Establishing trust is one of the biggest challenges every small or medium sized business has to face in their life cycle. Unlike most of these giant companies who blast their advertisements all over the globe, offline and online, smaller companies don’t really have a big enough budget to follow in their footsteps. They don’t have the funds to help them infiltrate their message into our lives via paid advertising. No. They have to rely on different factors and elements. These entrepreneurs need to be a little more creative with their marketing.
Building trust on the Internet can be a tricky thing because most of your potential users/customers/clients will see you as nothing more than a piece of data. Until they at least once do business with you, they can never be certain if you’re the real deal or just another phony who’s trying to rob them out of their hard earn money.
There are a lot of ways on which a certain company can establish trust online. Consistency, fast and reliable shipping, quality products, and great customer service – these are just some of the most crucial factors that play an important part in presenting yourself as a trustworthy business on the web.
We live in an age of consumerism. We are interested in buying anything, but only if we see some real value behind it. To make a certain project or service attractive, one must design it in such a way that potential consumers are instantly able to see what kind of problems this specific thing is going to solve for them.
In today’s world, a certain product or service is only as good as the reputation of the brand who’s offering/selling it. We have come a long way from trading food for clothes. Now, if you want to add “success” to your name, you need to make a lot of big promises and ensure people that you’ll deliver on every single one of them.
There are a lot of ways on how a certain person, brand or company can earn trust from online shoppers. Here are just a few more popular ones:
1. Demonstrating Friendliness, Expertise and Willingness to Listen When Talking to Customers
When I shop online and visit a website for the first time, there are not many things that can convince me that I can trust this company. Although most people focus on all sort of different review, I go for live chat. Once I have a chance to speak with a living and breathing human being representing the company, I can immediately tell if I want to make a purchase and return to this website in the future. I judge a certain company on friendliness, language style, product knowledge and speed of responses I receive from their representative. I’m not the only one who does this. As online research results indicate, 49% of all US customers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly, while 83% of consumers require some degree of customer support while making an online purchase.
Next to this, it is of crucial importance that you make it transparent to your customers that they can reach you on a wide variety of different channels. Unlike me, there are some people who prefer communicating with brands on social media. If your customers know that they can reach you on for example Facebook and Twitter, and they’re encouraged to do so, they will give you a chance to demonstrate your knowledge and problem-solving skills in front of bigger audience, and thus, present yourself as a business who is ready to take on any challenge, at any given time. This is a great PR opportunity, so be sure to make a best of these sort of situations.
2. Customer Testimonials
I know a lot of people who cannot imagine shopping for certain items or services before they check what people are saying about them online. Digital technology has given us the opportunity to browse through a lot of options, read about the products and services, and make smarter decisions.
This is why it’s of great importance that you, as a business, offer your potential buyers some “social proof” that your offer is good and extremely competitive. Although there are a lot of companies out there that don’t want to admit this, a lot of sales these days are influenced by customer reviews. Why? – Well, because they’re candid. They are written in plain language by regular people, who don’t collect a salary from the owners for reviewing certain products and services. They’re just satisfied or unsatisfied customers who are willing to share their two cents on the matter with anyone who’s interested in conducting business with a certain party.
Why is this section so important for your website? – Customer reviews and testimonials build trust in you, especially if you’re a new business. People love hearing stories from other people. It helps them put things into perspective. If you have 5-6 great customer testimonials published on your website, your potential customers will start seeing you as a trustworthy source.
A blog is a great platform for a company/brand to demonstrate their expertise to people and position themselves as a leader in their industry. As I already mentioned, in today’s world, people are only interested in doing business with experts. Before they even consider giving you a single cent, most customers will first spend a certain amount of time researching about you and your company. They’ll first read a ton of user reviews about you and your work before they even send you an email or browse through your website.
This is where your blog could come in handy. If you invest a certain amount of time writing and sharing what you know best, people will start to see you as someone who’s a real master of his trait.
Apart from that, if you create personas and promote your writers by attaching their photos to posts and allowing them to write in their normal tone and voice, your blog will help your visitors see that real people control your brand. This will stimulate your readers to make a lot more personal connection with your company.
The value of writing a business blog can come in many forms, but it should be designed to teach, entertain, ignite discussions, and gain honest feedback.
Just look at MOZ and Buffer. Thanks to their amazing blogs, these two brands grew into real powerhouses on the Web. They have continued to selflessly share their knowledge and expertise with anyone who interested in learning about social media, digital marketing and SEO.
4. Show People that You Care About the Community
A great way to build trust with your customers is to let them see that you care about other people from your community as well. By promoting different causes and businesses from your or similar niche, you will help your potential customers see your brand as a lot more human institution. Brands who do these sorts of things, often gain more momentum because their customers get the filling that their purpose isn’t just solely oriented to creating more and more profit. No. They see them as a group of people who is also interested in developing its community and helping people reach success a lot faster than they did. This kind of thing helps even the most sterile companies turn their brands into real love marks.
For example, back in 2012, Wells Fargo, the multinational banking and financial services firm, donated 1.3% of its 2011 pre-tax profits, or $315,845,766 cash, to 19,500 nonprofits and schools nationwide. Although being part of an industry that is considered to be heartless and soulless, this kind of gestures forever changed on how people feel about this particular brand.
Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed everything that I wrote here. If you have something to add, if you think I left something uncovered with this post, feel free to share your thought in the comments section below.
Once again, thank you so much for your time and patience,
I’ll see you here soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.