How to Build Credibility with Customers

In Brief...

Your customers need to know not only that you will do as you say you will do, but also that you have the skill, knowledge, and resources to do it. Credibility with your customers will go a long way to establishing a trusting relationship. By establishing your credibility, you also become a resource for your internal customers. If your colleagues trust you, they will come to you with questions or refer their customers to you. Some ways to establish credibility with customers include the following.


  1. When asked a question you don't know the answer to, say "I don't know, but I will find out and get back to you."
  2. Follow up on your promises and keep your customer apprised of the progress you are making, especially if it is taking longer than you first anticipated.
  3. Admit it when you are wrong. Accepting responsibility for a mistake and then working to correct that mistake will establish your credibility quickly in the mind of your customer.
  4. When voicing opinions or values, be consistent and sincere. Don't waver in an effort to gain an advantage or to be liked by more people.
  5. Always behave in a professional manner by not gossiping.

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Author: Janie Sullivan

Janie Sullivan, MBA, MAEd, has been teaching adult learners for over 20 years. She has taught online over 15 years, specializing in writing, communications, and small business applications. Janie directs the Center for Writing Excellence where she offers writing, editing, and formatting services for writers. She has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as multiple online sites. She teaches communication, business strategy, leadership, and management courses. Janie has published a book "Develop and Deliver an Online Class." This is the third book she has written about writing and teaching online. She also has published a novel and an anthology of short stories.