Trust is a necessary part of any successful relationship. Whether it be your personal relationships with friends and family members, among colleagues, between leadership and employees, or relationships between your business, partners, and customers. As everyone is navigating today’s challenges during COVID 19 and the resulting economic hardships, it is more important than ever to build trust in your business relationships and communication is key in making that happen.
Here are a few ways you can build trust within your business:
Begin at home.
To build trust in your company, it helps to begin with your own employees. At a time when companies are facing an economic downturn, layoff and furlough decisions become inevitable, and many employees are working remotely, it is important to keep the internal lines of communication open and moving. State your expectations clearly, be available, approachable, and be open to communicating in new ways (i.e. video chat, texting, etc.).
Use the right messaging.
Your messaging should be clear, consistent, and truthful. Be mindful of sensitive topics and how your message may be interpreted, as well as how often you are posting. During a crisis, it’s best to prioritize your content by quality over quantity. Take into consideration your tone and whether your messaging reflects your brand’s identity and values. You don’t want to appear insensitive or tone deaf.
Walk the talk.
Align your actions with your words. What good things are you and your organization doing? Show your customers how you are reaching out to those in need, finding solutions, or responding to crises. Rather than focusing on your usual sales-based content, now may be the time to amplify others’ voices and share important information that bring awareness to critical issues or provides resources to those in need.
Engagement builds credibility. Especially during a crisis, it is not the time to step back. You may have to adjust your messaging and timing, but it’s more important than ever to be present and available to answer questions, provide reassurance, and interact. This is also a great opportunity to get feedback. Listen. Ask questions. Take responsibility. Ask for and receive feedback and do it gracefully. Be sincere, and show interest in what your audience has to say.