Trust (The Art of Building a Relationship)
Trust is a thing not easily gained but it is something very quickly lost. It takes a lot to build trust in a relationship, and this goes for any relationship, whether it be a romantic relationship a friendship or a business relationship. In business you can spend years building up a dialogue and rapport with a client, earning their trust and business, going the extra mile to make sure he or she is satisfied, only to lose everything with one wrong move. Why is this? Is this fair?
Business relationships are a bit different then friendships or romances but all require the development of trust. The difference is that in business when that circle of trust becomes broken or violated everything else about the relationship becomes brought into question, and the reality is that usually there are many other places a client can go to purchase his goods or receive that service. After all, business is business. Ultimately this means that if you drop the ball as a service provider or manufacture of goods there are scores of competitors waiting to scoop it up, some of which can do it just as good as you and sometimes even better.
So what can we do to stop this from happening? Are we doomed to be slaves to our clients? Well in a way yes. We are obligated to provide the expected service to our clients each and every time we are called upon to do so. The service should be consistent and it should always at least meet, if not exceed, the client’s expectations. Over many years of doing business sometimes things happen that impede our ability to perform at optimal efficiency, sometimes these things are out of our control and sometimes you just have a bad day (everyone is entitled to one or two of these).
So what can be done when the inevitable strikes? One thing is to keep an open and honest dialogue at all times. Own your failures and mistakes as thoroughly as you do your success. When something bad happens explain to the client the entire situation. If you have a good track record with this client, and you are truly doing everything you can to make sure the service is performed according to expectations, when something out of your control takes place explain the situation to your client. Take the time to educate them about the potential problems that can and may occur in your particular industry. Most clients will appreciate this as you are showing them they are worth your time and they are worth the explanation, most people will also appreciate the education in a business that they are contracting with.
Finally do the right thing. Make recompense, refund, offer free service, make your customer happy. Many times a bond between a client and a company is truly formed when a mistake is made. This is because it is at that point that the customer sees the company at its worst. If you can make a customer happy after you fail as a service provider you will more then likely have a customer for life. At this point the customer has nothing to fear and even if something similar happens in the future it will be ok because they know you will make it right.
Trust is not an easy thing to gain but it is incredibly easy to lose. Business relationships can be fickle, but if things are handled the correct way the bond between business and customer should only grow stronger as the years go by. Communicate regularly and openly with your clients, be honest with them and don’t doubt their intellect or their ability to comprehend the services they are receiving. Finally, do the right thing, if you can satisfy your customer when things go wrong and you can make them walk away happy when you fail, then more then likely you will gain a customer and advocate for life.
All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!