How To Build Trust In Business
Trust is a small word, but the magnitude of the resonance caused by the word is enormous. Everything in the world is based on trust. Right from the time man is born into the world, he trusts his mother, then through her he learns to trust God and it goes on from there. Similarly, trust is an important factor in a business relationship as well. Relationship with employees, partners, clients and stakeholders are all held by the thread of trust. The Oxford Dictionary defines trust as “the belief that somebody/something is good, sincere, honest, etc. and will not try to harm or trick you”.
Building of trust is thus very important in any business venture. A business can survive only if there is trust among employees and between employees and the management, which would in turn lead to a healthy working environment. Trust is generated through effective communication and motivation. Though trust is so important in a business relation, it is unfortunately quite rare and hence very valuable. If a leader instills trust among his team leaders, it should be through his honesty, integrity and ability. When trust is abundant, it leads to sales, profits and success – and actually more turnover. If the leader is able to win the trust of his employees, then it is likely to create a competitive advantage over the firm’s rivals.
Some examples of trust
Trust is often given away with a lot of misgivings. It is a very stingy component in business because there are plenty of con artists around and they would try to gain your trust till you part with your money. Because of such people, people with good intentions are also suspected. It is not worth trusting anyone blindly because you are likely to get burned. Naive trust is not good, but then again how do big e-commerce giants like Amazon, Ebay and the others survive? How do businesses get generated in these websites? The business is conducted between total strangers, yet there are still over million transactions a day. Consider Netflix. Netflix emails its DVD to thousands of customers every week. If they didn’t place their trust on their customers, how would they do business?
One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses is the breach of trust – employees not trusting each other, employees losing their trust in the management and vice versa and finally, customers losing their trust in the company. Building of trust would lead to a healthy work environment and leads to sustainable business.
Have a look at the common levels of trust you can develop in business:
Ethical conduct and character
As long as a business conducts its activities along ethical lines and do not deviate from it in the slightest then the business’s reputation would remain intact. As long as there is honesty and integrity throughout, there would be trust as well.
Building trust among customers
This is the most critical and sensitive aspect of running a business. Building customer trust is possible only when you have proven your competence. Customers are by no means obliged to do business with you; if they come to you, you have to be worthy of it.
Excellent communication skills is important in relationships
A lot of confidential information is passed around during a business relationship. Take the case of a customer who reveals his personal information to a company only to realize a few days later that the company has sold the same to another company. There goes trust down the drain, probably never to recover again.
Keeping your word
You can trust someone who keeps his word. Similarly, trust in business can be possible only if that word is respected. If you hold yourself accountable even if things go wrong then the trust would never be broken.
Having transparency in business relationships
Trust can be built if there are no secrets when you deal with employees, management, stakeholders, partners and customers. If there is no transparency, then it would lead to a breach of trust.
The advantages of building trust
If you follow the steps mentioned above, you can easily build trust among all the people that you do business with and once it is built, enjoy the following advantages:
A rock solid-brand identity and reputation
Customers look for a trustworthy brand when they do business and probably trust is a lot more valuable than the cost of the product or service they are buying from you. The satisfaction gained by buying from a dependable brand will lead to brand loyalty and definitely more business; through the word of mouth method.
Both the suppliers and the customers would stand by your side
Once the level of trust is extended to suppliers and stakeholders, they would stand by your side when you are in trouble. In fact, they would give you more leeway when the business is facing financial difficulties. Even the customers would not leave your side as well. Custom loyalty would increase if the overall buying experience is good so it is important to treat them well.
Better working environment
In a work environment where there is trust, there would be happiness and employees would be willing to work with greater dedication. In case of conflict, there would be increased staff support for the boss who places his trust in his employees.
Being a trustworthy business person would make you trustworthy to your rivals as well. In short, they would respect you and sometimes may even come forward with strategic partnership.
Pictures: Flickr.com/ Sanche/ Mahler
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.