A perfect place to start building trust with a customer is how you write and use your contracts.
For both your business and the customer, a good contract should:
- Clearly outline terms of the agreement.
- Address the extent of obligation by both the seller and the buyer.
- Cover exact specifications of the goods and services, delivery, and price.
- Give your customer the confidence that you will do what you promise.
Tips on writing clear and understandable contracts:
- Pay attention to the scope of the contract, known as the “Terms and Conditions”. Have you included everything that’s important to all parties involved? Can you live with the “worst-case scenario” if all else fails?
- Give your customer time to digest the contract. Pressure to sign a contract is not a trust-builder for your business. Believe that your customer will value this. It might even help for you to explain to your customer that you don’t want to pressure them and are confident that given time they will make a great decision and choose your company.
- If you promise it verbally, put it in writing. Teach your sales reps to be honest and upfront with your customers. Tell your customers that everything you’ve promised is in the contract so they can trust that you will do it.
- Be flexible enough to make changes. Small changes can be crossed out and initialed. Bigger changes will require that the contract be re-drafted. Consider being flexible and working with the customer on his requests.
- Leave the wide open spaces for Wyoming. The BBB advises consumers to never sign a contract with empty space. Nothing should be filled in after the contract is signed. Remember, once signed, a contract is a legally binding document.
- Don’t let your customer be confused by the 3-day “Cooling Off Rule”. This law was created to protect consumers from unscrupulous door-to-door sales tactics. Among other limitation, it only applies if the contract is signed at a place other than your normal place of business. Many consumers mistakenly believe this rule applies to any signed contract. Reminding them if it does or does not apply can build trust.
Written by Kimberly Hazen, Regional Director for the BBB Serving Wisconsin