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What Happened To Trust…?

“Trust” by definition in Merriam-Webster is : -

1 a:assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something done in which confidence is placed
2 a:dependence on something future or contingent.

So how does Trust work in the on-line world…? And how do you ensure that the people that communicate with you through the web have the highest perception of Trust that we can give them…?

If potential customers don’t feel that they can “trust” you when they visit your web site or Facebook page then they are unlikely to purchase from you.

If existing customers start mis-trusting you then they are less likely to renew contracts or to buy from you again.

It’s been commented lately by a couple of overseas surveys that globally “trust” in big brands and traditional advertising is falling while “trust” is what your peers say is increasing

Everything that you say and everything that you do can be seen much more easily on the web today.

User generated content (UGC) such as TripadvisorRankers, Twitter, Facebook and Blog comments can all be used by someone researching about you and how you conduct yourself in business.

Having your existing customers act as raving fans of your products and services is a great thing – and it directly increases the bottom line of your business – that’s why “trust” is so important in today’s business and personal world.

So lets look at some of the ways to increase the “trust” that people get from interacting with you online: -

  • Look professional – is your web site great looking and reinforcing of the positive elements of yourself, your products & services and your brand. Does it sit well within your peer group…? Do a search for a common search phrase and validate your web site against the competitors – does yours have the same level of information as your competitors – you’ll get better results with more information then them.
    Does your Twitter background reflect your personal style or corporate brand (Yes – I’m changing mine soon ;-)
    Does your Facebook Business Page reflect your interest in helping your customers – or is it just a hard sell…?
  • Don’t hide – ensure that you are accessible in the contact method that your customers prefer. Some people want to talk to a human before they purchase – others are happy to self serve – and some will want surety that you are real with a proper front of house such as office or shop front. Provide enough information on your web site for people to interact with you easily and quickly.
  • Don’t just sell – people buy off people – especially ones that they like. With social media entries the rough rule of thumb seems to be around 4 useful / helpful / informational posts to 1 sales post. Any more then this and you are seen to be only interested in selling rather than building a relationship. Of course this may change compared to what your peers are doing online too.
  • Anticipate the Questions that people will have – people arrive at your web site with questions that they think your web site can answer. Your existing customers – especially new ones will have a set of questions about how your products or services work – are you providing enough answers on your web site…?
  • Talk in your customer’s voice – use the words your customers use rather then your technical names for a product or service. Demystify the sales process and make ownership of your product or service easy.

And some others: -

  • Have your photo (and your teams photos) on the web site
  • Be found with great search engine optimisation
  • Have a Blog, Twitter feed, Facebook Business Page or update a What’s New section of your web site to show that you are committed to fresh communications.
  • Use testimonials in context to show what type of customers that you have helped in the past. Give examples of the benefits they have received from using your company’s products and services.

And there’s some things that you can do in your day to day business life that will also increase “trust” in those people that are dealing with you: -

  • Respond in a timely fashion – if a contact emails you how long do you take to respond…? Does this change depending on who it is…? Quickly responding to enquires is a quality and trust statement.
  • Follow Up – do what you have said you will do – enough said.
  • Always act to the benefit of your potential customer and existing customers - Be honest about your products and services if they don’t fit the required needs exactly – tell them – or change the products and services that you provide.
  • Be Honest – Say “no” if you have to – to manage the expectations of the client.
  • Don’t be evil – borrowed from Google’s mantra – this means different things to different people – work out for yourself your personal code of conduct and exceed it in every way.

With all of our projects we try and position you in the best possible light with detailed attention to usability of your web site, great search engine friendly & helpful content and with all the trust enhancing elements that we can.

Please let us know if you’d like us to do a “trust-audit” on your online endeavours and give you some suggestions on how you could be doing things better.

Posted: Thursday 2 January 2020