Trust is one of the most challenging things to earn in an online context which is both critical and difficult to gain. When you’re first starting to build your brand, gaining the trust of your prospective new clients and keeping the trust of your current clients is life or death for your business. When customers shop at a brick-and-mortar store, they have multiple indicators of how trustworthy a business is. Individual clues might include professional signage, a friendly store owner, a clean storefront, products in stock, and other customers browsing and making purchases.
When it comes to establishing trust, it doesn’t matter how compelling your calls-to-action are, how engaging your content is, or how quickly your pages load on mobile screens. If visitors to your site have any doubts about how trustworthy you are, they’ll bounce right out and never come back. Shopping and ordering through a website is a vastly different experience; customers have less to go on when determining how comfortable they feel making a purchase. Consequently, it’s up to you to quickly earn their trust and curb any skepticism. It is important to find the ways you can gain customers’ trust to believe in your business.
The crucial ways to gain trust
First impressions matter. And these impressions matter even more when you don’t have a physical storefront for customers to walk into. If you are an online business, your customers are going to set their first impression of your site the minute that they lay eyes on it. And if your site is not professionally done or looks messy/disorganized, you’re going to have a hard time getting customers to buy from you. Consumers want to buy from websites that look clean, organized, and credible. If there are tons of links everywhere and things look a bit too sketchy, then it’s going to be very difficult to get customers to the check-out basket. Be sure to get your website professionally done and avoid common web design mistakes if you want to build trust with those customers. It doesn’t matter how compelling your content is: if your site design looks ugly and unprofessional, you’re likely to lose a large percentage of users and experience a high bounce rate. But if your site looks professional, with high-definition graphics and user-friendly navigation, visitors will stick around to explore the site further.
It is important and crucial to use valuable and correct content on your website. Quality content can do a lot for a company, whether it’s on your website, blog or social media. It sets you up as an authoritative voice and, hopefully, a thought leader. In order to create proper content, first of all you have to do some research about your business field and your active competitors and find out their strategies and features. Find the gaps they haven’t covered in their business, then try to focus on filling that gaps. Making contents more engaging and detailed proves that you are the authority in the industry. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule for your content creation: 80% of your content should be useful and non-promotional while the other 20% can talk about your product. This will engage consumers and prove to them that their wants and needs are a priority for you. Keep this in mind when posting to social media, writing a blog post or creating a video. By providing reliable and insightful content, rather than a sales pitch, you’ll nurture a sense of trust in your brand. Blogging regularly can show that you’re invested in your business, your industry, and your customer’s problems, which is always a good sign for consumers. Content can also help consumers get more familiar with your brand, especially if you share stories and develop a distinct brand voice. Both of these things will show the personality behind your brand and help people feel like they really know you and can trust you.
Another important concept is to show the human side of your business to customers. If you want your customers to stay on your site and continue to search for products, they’re going to want to know about your company. Be sure to “humanize” your company by adding a comprehensive About Us page that details your company’s history, values, team members, etc. It’s smart to include any awards you’ve received, major accomplishments, and organizations of which you’re apart. Adding some images of team members along with brief biographies can further develop trust by humanizing your brand. The tone is also important. You need to consider the industry context, but let’s revisit our earlier observation: People do business with those they like, know, and trust. It’s much easier to like, know, and trust a person behind the brand, rather than a brand itself. Wherever possible, allow prospects to see the people that power your brand.
Testimonials are another way to gain customers trust. Of course, everyone understands you aren’t going to post bad reviews on your own site, but if well-known or respected people in your community and industry are vouching for you, that goes a long way to add credibility to you and your business.
When it comes to building up trust with customers, this is something that every company wants to do but is something that’s pretty tough to do in practice. It takes a lot of time and effort to get customers coming back for more, but if you put in that time and effort, then the rewards will be amazing.