In the online B2C world, capturing a purchase means earning the trust of someone who has never set foot in your office. Proving that your business is legitimate and trustworthy will take more than a fancy-looking website. Customers have to feel comfortable and confident to do business with you.
Luckily, there are ways to gain the trust of your online customers. Here are five crucial actions that will position your company as one of the best:
- Get Active in Organizations
Become an active member of a trade organization to highlight your small business’s best qualities. By actively trying to improve your craft, you’ll show future and current clients that you’re constantly striving to meet their needs. As an added bonus, trade organizations showcase your industry connections.
- Join the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau isn’t just the Yelp of yesteryear. It’s a thriving organization that puts heavy emphasis on trustworthiness. If you have a great BBB rating (and you really should), then flaunt it everywhere you can. Your BBB accreditation goes a long way with most people; it shows that you’re a respectable establishment that doesn’t stand for shady business practices.
- Solicit Online Reviews
Online reviews hold more weight than ever before. Think of it this way: If you were looking at two seemingly identical vacuums on Amazon, would you buy the vacuum that received five stars or the vacuum that earned only one star? Of course, you’d choose the five-star vacuum. Even Google PageRank is based around which items, businesses, and services are rated the highest.
Ask your customers to take the time to review your business. They can write reviews on a multitude of sites — from BBB to Facebook to Angie’s List to even your own website. This positive feedback is remarkably powerful.
Better yet, turn the most positive reviews into full-blown testimonials. Write up a few paragraphs on a customer’s experience, then explain why he selected you over your competitors. This positive content can attract more customers.
- Humanize the Experience
We’ve all tried to deal with some faceless company that pushes its customers around like pawns on a chessboard. Either you’re bounced around from operator to operator or you’re put on hold for what feels like hours.
Even though your small business operates online, make sure clients can interact with you and your employees directly. It could be as simple as providing a personal email address or a phone number. But don’t direct your callers down the rabbit hole of stock music and automated voices.
My company tries to reach out to every customer by phone. This helps potential clients see that there are real people working to handle their requests and solve their problems. Great customer service is a huge part of building a sustainable business. And it’s nearly impossible to deliver it exclusively through a keyboard.
- Provide a Guarantee
In the world of retail guarantees, there’s none stronger than the one offered by L.L. Bean. You can return any item ever made by L.L. Bean at any time — with or without a receipt, worn-out or brand-new — for a full refund.
While your small business probably can’t offer something that airtight, you should offer some sort of guarantee to soften the blow for your customers. Whether it’s a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee or a 30-day return policy, give your customers some indication that there’s no risk involved when they do business with you.
There are many things you can do to win customers’ trust. With these five methods, you can show customers that you’re reliable. As a result, you’ll snag more sales, foster brand loyalty, and achieve the goals you’ve always dreamed of.