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Getting Customers To Trust Your Online Business

– Contributed content –

E-commerce screen on phone

(PhotoMix Ltd, Pexels.com)

14 Feb. 2019. We live in a cynical age, and with some justification. There have been enough shady actions from the world’s biggest companies to make people question who, exactly, are the good guys in the world of business. As such, people are less likely to blindly hand over their cash to a business that they don’t know all that much about. Trust must be earned. This might be straightforward enough in the real world, but what about in the online world, where business owners don’t have the luxury of face to face contact? Below, we take a look at some tried and tested methods for developing trust via your website.

Be human

You may operate in digital code, but there’s a real person behind the scenes, so make sure your website visitors know it. You can invite trust simply by sharing some information and a photograph of yourself, if appropriate. It doesn’t have to be anything overly deep; a short summary of who you are, where your based, and the motivation behind the website will be a good place to start. People use the internet but they don’t always love it — the human factor reminds them that it’s still part of the “real world.”

Have great content

People trust authority. If it seems like someone knows what they’re doing and talking about, then people pay attention. So how do you claim your position of authority via your website? You do it by having great content. For example, on your blog you can tell visitors the benefits of using whatever products or services you provide. This shows your visitors that you know what you’re talking about it, but, more than that, it also helps boost your search engine rankings and shows that time, care and professionalism has gone into the website, which is another indicator that trust should be given.

Avoid underhanded tactics

You really can’t fool the general public. Well, you can fool them once, but that’s it. As such, it’s much better for the long-term health of your business if you avoid any underhand tactics. For example, let’s think about your pricing. If you list the price as one thing but then sneakily add in another charge just before the customer pays, then there will be doubts about how your company operates. Basically, any sort of deception should be avoided, even if you think it might help boost sales. It will in the short-term, but no trust will be established, and that means your long-term prospects will be poorer because of your actions.

No quibble returns

You can’t abuse the trust people have placed in you by making an order. It has to stretch right through for the entire customer cycle. Let’s say, for example, that someone is unhappy with their purchase (for whatever reason), and wants to return it. While there are some scenarios when you could refuse, it’s nearly always better just to accept the return, unless you think some foul play is at hand. Indeed, one of the best indicators that a website is trustworthy is when they have their returns policy clearly outlined, for all to see. And of course, if you’ve espoused your generous returns policy, then you have to honor it. The returns policy is actually a big factor when a potential customer is deciding whether to make a purchase or not.

Be available

One of the reasons why people like brick and mortar stores is because they know that if they need to speak to someone, they can visit in person and talk with someone. In the online world, this is not possible. That’s why it’s doubly important that you make yourself available for your customers to talk to, in a number of ways. You can start by listing a phone number for customers to call — people like knowing that they can pick up the phone and chat if they need to. You’ll also want to have an email contact address easily located on your site, and systems in place to answer them quickly. Social media channels, especially Twitter, can also be used to quickly respond to customer’s questions.

Take data seriously

One of the reasons why people are so skeptical about online companies these days is because, well, they’ve been burnt before by online companies. The number of data breaches has risen considerably in recent years, and while “data” may sound unimportant, what it really means is “people’s personal information.” You can help to develop trust by making sure that the security of your site is up to date and fool-proof. If for whatever reason your data is compromised, then you need to tell your customers immediately — you might lose their trust and business, but respect will still be there. If you delay, you won’t even have that, and it’ll be the end of your business.

Other people’s opinions

It’s all good and well telling your customers that you’re trustworthy and dependable, but you’ve got a pretty big stake in having them trust you. You’re biased, essentially. There’s a reason why people pay so much attention to reviews and the experiences of other people, and that’s because they’re not biased. They’re just customers. So if you have a track record of delighting customers, then put their positive words to good use. You can use a service like www.simplesat.io to solicit feedback, which can then be published instantly on your website. The experience of others really does have an impact on how people view your business, so make the most of their words.

Handle issues

Every company in the world makes mistakes. You’re not going to get everything right. The quality of your company won’t be reflected by whether you make mistakes or not, but how you respond to them. If you’re proactive in handling issues and making sure that your customers are satisfied, then they’ll trust you. Do everything you can to make sure that the people using your service come away happy with your service, and they’ll stick around – people rightly like businesses they can depend on.

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