Updated: Jun 6
At the onset of the State of Consumer Engagement series, CPR highlighted the voices of consumers in a 2022 report. CPR extrapolated five key points from the report and offered five additional recommendations. If you have not read CPR's blog post from this week, please be sure and do so. Today, we will explore consumers' trust and demand for quality.
The 2022 report indicated that 95% of consumers trust companies. While this is surprising at face value, this statistic is good news. As small business owners, we need to take a minute to comprehend what trust in business looks like and how we gain consumers' trust as new entrepreneurs. 2016 Entrepreneur article offered seven trust-building tips and CPR made an additional three recommendations. They are:
1. Demonstrate that you trust others
I call this modeling the way. This was mentioned in CPR's Tender Loving Care podcast #2. As a leader, you must model first what you expect from others. This includes clients and your team.
2. Create mutually beneficial relationships
You earn trust by showing people that you care about them. They will learn to care about and trust you. They will also understand the value you bring to the table.
3. Directly address issues
As an entrepreneur, the biggest hurdle is proving that the quality of your service or product is worth the price tag$$$. There is a small business etiquette we need to adopt regarding our products or services. Entrepreneurs need to respect their colleagues value and undermine their pricing. Know the quality and value you bring to the industry and press forward.
4. Tell the Truth
Though an American Culture, there is no such thing as a white lie. So, tell the truth regardless of the results—truth matters in business. Tell the truth, whether it is a delayed proposal, a late start in a meeting, or not meeting your goal. All businesses have bumps in the road, so tell the truth.
5. Be flexible and patient
If you do not get a firm no, consider it a future yes. So, be patient and be flexible. A leader must learn how to adapt. There are many waves in a business, the leader will pivot, adapt and press forward.
6. Respect their time
Time is so important. It's the only resource you cannot recreate or give back. Once time is gone, it dissipates forever, so make it work with the time you have. Respond timely to emails and calls. As an entrepreneur, do not wait two or three weeks before reaching out to a new client. Your new client should take priority; then, you manage your internal process without compromising the existing clientele.
7. Deliver the unexpected
Deliver platinum customer service.
8. Support your Network
Entrepreneurs continue to develop one-sided relationships. It is key that entrepreneurs collaborate, network, and support each other. CPR continues to reach out to entrepreneurs to pave the way where possible. This process is a two-way street. If you are supported by an entrepreneur, you need to give support as well.
9. Seek partnerships and collaborations
Don't wait for an opportunity, create ways to make noise about your product or service. Reach out to someone online, set up a meeting, and see what happens. That is how the Tender Loving Care podcast started. I asked another consultant online whether she was interested in collaborating. Throughout time, trust is earned.
Collaborating and partnerships stem from referrals. This is a good practice if you have used the product or service by another business owner. Referring someone to a small business is a big deal even if it does not result in a signed contract. It speaks to paving a way towards mutual respect.
To conclude, when we speak about customers, this includes the small business community. Be sure to do your part to earn trust.
Consultant Proficiency Resources, LLC