Building customer trust is something that is often overlooked by ecommerce business owners. Online shoppers are asked to provide a lot of personal information – where they live, phone number, birthdate, email address, not to mention their credit card information.
But what do they know about you? Our parents all told us not to talk to strangers. That cautious instinct is one of many examples of buyer baggage that pervades customer interactions. It can tank a lot of potential sales.
That’s why it’s important to show customers that you are trustworthy, and there are some easy ways to start building customer trust. Implement the following strategies to start building customer trust and even the most hesitant online shoppers will feel more secure buying from your site.
Make Customer Service Accessible
The customer service that you provide is what defines your business. It’s your first line of defense as well as your brand ambassador. To create a trustworthy reputation, your standards of service must be high. Always return emails promptly, provide a phone number for customer inquiries, and take a customer-centered position on resolving issues.
Keep Your Website Professional
You probably wouldn’t choose to do business in a store that wasn’t clean, organized, and professional looking. Neither will online shoppers. Make sure that your website looks clean, professional, loads quickly, and is easy to navigate. Fully develop your contact page with physical addresses and active phone numbers. That will let your customers know that you are a “real” business.
Transparency is key to building trust. You are asking your customers for a lot of personal information. Letting them know why you need it and how it will be used will help put them at ease. Add an FAQ page to your store to give concerned customers a place to be reassured about your policies and practices.
Communicate Your Policies
Making sure that your policies are front and center is another way to increase trust. While you don’t have to overdo it, placing every policy on every page, be sure that where you do place them is prominent and they won’t be missed. When writing your policies, avoid jargon or legalese that’d confuse customers. You can’t trust what you don’t understand.
Show Some Personality
Customers want to do business with a person not a company. When you interact with them, be human. Communicate with them online the same way that you would in person. You can also personalize your website through the content you post. A great “About Us” page that shares your story is an easy way to do that.
Provide Social Proof
It’s been proven that customers pay attention to ratings, reviews, and comments from other customers. Include those types of feedback on your website and your social media pages. Don’t be afraid to ask for it, and always thank customers for their comments.
Show Your Failures
It might be tempting to delete any negative feedback from your website and social media, but you should consider fighting that temptation. Negative reviews or comments provide you an excellent opportunity to make things right for a customer – publicly. When other people see that you are quick in providing an explanation or resolution to customer concerns, you build trust with them.
Never Over Promise
While you probably would love to be able to accommodate every customer request, be sure that you can do what you say you will. If you promise to do something and then can’t, you will have disappointed customers. Customers who have been let down are far more likely to share their negative experiences online than those who satisfied. Being honest about what you can achieve is the best path to take and you’ll gain your customers trust along the way.
Choose Your Partners Wisely
Running an ecommerce business requires that you work with other companies regularly. Marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, third-party fulfillment services like Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), shipping carriers, manufacturers and suppliers, or even multiple warehouses. The partners and tools you use are a reflection of your brand. If they fail, you’ll end up taking the blame and paying the price.
Make Your Customers Feel Secure
Customers want to know that the information they provide you is secure. In order to gain customer trust, use reputable and safe payment providers and prominently convey your privacy policies. Additionally, customers want their transactions to be risk-free, so be sure to also convey your return policy.
The Bottom Line on Customer Trust
Creating trust with customers is crucial. When they visit your online store for the first time, they do the same thing they would if they walked into a brick-and-mortar business. They look around, size up their surroundings, and decide on whether it seems trustworthy enough to do business there. If you want your business to pass that test, you must do everything you can to make you and your business worthy of your customers’ trust.
These tips are a great place to start. Trust us on this one.