Whether you are a brand new business or one that has been around for some time, constantly increasing the trust customers have in your business is going to result in a lot of positives for you, no more so than added sales and profit.
No matter the size of the business, there are a number of things you should be doing on a regular basis to constantly maintain and improve the overall trust levels customers have in you.
Streamline The Purchasing Process
For any business, the best way to build up trust in customers is going to be by providing them with the best customer service possible. If a customer can buy a product for you and have no problems whatsoever from the moment they placed the order, until the goods are delivered to their home, they are going to be very happy with the overall experience and will trust you to handle any future orders they may have.
Improving the whole process comes down to getting a system in place that doesn’t have any breakdowns between the different stages. What I mean by this is that as soon as they make a purchase online or in person, the production staff should be made aware of the order straightaway so that it can be packaged and then sent out for delivery. The last thing you want is a breakdown in the chain, meaning that someone’s order is left sitting there. All this is going to do is reduce the chance of them making a purchase from you in future.
Engage With Your Customers
Whether it’s via emails sent out through the different stages of the order process or on your various social media platforms, it is important to constantly engage with your customers on all manner of subjects. If someone leaves a post on your social media page either making an enquiry, asking about an order or leaving feedback on how they found the overall experience of purchasing from you, you should reply to all posts in a timely fashion, maintaining a professional tone and welcoming manner.
You need to remember that when you respond to these posts, you are not only responding directly to the person themselves, you are placing content there for everyone to see. If potential customers visit your page and can see you have responded in a polite and helpful manner, it is going to make them feel instantly more trusting towards you, greatly increasing the chance of them purchase from you in the future.
Alternatively, if you don’t respond to any comments or respond in a negative manner, it is going to considerably damage your brand image, making it seem like you don’t really care what your customers have to say. This is going to harm the trust customers have in you, not only reducing the number of new customers you generate, but also making it unlikely that past customers will turn into repeat buyers.
Get Business & Product Reviews
Reviews on your business as a whole and specific products can have a considerable effect on your overall sales.
In terms of getting feedback for your business as a whole, there are a number of different routes you can take. You could have a testimonial page for people to leave feedback on. This is generally the most popular way of doing it because it is something which perspective customers can see when they visit your website.
Alternatively, you can use a third party review site such as TrustPilot that customers will go on to leave feedback. The site then ranks you based on your average feedback rating compared to other businesses that are within a similar sector. The better rating and the higher up the rankings you go, the more likely a customer will be to visit your website.
While, all businesses want the highest possible rating, it’s important not to doctor or alter your feedback. What I mean by this is that you may want your testimonial or review pages to have only positive feedback, meaning that you remove or hide any negative feedback. Although it makes your business look great, it’s also unrealistic. If a customer visits your page and can see nothing but 5 star reviews, they are going to know that you have removed the negative posts as no business in the world has 100% of customers who are over the moon with the service. Rather than building up trust in the eyes of your customers, it will have the opposite effect than what you intended.
Product reviews will help a customer decide which product they want to buy. If they like a product but then see that it has a very low rating from past customers, it will most likely put them off from purchasing it. However, if you have products that have a very strong rating, they will most likely become some of your best sellers.
Whenever a customer purchases from your store, you should actively encourage them to leave feedback on the products they have purchased and on your business as a whole. The best way to do this would be to send out emails to the customers a few days after the order has been dispatched, giving the order plenty of time to first reach the customer.
Strong Customer Service
While you need a strong production process, you also need to keep the customer up to date with how their order is progressing and make them feel valued. When a customer gets in touch, you need to be welcoming and helpful, making the customer feel like their order is your absolute priority. Once they then place the order, you need to keep in touch with them to keep them up to speed with how their order is progressing. Generally this is done through automated emails but if you are a small business with only a handful of clients, you may want to do this over the phone for a more personal touch.
As soon as a customer lands on your website, within the first few seconds they decide whether they like the site and want to progress further. If your website is of a poor standard and doesn’t look professional, it is going to make you seem untrustworthy in their eyes, most likely leaving your site to go elsewhere.
Whether you are small business or one that has been established for a number of years, you should have a website that is of the best quality that you can possibly afford, meaning that when a potential customer lands on your page, they are instantly impressed with how professional and clean your website looks.
With many websites costing thousands of pounds to create, that high-end website may be out of reach for your business at the moment until you grow a little more. However, when I say professional website, I don’t just mean having an expensive as possible website, it could be a cheaper website but one that looks good, is clearly laid out and makes it easy for customers to navigate around the pages in order to find what they are looking for.
This article was written by John Johnston. John is part of the marketing team for Workwear Express, the UK’s leading workwear and printed t-shirt supplier.