Businesses rely heavily on trust, regardless of your industry or the size of your enterprise. With many business transactions taking place in the online realm, trust is more important than ever. If a customer can’t see you, how do they know their order or business is in safe hands?
This can be tricky for small companies and solopreneurs. However, there are several simple steps you can take to build trust and grow your business.
- A Professional Online Presence
When a client or customer is searching for your products or services, it is likely they will look online. Even if customers find you via a referral or through an advert, they are likely to search for your website to learn more about you. Therefore, a professional online presence is vital.
Your website acts as a hub. It points to the various channels where you exist online, such as in directories, forums, social media sites, etc. Enlisting the services of a professional web company is important. It’s not just about creating an attractive layout. An expert will advise on all aspects of your site including design, user journey, increasing conversions, and technical issues. Don’t be tempted to cut costs and allow your cousin to do this for you. This is not an area to skimp on.
If you’re selling online, ensure you display trust icons to demonstrate the safety of your ecommerce system and affiliation with reputable payment providers.
Ensure that all of your online channels are professional and project a consistent message. When searching for your company many people may notice your Google My Business page which appears in the search engine results. Ensure you claim your page, complete the details in full and add images, etc.
- Printed Materials
Research suggests that providing printed materials builds trust. Marketing literature such as business cards, brochures, flyers, postcards, etc. are tangible items and more permanent than online content which can be edited and changed. Find a reputable company that provides a range of professional printing services to create a physical brand presence for your business.
- Professional Memberships
Trade bodies and professional organizations are trusted and respected. Therefore, it follows that if you are a member, that trust will extend to you. There are several reasons for this. The first is that the organizations tend to be well-known and therefore potential customers will recognize them. The majority of these organizations outline a strict code of conduct for members. Therefore, customers will know that you adhere to this and should you break these rules, there will be ramifications.
In an online world, being visible as a human being is important. Too many websites and social media sites give the impression that you’re communicating with an organization and not a person. Or worse, they feel as though their transactions are all one way. There are several ways you can provide a human presence to your company.
- Add a team page to your website and include named contacts
- Use named contacts for all your correspondence
- Identify who is manning your Twitter or Facebook page at given times
- Write regular blog posts and keep people up-to-date with company news
- Don’t talk business all the time, include some human communications such as team events, etc.
Trust is important. Your business could be reputable and your services and practices exemplary. However, if you don’t build trust, you’re unlikely to be successful.