How to Build Trust Online – The Trust Relationship

build trust online

Internet users are exposed to thousands of online ads daily, but how can your businesses stand out from the rest?  Trust.

Cultivating business relationships requires that you build trust online. Someone must have confidence in you or your brand before handing over money to purchase a product or service, contacting you for more information or progressing your businesses relationship to the next level.  Consumers are already highly attuned to looking for markers of trust in the real world.  The restaurant parking lot is packed—the food must be good.  This store is well maintained and the restrooms are clean—management must care about the customer’s experience.  The clothes in this boutique feel well-made—these products are high-quality.  How can you translate this physical experience into a digital one?

Your online presence is more than just a website, Facebook page or Yelp reviews.  You don’t need to become caught in the false idea that you must be on every social platform, but must understand that a complete digital marketing strategy and web presence encompass multiple pieces.  These tips can help you evaluate your current web presence and digital marketing strategy or create a digital marketing strategy and develop an online presence if you are just getting started.

Truth

You can’t have trust without truth.  There is no way to manufacture trust or “fake it till you make it” when it comes to building online confidence in your brand.  Today’s consumers can easily tell the difference between the genuine and the phony.  No marketing team, agency or expert can help you build trust online and establish your online empire if you don’t already have a legitimate business.  Before embarking online, conduct an honest gut check of what you already have in place.

Out of Date or Up to Date?

Are tumbleweeds rolling through your social profiles that haven’t been updated since 2014?  Is your website over 5 years old or not optimized for mobile?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are out of date!  Why should it matter whether you are out of date or up to date?  If you are going to put the effort into doing something, why would you leave it half-done?  An up-to-date online presence demonstrates that you care.  I want to patronize a business that extends effort, is consistent and cares about all aspects (even the small details) because that means the business values me and will take care of me as a customer.  An updated website is like having a clean floor in your brick and mortar establishment.  Active social accounts are like having an employee greeting patrons as they walk in.

How Do I Contact You?

How easy is it for a potential customer to get in touch with you?  Online users shouldn’t have to search on your website to find a phone number or physical address (if your business has one).  Creating clear CTAs or Calls to Action helps guide your potential customer down an intentional path that you have created for them. The path or funnel makes it easy for them to understand your business, purchase a product or service or take the desired next step.  Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram also make it easy for customers to get in touch with you.  Do you have someone monitoring your social channels, ready to respond to mentions, tags or inquiries?  Building trust means that a customer doesn’t have to scour the web for an email address to complain if there is a problem or find out more before pressing “Add to Cart”. When you are accessible online, it is easier for your audience to ask questions, connect with you and do business with your brand.

Be Upfront

While you can’t manufacture trust, you can build faith in your business through transparency and value.  Blogs, social content and web pages that preemptively answer questions, give helpful tips or provide free, valuable content help forge relationships online.  People understand that you are trying to sell something, but you can make their life easier while also building brand affinity.  Educating your client, offering a solution and alleviating concerns all before a purchase is even made, demonstrates to your audience that you understand their point of view.  The more time a client spends on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase from you.  Display customer video testimonials on your website or encourage happy clients to leave a review after taking a Catch Engine survey.  What happens if your client is not satisfied with your product or service?  Do you have a guarantee or return policy?  If you do, make it easy for your client to know what will happen in a worse case scenario.  You can also follow up with clients who had a negative experience and stymy negative reviews with a Catch Engine survey. Transparency around your process and policies will empower customers to easily make a purchase decision, confident in the fact that they can trust your brand to make things right.  An active social presence where you respond to positive customer reviews, mishaps and shoutouts further expose your commitment to serving all customers.

You can’t fabricate integrity, but you can build trust online by implementing a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.  Let’s have a conversation about your online presence!