To form a lasting and fruitful business relationship, you need to establish credibility with your business contacts because credibility implies trust and belief between the two professionals.
While building credibility via emails is not an easy task, it is very much possible with the right knowledge. This article is devoted to providing professionals with that knowledge.
Credibility is a fundamental part of any relationship. If someone doesn’t believe or trust you then it is very difficult for that individual to work with you. The only problem is that it’s more difficult to establish credibility at a distance than when you’re face to face.
It’s not that difficult to imagine why either. When you’re not face to face, you don’t have the benefit of facial expressions and bodily gestures to reinforce or underline the words being said.
In fact, building credibility is especially difficult through text-based communication channels such as business emails because along with facial expressions and bodily gestures, you also lose the benefit of vocal variations and tones. But this doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. It is very much possible provided you know what credibility means and what you need to do to build it.
In this article, we will look at the definition of credibility and explain what you need to do and how to build it through business emails.
Listen to this audio tutorial to learn how to build trust with your colleagues!
What Is Credibility in Business?
Trust is at the heart of your credibility in the eyes of the recipient of your email. When it comes to building credibility via emails, your objective is to get the recipient to trust you to say what you mean and do what you say. In other words, to establish credibility in business, you need to be authentic. This can be built through repeatedly honoring promises, regardless of whether they’re subtle or openly made.
Since the medium of communication is emails, your email etiquette becomes your representative. How it looks, sounds, and what it contains become the aspects that affect your credibility. So, if you can manage and manipulate these aspects in your email, you can slowly build credibility in the eyes of the recipient.
Let’s see how you can go about doing this.
Establish Credibility by Protecting the Recipient’s Identity
Email addresses are like real home addresses. People don’t want them advertised freely. They want them kept private, especially in today’s world of non-stop spam in inboxes. As a result, the absolute minimum a professional expects from a business contact is that their email address is kept safe.
So, if the professional finds out that their email was shared further without their consent, it will automatically result in a loss of credibility for the person who did the sharing.
This is why the first thing you need to do to establish credibility via business emails is to make sure that you protect your business contacts’ email addresses. This is easy to do too.
You need to always get consent before sharing the email address .
Honor Commitments and Promises
Credibility is the belief that what is being said and conveyed is true and what is being promised will be honored.
So, if you’re trying to establish credibility via business emails, you need to first make sure that all the facts and statements you make in your email are true and accurate. This means checking the email’s content before pressing the send button and not ignoring your proofreading and editing responsibilities.
Similarly, if you want to be considered a credible professional, you need to make sure that you honor your commitments. This means being very deliberate about your commitments and not making promises without due consideration.
A good example of this would be giving a deadline of three or four days away, even if you think the current project will take only two days to complete. The extra day or two will give you a margin for error and even if you deliver the project early, it will only help you establish credibility.
You also have to make sure that you meet your obligations. If you’ve agreed to a deadline and are lagging then you may want to put in extra time to meet that deadline to retain your credibility.
Failing all this, if you know you’re missing a promised deadline, it is always better to let the concerned party know well in advance. They will find out sooner or later. By telling them sooner, you’re at least establishing honesty which will help your credibility.
Protect Attachments or Links with Passwords
Your credibility will also be helped by the recipients’ perception of how well you take care of information. This is especially relevant when it comes to sensitive or confidential information. There are two things you need to do to show that you treat confidential and sensitive information responsibly.
The first is to never include this kind of information in the main content or body of the email as this information can be accessed by ISP providers and the tech team of the business. The alternative is to send this information in attached files or links to files that have been uploaded on third-party websites.
So, the second thing you need to do is to always encrypt or password-protect these files. Almost all software programs, including Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office come with an encryption facility that prevents the file from being opened without a password. If a particular software doesn’t have this facility, then the file can be compressed into ZIPs or RARs with a layer of password protection.
The password protection facility is available with most third-party storage websites too, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and others.
Include Disclaimer or Privacy Statements to Establish Credibility
Apart from actually protecting the information you’re sharing in your email through encryptions and passwords, you can also give it legal protection by including disclaimers or privacy statements at the end of your email.
The purpose of email disclaimers is to inform the recipients that the information being shared in the email is confidential and cannot be reproduced or shared without the consent of the people involved.
Email disclaimers help establish credibility because they show that you’re a professional who is aware of his legal liabilities and knows how to protect information.
Privacy statements in email signatures are similar to disclaimers in that they inform the recipients that any data in the email or its attachments are private and cannot be shared further. They build credibility in the same way as disclaimers too i.e. they make the readers think that the sender is a professional who knows the value of personal information.
Building credibility via business emails is all about creating the right impression and making the recipients trust your professionalism and authenticity. You can establish credibility by protecting the recipients’ identity, honoring commitments professionally, protecting provided information with passwords, and using disclaimers or email privacy policies.
CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.
To keep learning and developing your knowledge of customer service, we highly recommend the additional resources below:
Top 10 Customer Service Rep Interview Questions
Write a Winning Customer service manager resume (FREE Sample)
Is Outsourcing Customer Service Right for Your Business?
How To Write A Successful Customer Service Cover Letter (Includes Free Sample)