Imagine if you will, hearing about a new business for the first time. You’ve heard people throwing the name of the brand around the ol’ water cooler (or the playground or birthday party or yoga studio…), but you know next to nothing about them. Would you just jump onto their website and order the first thing you see without getting to know them a little yourself?
Chances are the answer is no. These days, customers do their homework, friend. Big time.
You’d check out their website, their offerings, their about page and their Instagram. You read reviews (possibly lots of reviews). You get to know more about them so you can trust them and the product that they offer, amiright?
So, how can you win consumer trust in your online business? How do you really connect and build those long-lasting relationships? Here are our top three tips on how to build, keep and sustain the trust of your customers.
Invest in your social media
In today’s world, social media is vital because it helps you to easily reach and connect with your target audience both nationally and internationally. It extends your reach, helps you create a relatable, visually and tonally appealing brand and really allows you to engage with your audience. With enough commitment, it’s the best way for your business to build enough trust to translate into clicks, sales and customer happiness.
Gain the trust of consumers on your social media channels by being genuine (your audience will sniff out a snake oil salesman from a mile away), being human (showcase the story and people behind your online biz) and staying in your own lane (do not go posting fast food if you sell furniture – it will confuse people). Ultimately your aim is to build an authentic brand with relatable and honest values that reach across all of your business marketing and collateral, and allow your consumers to really connect with you and what you offer. Be real and speak in a way that your consumer understands. Mind meld, mate.
You’re also going to want to do some solid social proofing in the form of Google business reviews, Facebook reviews, product reviews on your website and the like. Stats say that nearly 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, so you know that if yours are lacking you’re missing out on potential new customers. If you’re looking to boost reviews, send out an email to past customers and clients and offer them a freebie or discount in exchange for a review. Get testimonials from clients you really clicked with. Get that creative brain thinking so the reviews come rolling in.
If you’re hopeless with technology, pay someone to deal with your social media. Totally worth it if it’s not your bag! Here are some tips to help you in the process of hiring a VA.
Improve your security
You’ll also want to be clear you’re sharing any kind of email marketing correctly and that you aren’t spamming these awesome humans with advertising they haven’t asked for (Make sure you’re on track with this SPAM flow chart). Another way to help them feel safe and happy? Arm your website with proper security with basic SSL protection and display those trust badges, friend!
Offer consumers one of a kind customer service
No online biz wants to be slagged off on review sites or in the marketplace by disgruntled customers because they’ve experienced problems and received unhelpful, automated replies. It’s a sure-fire way to set your business’ growth back and tarnish its reputation. Want to ensure this doesn’t happen to your business? Always offer timely, reliable service with a personal touch! Key word is personal. So what’s that look like, you ask?
Have some handy FAQs on your website for those common questions (and if your brand has a side of sass, add in some quirky ones to mix it up). Make it easy for your customers to reach out to you by phone, email, chat or DM. Keep response turnaround tight and on brand. If your business has a fun, light-hearted voice and style and you have a super serious automated voice message, that’s going to throw off your consumer and make them feel less connected (and worse, like your voice and brand jam isn’t authentic).
What does your red hot customer service experience look like? Lay it out! Do you offer little freebies or free consults? When you send a product do you include a handwritten note? Do you always follow up with a friendly thank you? Going the extra mile really helps your consumers have a positive experience with your online business. You’ve gotta keep ‘em coming back for more!
There you have it. The 3 steps to build consumer trust in your online business. Go get ‘em.
Any questions, you know how to get in touch.
Riz McDonald is an e-commerce business owner, business coach, podcaster and a lawyer for over 16 years. She’s also a mum and a lover of good wine...she only ever drinks the cheap stuff when she’s stoney broke.
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