Trust is a critical component of any long-term relationship. Whether you’re trying to sell someone a product, get them to buy into your vision, or convince them your company has their best interests in mind, trust is key. Building trust with customers is even more important in the digital age where there’s no face-to-face contact.
With so many companies vying for attention, it’s easy for consumers to be overwhelmed by the available options. But once you earn their trust, a customer is likely to stay with you long-term, unless you give them a reason not to. But first, you must earn that trust, and this takes time and the right approach. Here are some simple ways to build trust with your customers and users.
Build Your Brand
Your brand is how customers perceive your business and what they expect from it. A strong brand increases customer engagement and builds trust. Branding is about telling a story — one that your target customers want to be part of. It’s more than a logo and tagline. Branding is building a relationship with customers that goes beyond the transaction.
It’s easy to see why companies spend so much time and money building a strong brand. It pays off longer-term by establishing a strong relationship. Make sure your brand inspires trust. A consumer wants a seamless experience from purchase to delivery, along with quality products and services. Your brand should convey these promises and live up to them. A strong brand establishes customer trust because customers know what you stand for.
Keep your branding consistent, so customers recognize you across all platforms. If your logo on your website is different than the one on your Instagram page or Facebook page, it’s confusing. The same goes for fonts, colors, and other design elements. Choose colors and fonts that fit your brand and message.
When choosing colors, consider what each one says about your business. Do your designs and colors convey professionalism? Do they tell a story? Or do they evoke emotion? If you’re running an ecommerce site, use the same color scheme as your website, so it looks like part of the same family. If you’re not sure whether certain colors work well together, search for color schemes online. You’ll find many sites that offer color palettes based on specific themes (such as green and brown).
Be Open and Honest About Who You Are
To build trust with customers, help them understand who you are. The best way to do this is to be open and honest. Share your story, including your values and expertise. Don’t be afraid to reveal what makes you unique as a company — your mission, vision, products and services, successes, and failures… even your plans for the future! Give your online business a human voice and personality and be responsive to your customer’s needs.
Use a Secure Checkout Process
A secure checkout process builds trust with online customers by ensuring sensitive information is protected and encrypted. Use a secure payment gateway, HTTPS, and SSL encryption on your website. HTTPS ensures that any information sent between computers (such as usernames and passwords) cannot be intercepted by third parties. SSL encryption protects sensitive data like credit card numbers as it travels through cyberspace from one machine to another by encrypting them.
A good payment gateway allows you to accept payments from customers without storing financial information on your own site. Also, be PCI (payment card industry) compliant, so you’re up to date with current security standards.
Make Your Website Easy to Use and Customer Friendly
Your website should be a place where people can find what they’re looking for easily. Ensure your website has a clear hierarchy: what’s important (the top of the page), less important but still relevant information (middle), and not at all necessary but fun facts (bottom). Make sure the language used throughout your site is clear and easy to understand by anyone reading it, especially those who speak English as a second language.
Make sure the navigation is clear and consistent. If people can’t find what they’re looking for when they come to your site, they’ll leave. Make sure you have an obvious menu bar on every page that links to all sections of your site and ensure it’s always in the same place on every page.
Keep forms short (or skip them entirely if possible). Forms are the most disliked part of any website — they often take valuable real estate at the top of pages where users want to see content instead.
Your website should be easy to use and navigate on any device, from a mobile phone to a desktop computer. The goal is to make it as simple as possible for users to find what they’re looking for, so they can get on with their lives without frustration.
Provide Customer Service Options for Your Users
Customer service is an essential component of any business, but it’s especially important for online businesses. If a customer has a problem or question, they’ll want a quick response from you. To build trust with customers, provide them with customer service options they can use if they run into problems. Your website should have an email address, phone number, and live-chat feature prominently displayed. Also, ensure that customer service agents are trained to handle customer inquiries, so they can deal with issues that arise quickly and easily.
The process of building customer trust is ongoing. Providing customers with the right tools and showing that you care about their needs will help them see how much value they get from working with your company. Keeping these tips in mind as an online retailer will help you build an online presence that people will love and return to again and again.