By Dan Monaghan
There are a lot of shady characters and websites online. Heck, there’s even a whole underground Internet that most of us aren’t aware exists, much less navigate through on our way to check the news or our friend’s latest tweet about their commute to work.
As a business owner with a web presence, you therefore have to pay special attention to building customer trust and enhancing the reputation of your business online.
Why Customers Won’t Buy From You
Next to being able to find out information about your product or service, the most important thing a potential customer wants to know is whether they can trust you. It doesn’t matter that you’re selling the best product in the world if people don’t think you’re reputable.
Reasons why customers will not buy from you include:
- Taking their money without providing them with a product or service.
- Giving them a product that is inferior to what they learned about on your site (the old bait and switch).
- Losing their personal and payment information if your site is hacked.
- Getting a virus from visiting your site.
- If you sell their contact information to third parties.
- You spam them.
While you cannot control everything that happens on the Internet and account for every eventuality, there are safeguards that you can put in place to let customers know you are concerned about providing them with the best, safest web experience possible. (Note: In this article we’re not covering web security, which is an entirely different topic. Here we’re talking about trust and reputation, not cybersecurity. For that, be sure to consult a web security expert.)
Here are six elements that you can do on your website to increase a customer’s trust in your business:
1. Make It Personal
One of the best things you can do to get people to trust you is allowing them to get to know you personally. You want to get people to like you, and you can do this pretty easily by:
- Displaying pictures and bios of yourself and the other employees of the company. You can show videos of people talking about themselves; include relevant work experience that demonstrates an expertise, and also personal tidbits that make your staff more human (e.g., hobbies, why they like what they do, whether they are married/have kids or pets, etc.).
- Sharing the history of your company.
- Explaining why you started the business.
Once someone gets to know you, they will identify with you and trust that you will treat them fairly and not steal their money. You’ll also not be perceived as a big business that will treat them like they’re an anonymous order number.
2. Include Your Phone Number and Address
Let people know that you’re accessible. The best way to do this is to make sure you have your phone number and address on your website. This will help advance you in local search results as well as build confidence that you’re a legitimate business.
When websites only offer a contact form or an email address, visitors may wonder, “Why are they making it so hard for me to contact them? Is it so I can’t find them if a purchase goes bad?”