Trust is such an essential part of any job. Trust with your co-workers, your boss, your clients, etc. Personally, the trust that’s essential for me is client trust. Within my profession (copy editing and proofreading), I take on clients and provide them with a service. They’re the people who bring my income and work level.
Why should you enable trust?
Enabling and building trust leads to loyalty, positive experiences, and expansion of your client base. When you think of trust you have with a partner or friend, you think about having someone you can go to with problems, knowing that they can help. You trust them to support you, and you go back to them because the experiences you have are good ones. It’s basically the same within your work, just on a more professional level! If you’ve no trust, you’ve no grounds for a good relationship that’ll last. And you want your work-relationships to last!
We all make mistakes too. It’s bound to happen, a natural part of being human. While we hope that this doesn’t happen within our work, it can, and yes, it’s embarrassing. But, when we have trust, we know that we can go to a person, explain, and find a solution together. It’s so much easier to apologise and deal with what you’ve done when you’ve got someone forgiving—another reason why trust is so important.
When someone trusts that you work hard, deliver on your promises, and provide excellent results, they come back to you again. They recommend you. They become part of your base.
So we’ve discussed the why, so now we move on to how we can enable trust.
How do you enable trust?
Utilising time at the beginning of the process.
The most important part of your client process will be the beginning. This is where you have to show what you can do, show who you are, and what you can give to a person. To achieve this, offer consultation calls or free work samples. You create trust through these because you actively show up and show off your skills and knowledge, letting the client know that you’re capable.
Effective, respectful, and transparent communication.
Being able to offer effective communication is key. Actively solving problems, being friendly, letting your client know that you’re there to talk to will help build that trust. But don’t forget to be yourself, don’t hide anything, and be aware of how your words will come across.
Keeping commitments, sticking to deadlines.
If you want to ensure someone will come back and use your service again, do not flake out. It sounds like common knowledge, but it’s worth saying. When you set a deadline, really think about whether you’re basically 100% sure you can see it through. Obviously, there are times when the worst happens, and we can’t control everything, but don’t commit if there’s a part of you that’s doubtful. When it comes to setting deadlines, a good thing is to figure out the time you need, then add on extra—just in case.
Actively showing up and consistently checking in.
Enabling trust is more than just doing the work required. Throughout your process, it’s worthwhile taking the time to check in on your client. Depending on the time scale, this can be evenly spaced out. Let them know how you’re doing. Think of questions to ask and involve them in the process. When I say ‘actively showing up,’ I mean that you should engage and show interest. Go to them before they come to you. This will all lead to greater trust.
Delivering and going above and beyond.
If you want someone to be loyal and recommend you because they trust you, then deliver on your promises. Give the client what they’re expecting. Even better—go further, do something extra and unexpected that boosts you further.
If in doubt…
Put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you’d like to be treated in that position. What would you expect? When you show empathy and understanding to their situation, the ways to grow trust will become clear.