In our times, when markets are saturated with providers, trust is more important than ever. Often, it’s the factor that makes the difference between the successful businesses and the struggling ones. If a business fails to win the trust of its customers, it cannot do well; it may not even stay in business for long.
A customer doesn’t just trust a business 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, likes, and shares.
Winning Their Trust
As a business, asking your customers to trust you in a direct way, through social content, banners, advertisements, and even special offers can be ineffective, and even lead to a loss of trust, especially if you’re running a fresh 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 that offers value through tips, guides, tutorials, specialized knowledge, and insight into your field, without including any kind of self-promotion except references to other related content you have already created.
• Sustain an ecosystem of feedback by allowing comments on your website and blog and by monitoring the feedback you get across all your social sites, responding to it, and using 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 and at the same time convince undecided customers to press the Buy button.
• Get verified and accredited and place the badges that confirm it on your website. “Authorized” badges from payment processors, credit card companies, anti-virus and encryption services, and any accolades your business may receive during the years can appease the anxieties of people who visit your homepage for the first time.
• Establish a peer network. Seek to obtain as many references and direct links from publications and trusted independent experts in your market.
In conclusion, remember that as a business, you cannot simply ask your customers to trust you; you must earn their trust.