Start-up companies can’t flourish if they aren’t able to establish credibility. As entrepreneur Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav explains, a start-up’s credibility is almost as important as the actual products and services. If consumers don’t trust you or what you offer, they will never spend their hard-earned money with you. Start-up companies have a big challenge to overcome in this arena, as they are new to the market and haven’t had time to build that trust yet. This doesn’t mean that start-ups can’t gain consumer trust over time, but it’s something that takes hard work and dedication.
Here are some ways start-up companies can gain consumer trust to build a successful and long-lasting business:
One of the easiest, quickest, and most direct ways a start-up company can gain consumer trust is to be transparent. You certainly don’t want to give away all your secrets but sharing with consumers what you do and how you do it is a great way to get them to trust you.
Don’t be generic, either. Share where you get the materials to make your end products. Share your processes and how you take care of your employees along the way.
Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav explains that one of the first things consumers do when considering purchasing a new product is research it online. They search for reviews on the company and the products they offer. They look to see what the company stands for and how active they are on social media. If they find something negative, they might not purchase from you. But a worse hypothetical situation is if they find nothing at all. It’s so easy to be visible online today that if your potential consumers find nothing, they’re likely to think you’re a scam or behind the times. This is not a message you want to convey, especially as you’re just starting your venture.
If you’re going to make promises, you must deliver on them. Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav insists that sticking to your word is one of the most critical parts of building trust in people. If your word isn’t worth anything, nothing else you do will be. There are going to be times when you can’t live up to the expectations you’ve set. When this happens, you must admit to your mistake, communicate it to your consumers and then work hard to rectify the problem. This will help you build long-term trust with consumers.
Provide a great experience
What once used to be known as simple customer service has transitioned in recent years to customer experience. All companies – start-ups and those that have been around for decades – need to provide consumers with outstanding, unrivaled expertise. This customer experience, or CX, should permeate every aspect of your business. As Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav explains, it should start at the marketing phase, transition to the purchasing stage, and make its way to the servicing phase.
Consumers who feel they are getting a great experience are more likely to trust the companies providing it.
Consumers today like to put a face to a name. In terms of start-up companies, they want to see the people working behind the scenes do what they do. Start-up companies must establish a personality. You can do this for your company by telling its story and standing for something.
This could include personal stories of why you started your company or what problems your products or services solve. It could also include charitable endeavors you’ve participated in or those your company plans to support. The most successful start-ups combine all the above factors to gain consumer confidence and make it all personal to their target audience.
About Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav
A self-described first-generation entrepreneur, Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav is the chairman of SAVA Group and Devtech M2M. With a career spanning over two decades, he is well-versed in marketing, sales, supply chain management, and regulatory and corporate affairs in various capacities.
Jadhav holds a diploma in mechanical engineering and a graduate degree in materials management.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.