We all like things that are reliable. We buy the same makes of product as we are happy that they are going to keep doing what we bought them for time and time again. We like a reliable service as we know what to expect, and when, and how this fits in with us achieveing our own tasks and goals.
The same goes for your own business. If you can show customers that you are reliable at what you do, their faith and trust in you increases. And so do the chances that they will recommend you to others.
So what should you do when you can’t be reliable? Life gets in the way and throws its own curve balls such as sickness or family emergencies. Be open and honest with your clients. Where possible plan with them how to get round your obstacle. Always plan ahead – be very aware of time you have booked off, or appointments you can’t move. And also be very realistic about how much time you have between clients. Is there enough travel time? Is there time for you to eat?
Communication is key. As soon as you know you can’t make you usual time, talk to your client. If you have a new client and need to change a time slot, speak to your clients. Most of the time they will be happy to accommodate. But don’t make a habit of it.
We all know how frustrating it is to wait in for a delivery, the plumber or handyman to arrive – unsure of what we can get on with until they arrive. If you are running late, pick up the phone. If things have gone wrong on your current job, delaying you – pick up the phone. Don’t leave your clients sitting there wondering where you are – are you coming?, or why did they get up so early to await your arrival.
Communicating at these times may feel awkward but will build trust in you. Not communicating will lead to distrust and no recommendations for future work. Can you afford that?