Hybrid Work Demands More Trust in Onboarding Processes  

By Peter Ord
Jun 29, 2021

Trust is your company’s most important currency. But the new hybrid workplace—with some employees working remotely, some working in-person, and many going back and forth between the two—has made earning and keeping trust more difficult than ever.

According to a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review, there are two kinds of trust that are essential for people to work together effectively, no matter where they are:

  •   Competence trust: the belief that others will deliver the high-quality work they promised.
  •   Interpersonal trust: the belief that others have good intentions and high integrity.

The client onboarding process is the perfect opportunity to establish these types of trust with your clients, but only if it’s done right. Get it wrong, and you risk losing your clients’ trust–– possibly forever.


Hybrid Work Poses Extra Challenges to Establishing Trust

Predictability and transparency are key to establishing trust during this process, but the hybrid work world makes them more difficult than ever to deliver. If this is true for your team, imagine how much your customers need these things.   

In a virtual work environment, common onboarding mistakes erode trust even more, including: 

  •   A disconnect between what customers are expecting and what you deliver.
  •   A lack of transparency into the delivery timeline and what is causing delays.
  •   No visibility into who is working on what, what comes next, and who is responsible for it.
  •   Too much extra work to keep track of where a project stands and keep things moving.

So how do you overcome these challenges to deliver a stellar implementation and onboarding process even in the hybrid work world?


How to Build Trust With the Onboarding Process 

Here are three ways you can build trust with your clients in a hybrid work setting. Trust is an equation made up of credibility, reliability, safety, and focus. It’s the currency we use with our customers. 

One way you can begin to build trust is to deliver your product or service quickly and predictably. When this happens, the customer understands they are at the top of your priority list––as they should be. This shows them they can rely on you.

The most important factor to consider when building trust is providing transparency. If customers have no idea what you are working on—or are forced to constantly follow up on the status of their project—their trust will disappear pretty fast.

The best way you can do this is to give an open line of communication. Any relevant information they need should be accessible in one place, whether it’s a spreadsheet, a Google folder, or an onboarding solution. Constant updates and frequent communication—all consolidated in a single place that is easy for customers to access—will go a long way to building trusting relationships that last.


Building Trust Helps Increase Your Company’s Revenue

All this trust-building doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps increase your company’s revenue. At least that was the case for GUIDEcx customer sMedia, a technology-based digital advertising solution that specializes in the automobile industry. 

Thanks—or rather no thanks—to a long and overwhelming onboarding process, sMedia was struggling to convert trials into sales. When they provided transparency and streamlined communication, their implementations went by faster and better. Customers were happier, sales teams had more time to close the deal, and everyone came out a winner. Check out this case study to learn more.

Good onboarding is the gateway to a healthy, long-lasting, and trusting relationship between you and your customers. Although the workforce is shifting, it doesn’t mean building trust should be deprioritized. And in this new workforce, it’s important to remember that we’re talking to people, not computers. For more information on how to perfect the onboarding process to build trust, find our resources here.

Peter Ord


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