The advantage of being a small business is building deep connections with customers and earning their trust. The world is changing, and in a digital world it’s not as easy to build those connections. Millennial and Gen Z customers interact virtually with businesses. So, while the handshake agreement is something many yearn for, it’s not realistic in a world where people do less business in person. Therefore, the smart small businesses have adapted while retaining their commitment to building connections.
Every business is a brand, regardless of how small the business is. Social media is a fantastic tool to show customers how a small business lives their values. Millennial and Gen Z customers expect more than just great service – they expect businesses they patronize to be good citizens. Therefore, any chance a small business gets to show off how they’re being good stewards of the environment or giving back to the community will earn the trust of these customers. Whether in person or online, make sure the small business is living its ethos.
From the beginning of business, being authentic has been a value. In the digital world, it’s extremely important. Don’t pretend to be something different, because eventually customers will figure it out. For a small business, it’s important to show the personal investment in the business and the belief in the products and services. Authenticity is about being true to values, so make sure in every interaction and on every webpage, the authenticity is speaking to the customer.
The internet can be a cesspool in terms of commentary, and reviews are certainly a place people can be poisonous. That said, customers are discerning. They can tell the difference between valid and invalid feedback. It’s important for small businesses to provide space for customers to reflect on the business. There will be wonderfully positive comments but also pointed criticism. It’s important to respond to every piece of feedback with a kind heart. If the feedback is critical, apologize to the customer and earnestly try to make it right. Other customers notice this action, and it builds trust. Furthermore, if the dissatisfied customer becomes satisfied, that’s now a customer for life.
There are many ways to build trust in a world where we’re interacting virtually as much as physically. ROI consultants understand the changing nature of business and help small businesses achieve trust building the way large corporations have. Build that trust with customers you meet in person along with those you’ve never met before. Email here.