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The challenge of building trust with new clients

How do you build trust with a new client? "This is a question I frequently ask myself when trying to secure new business for BitBox. Despite being in the industry for 30 years, I still don’t have a simple answer." Quentin Lister, BitBox's MD shares his views.

Many businesses rely on testimonials to gain the trust of new clients. There is nothing more powerful than a glowing review from a blue-chip customer. However, because of the type of work we do, our clients are often reluctant to provide testimonials.

I am proud to say that the team here at BitBox work with many big-brand clients. If something is on the edge of a client’s capability it often makes sense for them to subcontract the work to us. Over the years, we have built trust with these clients and they return to us time and again for work. However, the frustrating part is that my lips must remain sealed as to who they are. This is because they are big-brand names, they don’t want their clients to know some of their work is done elsewhere. They want to present themselves as having carried out all the tech themselves.

So, frustratingly, we can’t shout about our successes with blue-chip customers, some of whom have been coming to us for years. What does this mean when trying to persuade a new client to choose us? All companies can say they work with blue-chip clients. Unless you have the evidence, why should you be trusted?

At BitBox, all we have is our words and our people. I believe in my team, and I hope that new clients who meet them believe in them too. Trust is one of our core company values, and I think that is something that is conveyed when you meet us. When I’m looking for a job to be done, I follow my instinct whether I can trust someone. Reviews help, of course. But ultimately, I think it comes down to the way you feel.

Often, we struggle with securing work when a competitor offers to do the job for a lower cost and in a quicker time. We all know the phrase ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’. Unfortunately, in this instance, this phrase almost certainly applies. When we offer a quote for work, you will not get better elsewhere. That is not to say you won’t get a cheaper price, but you will not get the required level of work done for less.

 

Often, potential clients are lured in by the cheaper quotes offered by competitors. I hate to sound smug, but frequently they end up back with us because the job wasn’t completed or is sub-standard. They end up spending more money and taking more time.

At BitBox, if we take on your work, we will get it done. That is a promise. We never take on work that we cannot complete, meaning the money you spend will always result in a working, finished, high-quality product that will last. However, that all comes at a price, and often one that is more expensive than our competitors.

Trying to persuade a client to spend more money with us is a challenge. Our engineers are technically competent, and the work they do is to an extremely high standard. But how can we prove this to new clients? We can show our portfolio, but this is limited because of confidentiality agreements.

The Covid pandemic has surprisingly helped us this last year. Whereas before we used to arrange a series of face-to-face meetings, since moving these to the virtual world, we are providing more regular updates to customers. This helps build trust, and keeps the customer constantly informed of any progress or challenges. A meeting could be five minutes simply to say everything is fine, or to highlight any issues. However, that regular communication helps customers feel kept in the loop with the work on their precious design. Keeping customers more regularly informed is a positive change that will be here to stay post-pandemic.

Once we do gain the trust of a new client, we do not lose them because they know we will get the job done and do it well. We always have our customer’s best interests at heart, and I am proud to say we have never let a customer down and not completed a job.

So, while we cannot share our big-name clients with you, the fact BitBox has been in business for nearly 30 years is hopefully testament to our success. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Maybe now it is time we trust that our reputation is enough, and we will quietly continue to do what we do.


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