Whether you are running a care home or childcare service, being able to build trust with potential customers is one of the best ways to ensure they choose you over your competitor.
While your pricing, location and availability of service will undoubtedly influence their decision making, these are not usually things you can negotiate or control. Whereas the trust you inspire in potential parents or family members is something you can very much control.
Building trust starts long before a person ever gets in touch with you. In fact, your potential customers are making subconscious decisions about your care home or nursery long before they ever need to use your services.
For example, if you are a local Worcester nursery then it is likely your potential customers travel past your site on a daily basis. You will be on their way to work, near where they live or where older children go to school. Essentially, you are already part of their daily routine.
They will make their judgments based on how your building looks before they even ask for the opinions of other parents in their network.
This is why it is important that your staff understand they are acting as ambassadors for the business even when they are not working. All those commuters and local neighbours may not be expecting their first child yet but they are making judgements about your childcare service based on what they see as they pass.
If your staff are travelling to and from work in their uniform then they are sending a message to all these potential customers about the sort of care you offer. Whether they realise it or not.
Should your staff go for that end of the week pint? Are you sure they are getting changed before they head out to the pub? Are they smoking in their uniform? What are they wearing in their social media images? Do you check what they are putting on their social media feeds? Because you can be sure that parents will have a look.
Care homes and care within the home services also face the same trust-building concerns. If you are a care home within Worcestershire it may be that location does not hold the same importance as it would for a nursery. Your potential clients may not pass your doors on a regular basis but you can be sure they have come across your brand long before they make that first call.
This is especially true for those whose staff care for clients within the community. As your staff are transferring between calls, they need to be aware they are acting as ambassadors for your business. How they act and hold themselves might be the difference between someone getting in touch with you or with your competitor.
Show rather than tell
You have probably heard that you should show what you do rather than tell people what you do. This is why people come around to look at facilities before signing up. They want to see if what you say lines up with what they see.
Let’s use an example from another industry to illustrate this:
You’re walking to the gym for your induction and you see three personal trainers stood outside. You know they work for the gym as they are still in uniform. They’ve finished the end of a long shift teaching classes and helping people and so are stood around laughing in a group. One of them hands out some energy drinks and two light up cigarettes.
Would you trust these personal trainers to give you health advice? Do you think they are showing the gym in the best possible light for a new customer looking to get fit?
How much can you control?
It may be that after a long shift your staff deserve to let their hair down and have a good time with their colleagues. Many of them will need to travel home and might want to save time by not changing out of uniform first. Some of your staff probably want to go and socialise at the end of a long week.
How can you ensure they are being good ambassadors for your business when they are on their free time?
A comprehensive HR service will look at your business from all angles. We understand how the right brand can attract the right client because we show this with our own attention to detail in branding and HR.
Are you sure that your staff understand they are positive ambassadors for your company? And as a business owner, do you understand what you can and cannot ask of them outside of their shifts?
If not, get in touch because we can help.
Not getting this right can mean that you are missing out on clients without even realising. It can mean that all of that good marketing and branding you’ve done has been lost because your potential clients don’t trust you yet.