Trust needs to be earned, and there are only a few ways you can earn a customer’s trust online. There are even fewer ways to earn trust before someone becomes a customer. Instant trust is rare; however, it’s not impossible.
Statistics published by Oberlo show that 81% of consumers need to trust a brand before they’ll make a purchase. If you’ve never done business with someone before, and they find your website, you need to earn some trust right away to make a sale.
If you want to create instant trust from your customers and potential customers, you’ll need to employ several strategies simultaneously. While trust is never guaranteed, the following methods will support your efforts substantially.
1. Put a contact phone number at the top of every webpage
Nothing projects trust more than making yourself available to customers by phone. Offering customers a phone number shows that you care about them and want to answer their questions. Making your phone number available also tells visitors you’re not hiding anything.
If you’re running an ecommerce store, it’s best to get a toll-free 800 number to post on your website. You can see a good example of this on Shave.net right above the main menu. Even when you’re running a legitimate business, the absence of immediate contact information can make people shrink back and buy from a competitor.
Posting a phone number is especially important when you’re doing business in a niche saturated by big-name players. If your niche already has well-established brands, people will be automatically skeptical of your business because it’s new. If any part of your website looks sketchy, they’ll bounce. A phone number can help keep those people on your site.
When people visit your website for the first time and question your legitimacy, they’ll be relieved when they see a phone number at the top of the page. Visitors don’t even need to call you to feel relieved about doing business with you – seeing your phone number will be enough for many people.
2. Operate a flawless website
Patience runs thin these days, and all it takes to lose trust is a simple process that doesn’t work. For example, a checkout process that returns errors will be perceived as a red flag to new customers. Broken contact forms are also seen as red flags.
Make sure every feature on your website works flawlessly — double-check every contact form, newsletter signup form, digital download, and purchase process. Make sure your products reflect accurate prices when in a shopping cart, and make sure customers can calculate shipping costs before being asked to enter their credit card.
A smooth process won’t necessarily be noticed, but the absence of resistance contributes to generating trust.
3. Avoid using cheesy sales pages
Cheesy sites are always suspect. Cheesy sales pages can be an immediate turn-off. Make sure all of your sales pages look professional, including short form and long form sales pages.
In the early-to-mid 2010s, sales pages had a distinct look. They were long, drawn out stories contained inside of thin-bordered, rounded content areas, used Arial for the main font, and Impact for the headings.
While long form sales letters still make excellent landing pages, that particular design style is outdated. People expect more professionalism from sales pages. If you’re going to create long form sales letters, skip the graphics and just use a blank page with stellar typography. Oh, and avoid using Impact for your headings.
4. Respond openly to criticism and support requests on social media
If you have a social media presence, people will judge you based on how you interact with others. Whether people are requesting support or complaining about something, it’s important to respond openly with the intention of creating a resolution rather than messaging people privately and ignoring their posts. You might resolve every single issue you notice, but to your social media audience, it will appear as though you’re ignoring your customers.
By responding openly, you’re establishing the way others will perceive your brand. You don’t need to go into detail on every post, but write a personalized response that will help the poster and show the rest of the world how you respond to problems. When people feel like there’s no risk, they’ll feel more comfortable making a purchase from a new brand.
Trust is a worthwhile investment
It takes effort to build trust and rapport with your customers and potential customers. Don’t hesitate to invest in a new website or hire a team to support people on social media. Do whatever it takes to demonstrate your reliability – your business depends on earning that trust.