Most of us have a general idea of what it means to be trustworthy. But how do you quickly build trust with customers you’ve never even met in person?

In personal relationships, we forge trust over time through numerous interactions. However, professional settings don’t always afford the same trust-building opportunities, so you need to have an action plan.

Here’s how the TAKT manufacturing team engages our precision machining customers to build trust and establish lasting professional relationships.

1. Be Responsive

My number one recommendation is to be responsive whenever a customer reaches out.

If you can’t answer the phone on the spot, make sure your voicemail message tells the caller how long they can expect to wait.

  • “We will return your call within 24 hours, Monday through Saturday.”

The same applies to email. Whether you’ve received an RFQ or a direct email message, enabling an auto-reply is smart. An auto-reply assures customers that their message has been received and tells them when to expect a response.

  • “Thank you for submitting an RFQ! We are building your custom quote. Watch for it to appear in your inbox within two business days.”

  • “We have received your email and look forward to responding within one business day.”

Then follow through on your promised call-back or email—even if you don’t yet have the information they’re seeking. You can use your reply to ask for more details or let the customer know how long it will take for you to compile the requested information.

A quick response is always better than a delayed one.

2. Be Proactive

i trust you in scrabble letters

You don’t have to wait for a customer to make the first move to begin building trust. Proactively reach out to potential customers and vendor partners, and use that communication to showcase your trustworthiness.

  • “We would love the opportunity to fulfill your next precision machined parts order! I know you’re busy, so I will reach out by phone on Tuesday to discuss how my team can help you.”

  • “I will follow up in a month to check in and see how we can support you!”

The most important part of being proactive is researching your customer and tailoring your communications to their unique needs.

Do they represent a small, mid-sized, or large business? Do they offer B2B or B2C services and products? What is the structure of their team? Where are they located? What challenges are they facing right now? What challenges are on the horizon for their industry?

And how can you help?

Proactively nurture trust with your existing customers

This same proactivity can also help you provide excellent service to your existing customers. Keep detailed notes on the businesses you work with and refer to those notes before any interaction.

Depending on the nature of each customer relationship, these notes may be strictly professional or include a few personal details. Maybe you learned in passing that your custom parts buyer just took an incredible vacation, is expecting a baby, or has experienced an unfortunate death in the family. Acknowledging their human experiences is the best way to build an authentic connection.

Proactively engage with your customer’s process

It’s easy to turn inward with your communication—even if that’s not your intention. “We” this, and “we” that. Look for ways to invite your customer to engage and share more about their needs and preferences.

Do NOT say: “We will let you know when your parts are ready.”

DO say: “When is your next production meeting where you’ll need to provide an update on this project?”

The second version requires more than a “yes” or “no” response from your customer. And by asking about their meeting schedule, you demonstrate that you understand their pain points and want to help.

3. Be Reliable

Don’t waste your hard work by failing at follow-through. And remember: follow-through involves more than honoring a contract for laser cutting services.

If you say you will call on Tuesday, call on Tuesday.

If you say you will provide a production update the day before your customer’s next meeting, provide the update.

If you say you will respond to their RFQ within two business days, respond within two business days. Or better yet, respond the same day! The name of the game is “under-promise and over-deliver.”

Keep yourself accountable in whatever way works best for you and your business.

  • Schedule promised calls on your calendar

  • Implement tasking software to keep your estimators on track

  • Slap a sticky note on your desk reminding you to send your buyer a baby gift

Reliability isn’t about being a “yes person.” To be recognized as reliable, you simply need to communicate clearly and follow through every time.

Your Trusted Partner for Manufacturing Solutions

Helping your business grow is the heart of TAKT’s mission. Sheet metal fabrication, precision machining services, quoting and estimating operations, machined parts sourcing, and sales support: TAKT delivers all these and more with expertise you can truly trust.

Talk to TAKT today and request a quote!

Published On: November 16, 2022Categories: Uncategorized