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At the core of every transaction is a customer’s ability to trust you. Trust is an individual’s ability to believe in the integrity and validity of what you have to offer. Building up customer trust does not happen overnight; it takes time, effort, and resources.
When customers trust you, they are more likely to purchase from you. When you earn their trust, you gain the opportunity to increase price and boost customer lifetime value (CLTV). As a result, you build relationships and save money.
Increasing customer retention by just 5 percent boosts profits 25 to 95 percent. (Bain & Co)
Building trust with customers takes time and effort. But the result? Invaluable.
6 ways to start building trust with customers
1 | Have a reliable product
The first step to building trust with your customers is to build a reliable product: one you believe in, yourself.
Get to know your target audience. Find out more about their needs, and refine your solution to their challenges. Unfortunately, too many products are created in a vacuum without the end user in mind.
Once you’ve developed a product you believe in, put it to the test—both through a QA stage, and in the hands of your target consumers. At the end of the day, they are the ones who will be using, and hopefully recommending, what you’ve made.
- Invite outside eyes. Hold a focus group to mine valuable insight that’ll help refine your offering.
- Add customer reviews to product pages. If you believe in your product and your customers do, too, displaying these reviews will convince others of your reliability.
Helpful Resource: Check out Shopper Approved, a rating and review software, to help you increase customer trust through reviews onsite.
2 | Display SSL/Trustwave/Trust badges onsite
Before online transactions, merchants could count on face-to-face interaction to build rapport. Today, shoppers are being asked to upload their personal information—to a screen.
Across all regions, the number one fraud concern is theft by computer hacking. (Ipsos)
Instill confidence with an SSL certificate on your site: a digital certificate used to encrypt sensitive data and secure both credit card transactions and data transfers. Plus, it’s consistent across all certified sites—an instantly recognizable stamp to satisfy concerned shoppers.
- Before you launch a new website, purchase and install an SSL certificate. There are three different types of SSL certificates available to merchants.
- Visit our Products page to help determine which certificate is best for your business. Got questions? Our Technical Assistance Center is happy to help.
3 | Offer a familiar checkout
With $4 trillion lost to abandoned carts each year, you don’t need unnecessary friction preventing you from a sale.
Just like an SSL certificate serves as a badge of trust across certified sites, a familiar way to pay acts as a gateway, ushering customers to that final “purchase” button.
- Give customers their choice of payment options, so they’re not jumping through hoops just to purchase from you.
- Integrate with a well-known mobile payment and digital wallet service such as Apple Pay or PayPal.
4 | Be transparent about your policies and features
Do you find it difficult to say “no” to customers, or admit a less-than-desirable truth?
Perhaps your shipping or return policies lack the freedom your customers crave. Or your product isn’t up to par in some way: a truth you’re uncomfortable sharing.
Even if transparency means acknowledging an issue and showing that you’re working to make it right, honesty is always preferred. The truth may sound ugly, but it’s always more attractive than a lie.
Customers identified authenticity as one of the top qualities that would attract them to a brand. (Economist)
- Be upfront with information. If you have an uncommon policy, share it as soon as possible—like on the product or basket pages. That way, users aren’t shocked and/or motivated to cart abandonment during checkout.
- Enable customer photos on social media and product pages. Not only does this show you’re proud of your product; it also boosts the trustworthiness of your brand.
- Share your shipping and return policy onsite. If there’s anything more frustrating than an undesirable truth, it’s having to search for it.
5 | Fix problems that arise
Problems with your products—they’re bound to happen. After all, no company is flaw-proof. But the mark of a trustworthy company is not just in how error-free they can be. It’s in how they handle situations that do arise.
Just 36 percent of shoppers say they trust large companies to do what’s right. (Economist)
Take the road less traveled. Fix issues as they arise, and you’ll stand out to customers conditioned to distrust.
- Provide quick service. Even if the solution will take time, a response of acknowledgement shows your customers you’re listening.
- Meet your customers where they are. Do they prefer to contact you by phone or via Live Chat online? Find out where your volume’s going, and open up the hotline to your customer service line in those areas.
6 | Be consistent in your branding
If people have personalities, companies have brands. Just like acquaintances become friends through familiarity, your brand identity helps consumers get to know your company.
Standing by your company brand will personalize who you are, what you do, and most importantly, why you do it. When people recognize these intangible qualities in a company, they are more likely to buy into that brand and invite friends to do the same.
“Don’t forget why users are choosing your brand. That’s your story: what you represent, and the experience you’re providing.” -Danial Dashtizad, Creative Director, Miva
- Be consistent in your branding: your message, design, and delivery. Soon enough, your customers will grow comfortable, even loyal.
- Struggling to define your brand? Take a look at these insights which guide our Professional Services team to clarify our clients’ individual brands.
Building trust with your customers is no easy task. But in a fast-moving market, taking the time to earn their trust will set you apart—and increase business long-term.
About The Author
Cheryl Elizaga is a Brand Strategist and Copywriter with nearly a decade of experience catalyzing meaningful, measurable action for Fortune 100 companies and industry pioneers alike. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Cheryl helps ecommerce companies own their brand and harness the tools and technology of the leading Miva platform to drive growth.