3 building blocks of trust

To gain customers’ trust, use these tactics:

Build relationships. Take the time to make small chat and foster rapport. Customers want to know that you see them as real people, and that you care about their experience.

Respond quickly. The old 24-hour rule doesn’t apply anymore. Custo­mers expect to hear from you now, so follow up even if it’s just to say that you will respond with a full answer within a certain time frame. While you can’t—and shouldn’t—be available around the clock, for urgent and high-priority issues, a response in the evening or on the weekends can go a long way toward building trust.

Talk about your process. As much as you can, share details about how your organization works, how you will meet their needs, and so on. That transparency will build their confidence in you and the organization.

— Adapted from “Want to Gain Customers’ Trust? Try These 4 Communications Tips,” Pratik Dholakiya, Entrepreneur, www.entrepreneur.com.