Trust is a vital element to business. Potential customers need to feel they can trust the company they are doing business with, and this factor gives companies the edge over their peers.
When researching a service provider, a company may trawl through ten or twenty businesses online who all essentially offer the same service or product.
Whether you care about this or not, people on the internet will have some sort of perception about your brand and its reputation. You can easily conduct a brand reputation audit to see how your brand’s reputation has been perceived online. However, in this article, we will discuss important factors and steps to creating a legit and trustworthy brand online. If your company can convey the impression of a trustworthy brand, it is statistically more likely to be chosen.
It is said that if a customer has a bad experience with a company they will tell 10 people about it. If they have a good experience they are likely to tell one. So, making your company stand out as a trustworthy brand can avoid negative feedback and customer perception. So let’s find out how exactly you can make your online business look legit and trustworthy.
1. Don’t use generic templates for your website
It is important to keep a unique edge to your brand. You need to stand out. When meeting a person, we make a judgment on them within three seconds. Imagine this is the same philosophy when someone views your website. It needs to stand out, for all the right reasons.
If you use a generic template, it shows a lack of imagination and effort. Developing a unique style that is memorable is a useful way to keep your name in the forefront of a customer’s mind. This doesn’t mean a site full of plug-ins and gimmicks, but one that gives concise, helpful information to a customer in a unique, user-friendly way.
2. Provide social proof via testimonials
People believe people. They may distrust your business by default. It may be among one of the professions that people are unfairly prejudiced against. If you can provide authentic customer reviews which convey the trustworthiness of your brand, as well as excellent product provision, it will give reassurance and confidence to the potential customer.
3. Create helpful rich and value-based content resource
You want people to buy your products or services. That is essentially why you have a website, as a shop window to your business. You also need to give a deep insight into what you are offering the customer. This does not just mean the product or service. This means selling your online brand not just as a product, but as a brand. You need to draw the customer in, give them a reason to believe you are a trustworthy brand. Fill them with confidence that you provide a service, that you are customer focused and that what they need really matters to you.
4. Make it easy for customers/prospects to reach you
When a customer decides to commit to your brand, they need to be able to reach you in the format they choose.
Contact information needs to be displayed clearly and offer a variety of media of contact. You need to offer phone, skype, email, social media and anything else that you can think of. It’s equally important to display your business address in most cases. Make sure there is a realistic timeframe given on your site as to when the customer will hear back from you. Have phones diverted to mobiles if you are on the move? If there is an online contact form on your site, give a clear impression of when a customer may expect to hear back from you.
You will lose business if customers have the impression that their business is not important enough for them to return a phone call. They will assume that this is your attitude in business as well and this does nothing to build the impression of a trustworthy brand.
5. Regularly update your website
Keeping your website regularly updated is vital. A staid, old-fashioned site gives the impression of a staid, old-fashioned online brand.
You need to keep the site full of new information. If your industry has big stories in the news, you can add links or reviews of these stories on a blog. If you have introduced a new product, add it to the site as soon as possible.
Keep an eye on the styling of your website. Create an online brand that is modern, sleek and has the same feeling as your business. Make sure there is no out of date information and remove anything that is no longer relevant.
If a customer can see that you have not updated the site for a while, it does not create a dynamic impression. Creating a trustworthy brand involves making the customer feel that you care about their business, so you will care about them.
6. Stay active on social media platforms
Social media is a massive marketing tool in today’s business world. Get active on as many platforms as you can. Make sure these are regularly updated as well as your site. It will help your online branding if a customer feels you are a presence on social media. Many people use social media many times a day, and you need to fit into the way your customer thinks and works.
If you are in a business that targets 18-30 year-olds for example, you may get most of your business as a result of being seen on Facebook or Twitter. Do not dismiss social media as an add-on, make it a focal point for building your online brand.
7. Show reviews and encourage your customers to post reviews
Make sure you show your customers what you have done and that you have satisfied customers. However, it’s easy for people to assume the reviews might be fake. It’s advisable you offer a way for your customers to submit their feedback/testimony about their experience with your product or service. This reassures your prospects about the authenticity of the reviews and testimonials submitted on your website. Posting real reviews, with names and locations, pictures constitutes to an effective trust element.
Let them read case studies of work in your industry or work you have done and encourage them to give feedback. Make them feel their views are important to the business.
8. Put your audience in the center of the stories you tell
Customers want to feel important. They want to feel that you really care about them and their job as individuals. You need to remember that the customer is at the heart of your business. No customer, no business, no revenue.
In summary, there are simple yet effective ways of establishing a trustworthy online brand. Follow these suggestions, take your focus off the product and how wonderful it is, and on your customer and how important they are to you. That is the essence of creating a trustworthy online brand.
You may also find this article useful “7 killer tips for your startup brand”.