How to build trust with your clients

How to build trust with your clients

June 28, 2024

Trust—whether in your personal life or professional relationships—takes time to build, but can be lost in an instant.

In business, trust can be the difference between a one-time transaction and a strong renewal performance that withstands the test of time. To build it, you need to go beyond sales and marketing and make connections on a human-to-human basis.

Let’s dive into why trust is so vital, and how to use it to turn new clients into long-term relationships.

The trust factor: Why it’s an engine of growth

Customer trust is one of those things that’s hard to measure, but you know it’s there when your words matter and influence action. It’s a customer instinctively researching your brand before competitors. It’s confidence that their customer experience will be top notch.

And that trust provides opportunities for revenue. Loyal customers become your biggest cheerleaders, spreading awareness of your business through word of mouth. They stick with you through thick and thin, even when competitors try to lure them away.

And let's face it, everyone stumbles sometimes. When you've earned their trust, clients are more likely to forgive those inevitable missteps, seeing them as opportunities for growth rather than deal breakers.

6 proven strategies to build trust with your clients

1. Personalized gifting

Virtual messages are no match for the tangible experience of receiving a gift. It’s a timeless strategy that’s become even more impactful in our digitally-saturated age.

Generic gifts are a nice touch, but to really make a lasting impression, you need to add some personalized elements. Doing so requires connecting with your customers on a human level—understanding a client’s hobbies, background, and life events. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your gifting based on who they are outside of work.

Imagine the delight on your client's face when they receive a gift that perfectly aligns with their interests. Maybe it's a custom-made notebook for a writer, a high-end coffee subscription for a java enthusiast, or a donation to their favorite charity. The possibilities are endless, and the impact is undeniable.

Postal's curated marketplace of gifts and automated campaigns make it easy to send the right gift at the right time. Whether it's to celebrate a milestone, acknowledge a referral, or simply express your gratitude for their business, Postal takes the guesswork out of gifting. This personalized touch goes a long way in building rapport and strengthening the emotional connection with your clients, fostering trust that extends far beyond the transactional.

When customers feel valued and understood, they will remember you. After all, isn’t our goal in the go-to-market world to make a lasting impression that influences behavior? Almost everyone has a favorite memory associated with a gift they’ve received - so why not let that memory be of a gift you sent them?

Personalized gifting isn't just a marketing tactic—it's an investment in building authentic business relationships. See how Postal can help you harness the power of strategic gifting today.

2. Transparent pricing and expectations

One of the quickest ways to erode trust is through hidden fees, surprise costs, and broken promises. Be upfront and transparent about your pricing structure from the get-go. Clearly outline what's included in your services, any potential additional costs, and your payment terms. When clients understand what they're paying for and what to expect, it creates a sense of security and trust.

And don't be afraid to address potential challenges or limitations upfront. Few potential clients expect that you can be everything to everyone, and being honest about what you can and can’t do helps establish your reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.

Go one step further and help your customer contact sell your product to their internal decision maker. Offer to help with the explanation of pricing as well as address any internal pushback. Being an ally with your contact is a great start to the business relationship.

3. Active listening

We’ve all that experience where someone is hearing you talk, but it doesn’t seem like they’re really listening. If a new customer feels this way during an interaction with your business, it’s unlikely they’ll be coming back. Authenticity builds trust, and authenticity requires true care.

Active listening isn’t just hearing what your clients say—it's about truly understanding their needs, concerns, and aspirations. Ask open-ended questions, pay attention to their nonverbal cues, and reflect back on what you hear to ensure you're on the same page. When clients feel heard and understood, it creates a deeper connection and fosters trust.

Another way to think about active listening is to avoid multitasking. When we spend time thinking about what we will say next, we focus on preparing a response and don’t fully dedicate our efforts to listening. Sometimes the most authentic answer is no answer, but rather an offer to investigate further and get back to the customer as soon as possible.

Empathy is equally important. Put yourself in your client's shoes and try to see things from their perspective. When they express an instance that will cause them stress due to implementing your new product, don’t tell them how to handle it but rather offer to prepare information to hopefully arm them with the tools to handle the stress.

4. Consistent communication and proactive updates

A delicate balance is required when it comes to communicating with your clients. You want to stay top of mind, but going overboard and bombarding them with messages is a surefire way to erode trust.

Strike this balance by ensuring that every communication contains useful info. Focus on keeping your clients informed about project progress, setbacks, and any changes in scope. If you want to plug a new product or sale in these messages, that’s fine, but they shouldn't be the focus of your communications.

Consider sending sales-focused messages from a different form or channel to assist your customer with filtering what is important to them at that moment. If they know you limit new product news to a weekly or monthly customer newsletter, they can anticipate your message and determine for themselves its importance. Separating out types of communication ensures that nothing seems “slipped” into a message and likely to be overlooked. A clear communication style usually reads as trustworthy.

5. Going above and beyond

If you want to build trust among your clients, you need to find opportunities to wow them.

Going above and beyond doesn’t always require grand gestures. It could be as simple as sending a handwritten thank-you note after a successful project, offering a complimentary service upgrade, or surprising them with a personalized gift to mark a special occasion. Ultimately, the scale of the gesture is less important than it being thoughtful and tailored to the customer.

Customer service is an impactful area to focus on serving the customer beyond expectations. This is one of the pain points most clients already anticipate when using a product, so surprising and delighting them with an efficient experience will stand out more than any other gesture. Don’t just solve their problem - improve their situation to be better than it was before they encountered the problem.

6. Soliciting and acting on client feedback

It’s hard to overstate the value of client feedback. But as with client communications, you need to be careful to not go overboard. Asking your customers to fill out a survey at every touchpoint can quickly become overwhelming, and your response rates are likely to plummet.

That being said, gathering feedback at different points along the customer journey is a great idea. It can help you pinpoint exact areas that customers do and don’t like, which you can use to get better going forward. Consider providing incentives for completing a survey, such as a chance to win a prize, to boost your response rates.

But just gathering feedback won’t do much for your business. You need to take action based on what your customers are saying. This doesn’t mean implementing every change that your customers suggest, but you should take each one seriously. Customers that see actions being taken based on their feedback are more likely to trust you going forward and will continue to provide feedback if they know it actually makes an impact.

Postal: Your partner in building client trust

Postal is your all-in-one platform for building stronger client relationships through the power of offline engagement. With a curated marketplace brimming with unique and thoughtful gift options, you can easily find the perfect item to resonate with each client's individual interests.

But Postal is more than just a marketplace. Our platform streamlines the entire gifting process, allowing you to automate campaigns, track performance, and even integrate with your CRM for a seamless experience.

There’s no better way to future-proof your business than by building strong customer relationships. Chat with Postal today and see how we can help you do just that.

Keely Lords
Keely Lords

Keely Lords is the Brand Manager at Postal, the leading gifting platform for offline engagement that creates memorable moments for organizations to generate leads, increase sales velocity, and retain happy customers. Prior to Postal, Keely was a "jane of all trades" with roles in various industries including accounting and consulting at Deloitte, business operations for a technology start-up, and proposal writing for branded corporate events. She currently lives in Bakersfield (where her family has farmed for over 100 years) with her husband, Austin, and rescue dog, Polly.