to everyone involved.
2. Be Consistent: One of the most overlooked aspects of building trust is consistency. Neither staff nor customers want to enter your studio on Monday and have an entirely different experience on Thursday. Customers enjoy knowing what their services entail. Focus on what you want to be known for, stick to that image and reflect it in everything you do. This can help you to maintain consistency and professionalism within your business.
3. Give Respect to Get It: Greet every customer in a friendly manner and make sure you’re the same with your staff. A little bit of courtesy and friendliness can go a long way toward establishing trust. Keeping a personal life private may be tough sometimes, especially if you’re comfortable in your work environment and have a team around you that are more friends than employees. It is, however, necessary if you want to maintain professionalism and credibility with customers and staff. 4. Maintain a Professional Work Environment:
Decorate and design a space that will ultimately develop a professional work environment—if you need assistance in that department, check out our Importance of Design in a Studio Space blog. You’re already achieving professionalism in your rules, consistency and attitude, but the one thing we’ve yet to touch on is the appearance of your business. Keep the workspace clean and ensure all staff members are dressed appropriately and you’re golden!
5. Honesty is the Best Policy:
Being open with your prices and policies will allow both your customers and employees to feel secure. Be sure to follow through with your promotions and promises because they will remember if you don’t. Follow-throughs are as much a part of honesty as being upfront about your prices and policies.
So, Does Credibility Lead to More Clients?
Yes! The greatest thing you can maintain as a business owner is your reputation. It’s how your current customers will describe you and it’s the first thing potential customers will hear about you. Your reputation will be visible to new clients the moment they give your services a try, and if it’s one of excellence, you’ll have them coming back for more.
Happy clients bring in more customers and more customers equal better business for you, so don’t wait to get started.
With a few simple tools, you can take your business from ordinary to exceptional. Establish your new business as the standard to which all others are measured. Be polite, professional, consistent and honest and all else will follow! Good luck!
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Allison Barfield is a content writer for Span Enterprises and has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil, shortly after birth. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in media arts she fell in love with marketing. She's been copy writing and managing multiple blogs ever since.