When your business is online only, the first (and sometimes only) contact that clients have with you is through your website. Creating trust is absolutely essential, since trust generates repeat business. Here are ten ideas to gain that valuable online trust.
- Visual Distinction: Customers associate with the branding that you offer yourself. Present a professional image by placing your logo on every page and keeping the same format on all of the pages within your site. When customers see that particular format, you want them to recognize it as yours.
- Recognition: Let clients know about the recognition that your company has received. A real referral and award is some of the best public relations that you can ask for. Don’t forget that the awards that you receive can be verified by your customers.
- Secured Transactions: If you show your clients that you want to protect their data by using secured communication, you are taking a great step to gaining their trust. You are showing them that they can trust you with their valuable information and trust the products that you are selling.
- Respond Personally to Correspondence: When you offer a suggestion, you want to know that someone has looked at it and evaluated it. You want to believe that there’s a possibility that they will follow it if it is feasible. If a customer gives you a suggestion or complaint, take the time to express your gratitude to that customer for expressing their opinion. Form letters are infuriating, and it shows your customers that you really don’t care.
- The Truth will bring you Trust: If you are claiming that you are the people’s choice award winner for three years running, somebody will do fact checking for you and make sure that you are indeed the people’s choice winner. If there is any doubt about the claims that you are making, don’t make them.
- Spinning and superlatives: Hype and superlatives make many people cringe. Respect those people by not trying out the hard sell. They will come back to you if you rely on giving the best products and services.
- Social Media Presence: Your customers will perceive you as being more accessible if you are seen as being in all of the same social media places as they are. Being everywhere instills a sense of trust in your customer’s mind. They see you offering great advice about a subject that you’re passionate in, and they want to be closer to that.
- Stop talking about yourself: If you are constantly talking about yourself, you are not talking about what a customer most wants to hear about. It is important to let them know about your accolades and your triumphs, but they really want to know what you can offer them. How are you going to serve the customer and please them? If all a customer sees is ‘me’ and ‘I,’ they’re bound to be turned off.
- What happens behind the scenes?: Tell customers about what happens behind the scenes. How are decisions made at your company? Talk about creative ways that you’ve overcome adversity. People want to hear that from you, and framing it in humility develops that trust that you are craving.
- Simplify and streamline: The simple rule is that you want to make it as easy for customers to buy stuff from you as you possibly can. You don’t want them to be distracted with the protocol and the logins, you want them to get quickly to the checkout button. Make your site easy to navigate, and have them create a log in after the sale.
The process of building online trust is gradual. Most of the techniques come down to treating customers the way that they want to be treated. By following the preceding tips, customers will show you patronage.