Trust. The foundation of all relationships. Without trust you’d struggle to have loyal friends or a happy marriage yet the importance of trust is often undervalued when considering how to increase sales.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small, one off purchase or a long term B2B contract. Delivering on your promises is a great way to show trust but what about before that first commitment? Prospects have to trust that you’ll deliver on your promises before they commit. The number one way of doing this is to start that relationship early. Before they need to commit.
One of our clients, Hot Pink, is a leading bespoke jewellery business. 90% of their customers are buying an engagement ring and they operate all their business online.
Their customers are seeking a personal service with a business they can trust. They have employed a variety of techniques to give their customers the experience they’re after.
Every touchpoint our prospects and clients have, and every chat we operate, is humanised and personal. From the first blog post you read through to the first live chat, face to face meeting and beyond.
The Chat Shop team are a happy bunch with energy and enthusiasm which shines through the work we do. We avoid complex jargon and interact on a personal level. We convert visitors to leads and customer service queries to happy life-long customers. We’re in quite a unique position in that we have our own customers (or clients) but also look after our clients' customers. We adapt how we interact depending on who we’re talking to and build rapport and trust.
This brand humanisation technique is something that we employ with our clients too.
Hot Pink and Brand Humanisation
Each communication the customer has with Hot Pink is personal and non-committal. Customers can go from the website or a live chat through to a personal consultation with a designer where they can start to create their perfect ring, all without any commitment from the customer.
It might seem like an awful lot of work on Hot Pink’s side but it works in a number of different ways. They earn trust. They really do offer a no commitment design consultation and prospects appreciate that they aren’t being sold to.
What can you learn about brand humanisation?
- Brand humanity comes from within. Trust and empower your team to do the very best every day.
- Talk to your customers in their language. Don’t overcomplicate what you’re saying. Relate it back to their goals and challenges.
- Ensure every touchpoint is positive. This requires consistency and appropriate knowledge sharing within the business.
Truthful to yourself, truthful to your prospects and most importantly truthful to the people you work with. Being truthful builds trust. Trust that you’ll deliver on your promises. Trust that when something goes wrong you’re going to be upfront about it. Trust that your team can tell you every detail of every issue and that you’ll work with them to solve it.
You’re probably reading this thinking “I get that, but how does this help me increase sales?”. As with brand humanisation, being truthful starts from within. You have to get this right to build a culture based on truth. What you’ll see is that every stat, every document and every interaction is 100% honest. You’ll find you’ll easily set expectation and meet or exceed it every time.
Hot Pink and Truth
They set expectations and deliver. If they can’t do something or they feel a prospect can get a better deal elsewhere they will be upfront about it. By being honest from the get go, all their customers are incredibly happy and as far as I’m aware, they all lead on to successful proposals.
So, what can you learn about truth?
- It needs to be central to the organisational culture. If you’re leading a team, encourage and show appreciation for truth.
- Let truth run through your communication channels. Instill trust in the people interested in working with you.
- Set expectations you know you can deliver on.
When we start working with a client we have a good dig into their analytics. We look at the visitor flow. We understand what is happening and why. We find areas of missed opportunities. Often these are visitors leaving the site, not ready to commit. They seldom have all the information they need to trust their decision. A few may fill out a web form but the relationship doesn’t start until they receive a response some hours later. Others may give you a call if they are really interested but more often than not they’ll continue their research elsewhere on the web.
There is one tool to allow an early relationship. A relationship at the pre-committal stage of the buying cycle. It’s cleverly implemented live chat with selectively used proactive invites. Timing is key here. Too early and they’ll ignore it. Too late and, well, they’re gone. When you’ve got it spot on and you don’t go straight in with your sales patter you’ll have great conversations with potential prospects. They won’t all convert but you’ll learn a great amount from them. You can then use this information to improve your messaging, sales process and targeting.
Hot Pink and Early Relationships
I’ll leave this one to a recent live chat transcript to explain.
So, what can you learn about early relationships?
- The key here is initiating a conversation at the pre-committal stage and not using sales patter from the get go.
- Use data to back up how and where you implement tools such as live chat.
- Learn as much as you can from those who don’t convert as much as those who do.
I am interested in knowing other tools and techniques you’ve employed to build trust and start a business relationship early. Tweet me @ChatShopJoe.
Interested in finding out more about how to increase sales and build trust with live chat? Speak to one of our agents now or find out how much money we could make for you with our free live chat ROI Calculator.