Every day we are privy to news about uncertainty in the business world. People are in constant worry about what would happen next and this creates conflict, suspicion, and caution.
In such uncertainty, it becomes challenging to build rapport and trust, not just with our team but with our clients as well. Trust building is not easy. It is an on-going process.
Confidentiality, Trust and Respect are the three core values that are the building blocks for our business at Platinum VA, both internally within the team and externally with our clients. Our business is virtual and we have a successful outsourcing model because a culture of trust, respect and confidentiality corresponds to immense conviction and enjoyment in the business which translates to higher staff retention, higher productivity and in turn a long-term business relationship with our clients.
"We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we trust, respect and care for each other." – Vala Afshar
The key to build trust is communication, communication and more communication. This is especially true in a virtual set up. Communication is simply the vital ingredient in building and growing trust.
According to George Bernard Shaw, the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
So, the question is, are we communicating effectively to build trust? What steps are we taking to break these illusions?
Let us look at some of the tools that help build trust and break illusions:
Setting a precedence of appropriate, effectual communication with our clients is the first step to start building a strong foundation of trust. Having a clear and candid talk helps to break the barriers of doubts and concerns a client may have towards how the services would be delivered. Staying engaged with our client by being proactive and responsive in our communication. This positively affects the way we are productive with our time and delivery of services.
"When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective."
– Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Good listening is a powerful tool in a healthy conversation. When we listen actively, we give full attention to what our client is saying. Taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting will help us to listen intently and get the whole point clearly. To develop trust – listening, attention to instructions and deadlines is extremely crucial.
"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say." -Bryant H. McGill
Let's ask questions
Continuous customer feedback helps us to deliver services with optimized positive results. It is possible to know what exactly is required to enhance results by digging deeper. Lack of attention to detail can jeopardise the business relationship. This can be addressed by eliminating expectations and disinterest in services by asking quality questions.
"If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing."
– W. Edwards Deming
Let's be accountable and agile
Success can only happen when a team is responsive and agile. Setting expectations so that clients know when and how to reach us without any difficulty or confusion. Awareness is the key. Empathizing and taking into consideration the viewpoints of our clients, what drives their decisions, leads to a healthy rapport which builds trust.
Trust building is not easy, it is an ongoing process in having clear communication, full transparency, establishing rapport, be accountable and build on a strong mutually beneficial partnership.
"It takes two to do the trust tango–the one who risks (the trustor) and the one who is trustworthy (the trustee); each must play their role.
– Charles H. Green, The Trusted Advisor