One of the benefits of doing business online is the ability to reach customers everywhere. You can be found by clients who normally wouldn’t have found you. In order to develop and maintain relationships with online clients, you have to get them to trust you. Building trust online can be tricky, but here are some proven methods for building that rapport with your website.
Show Visitors Who You Are
New visitors want to know that you’re a human. When you take the time to tell your story and show your face, it comforts people. It feels good to know that the business is not hiding behind the anonymity that the internet can provide. Showing who you are proves to potential clients that you’re not a hacker or a bot, and tells them that you’re proud of what you do since you’re happy to put your name and face on it.
If you’re going to go ahead and tell your story, try video! Customers respond better to videos, they are more engaged and get a better sense of who you are and what you do with less effort. People love less effort. Take some time to write out what you want your customers to know and make a video about it.
Provide Social Proof through Testimonials
Testimonials go a step above saying that you’re proud of what you do. When site visitors see that other customers have been happy with your services, they get even more validation. Customer testimonials legitimize your business and reputation in a way that you can’t really do on your own. Ask your clients for testimonials. Make sure you’re signed up on sites like Yelp and Google My Business where you can get reviewed so that you know what’s being said about you.
If there are certifications you had to get in order to do what you’re doing, show them off. Show that you’re up to industry standards. If you’ve earned a good Better Business Bureau rating, show us. If you’ve secured your site with an SSL, show us. If you use a specific type of secure payment software, you got it, show it off. Third-party badges and logos (in moderation) that carry their own reputation will help your reputation. Make sure to only use ones that you have earned, and make it look pretty!
Provide Useful Information
Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert (SME) will help your online visitors to trust you. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What questions do they have? What specific knowledge and experience do you have that can help them? Like we talked about last week, being helpful is the gift that keeps on giving. Create a knowledge base, an FAQ page, a blog, or a newsletter and help your potential customers find the answers they need to make good decisions.
If you can guarantee your product or services, you’re doing it right. Ideally, all business owners would be so confident in their offering that they wouldn’t have a problem adding a guarantee on. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, and that’s why many customers don’t trust online businesses in the first place. Think of a guarantee or warranty that is appropriate for your business. It may be a 7 day guarantee on auto work, 2 years on a new piece of furniture, or some other amount of time that suits.
You’ll also need to decide if it will be a money-back promise, a satisfaction guarantee, a product replacement promise, or what. Specify what exactly you’re promising when you offer your guarantee so that you don’t end up up a creek (or bankrupt.)
Use Quality, Authentic, Relevant Images
There’s no excuse in 2016 for having low-quality images on your site. Cameras are excellent and there are millions of HD quality stock photos available for free all over the internet. If you can’t get images that are authentic to your business, then really focus on quality and relevance and optimizing those images. Stay away from super generic and overused stock photos *cough cough handshakes* and make sure your images and logos are high quality, not pixelated. Visit Pixabay or Pexels and find some photos you like.