In a world where customers have so many choices, trust is more important than ever. Often, trust the factor that makes the difference between businesses that are successful and those that struggle. If a business fails to win trust, it cannot do well. It may not even stay in business for long. But building trust is a process, not a strategy, and it may take time.
A customer doesn’t trust a business just because it has a custom address (URL) on the Internet, a speedy website with testimonials, and a good social media presence with profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and other social networks. Not even if on all of these platforms it enjoys plenty of comments, followers, and shares.
As a business, asking your customers to trust you through social content, banners, advertisements, and special offers doesn’t usually work. It can even lower trust, especially if you’re running a new business that people haven’t heard of and that has received little to no media coverage so far.
A far more effective, more reliable, and more ethical approach to building trust with your customers is by developing systems that guarantee trust. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Here are some of the strategies that can help you get started:
• Invest in creating high-quality content.
Offer value and insight through tips, guides, and tutorials. Leave out self-promotional content. But do include references to other related content you have created.
• Invite feedback and respond to it
Allow comments on your website and blog. Monitoring the feedback you get across all your social sites. Respond to it and use it to improve your business on all levels.
• Introduce a money-back guarantee if you don’t have one already
Whether you’re selling products or services, allowing unsatisfied customers to receive full refunds can help build trust. At the same time, it can convince undecided customers to press the Buy button.
• Get verified and accredited
“Authorized” badges from payment processors, credit card companies, anti-virus and encryption services can dispel the anxieties of people who visit your homepage for the first time.
• Establish a peer network
Try to get as many references and direct links from publications and trusted independent experts in your market as you can. Interact with experts in your field on social media. Follow them and they may follow back.
In conclusion, remember that as a business, you cannot simply ask your customers to trust you; you must earn their trust. It’s not easy, but it’s the key to success.