I’ve said it many times before: “People buy into you before they buy from you.”
If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. It’s that simple. They will not give you money for your products or services.
The more you can build trust when people are checking you out online, the more likely they’ll do business with you. And customers will check you out online first before they ever give you a call or sign up for your newsletter. If things seem fishy, they’ll just go somewhere else.
The very first thing you need to do is review your website (or have a friend check it out and give you honest feedback). Make sure your website is current (what year is the copyright at the bottom?) and looks reasonably modern.
Beyond the basics, there’s much more that you can do to build that trust and tip things in your favor.
Top Five Ways To Build Trust Online With Your Customers
Better Business Bureau
If you’re not a member of the Better Business Bureau, call them today and join. It’s the best $500 you can spend on your marketing. They are the gold standard when it comes to vetting companies and keeping a history of how well you interact with your customers.
Make sure you get the code to embed on your website that links back to your personal profile on the BBB site. Don’t just swipe the logo off some website, use their code that they give you to put a legitimate link on every single page of your site. No matter where your visitor is, make sure it’s visible.
This one symbol will give you a lot of credibility right off the top.
Review Site Logos with Links
Make sure you have logo links going back to your Yelp and Google+ pages, and start nurturing those reviews. The more good reviews you have on these sites, the more you’ll show up in Google’s searches for local businesses. It helps provide assurance to potential customers that you’re legit.
Join other review sites, if appropriate, like Diamond Certified or Angie’s List or other trade organizations. Again, these sites will help build your online reputation. Look at any other organizations you belong to, and include those logos on your website in the footer or somewhere appropriate so people will see them.
Verified Money-Safe Logos
If you take payments on your website, put the verified, linked logos on the pages where you take payments back proving that your site is safe to insert a credit card. This can include:
- Norton Secured (formerly Verisign)
- McAfee Secure (formerly Hacker Safe)
- Trust Guard
These show your customers that your website is secure, and safe to put their money without (much) risk of their credit card or account information from being stolen. Of course it goes without saying that you need an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate for the web server so all credit card information transactions are encrypted and secure.
Like it or not, people are very influenced by those that go before them. If no one has taken the path with you, others will be hesitant to be the trail blazer. Make sure you sprinkle your website with (authentic) testimonials from your customers. Each page can have a simple text box on the right with a short testimonial. This is subtle, but helps people relax and feel more comfortable that others have been happy with you.
If you can, use your video camera to record 60-second videos from your happy customers. Ask them simple, open-ended questions like, “How did my business help you?” or “What results did you get after engaging with our firm?” Then let them talk. These are very powerful because they’re believable. People know you didn’t just type out some fake testimonials and copy them to your website.
Personal Videos of You or Your Staff
The more your customers can get to know you and your staff, the better. By putting a personal face to your company and showing your customers who you are, who your staff is, and what your office looks like, it becomes a less intimidating place. People can check you out from their office or from home in their fuzzy slippers, and get to know you just a little bit.
Post them on YouTube and on your website as well. I wrote about using YouTube to increase customer engagement just last week.
Comment below: What other ways can you build trust with your potential customers?