Trust is an integral part of making sales. In an online world where scams and shady practices are still rampant, users have learned to be extra vigilant about who they choose to buy from and engage with.
As a result, brands that want to grow their online presence and build lasting relationships with customers must figure out how they can become more transparent, trustworthy, and secure.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to improve the perception of your brand online and give your audience peace of mind when buying from you. And while it does take time and effort to build a trustworthy brand, the outcome of those efforts is the ability to separate your brand from the competition and attract more customers in the process.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few strategies you should be using in 2021 and beyond.
Focus on Customer Service
Customer service is at the very heart of building a trust-based relationship with your audience. Your ability to quickly and effectively respond to questions or problems will determine whether people trust you and how good your reputation is as an online seller.
Today, it’s no longer enough to have a contact form and a phone number on your website, as buyers expect to be able to reach you through any channel they might be interacting with your brand. That means having a support rep monitor your social media messages, implementing live chat functionality on your site, and even using chatbots for when no one is available to take the message in person.
At the same time, you should use customer experience management software to collect and analyze customer feedback, learning about the most common issues, and working to correct them as soon as possible.
Companies make the mistake of assuming what the customers want, but sometimes the most glaring issues are those that are hard to notice unless you see things from the perspective of the customer. Collecting feedback can be a goldmine for insights about how your company operates and what you could do better.
Be Present on Social Media
There probably isn’t an audience that doesn’t hang out on one of the social media platforms. And that means that no matter what your business might be selling, you can probably take advantage of social media platforms to interact with your customers and create sales opportunities.
For instance, if you can steadily grow the number of Instagram followers, you can then use that following to showcase your products, run promotions, or even share success stories from your customers that build trust and get people to trust you.
And as you build a bigger presence on social media, that in itself can serve as social proof that your brand is legitimate, especially if you also have a lively community that engages with your posts and instills confidence in your brand through interactions.
You can also use social media to highlight your unique brand image and allow your audience to get to know the people behind the company. You could do videos from your offices, have team members talk about products, or even create in-depth reviews that help prospective customers decide which products are best suited for their needs.
In addition, coming up with gamification strategies on social media can effectively engage your audience, increase participation, and drive user interaction. You can create challenges, contests, or interactive experiences that users can participate in. For example, you can design quizzes, photo caption contests, scavenger hunts, or user polls to encourage user involvement and interaction.
Social media can also be a powerful way to engage with your customers, address their concerns, and build strong relationships. Regularly monitor your social media channels for customer inquiries, mentions, or direct messages. Also, utilize social media management tools or set up notifications to stay informed.
Respond to customer inquiries and feedback promptly. Speedy responses demonstrate your commitment to customer service and show that you value your customers’ time. If you don’t have an immediate solution, acknowledge the inquiry and let the customer know you’re looking into it.
Showcase Success Stories
When prospective customers are considering whether to buy from you, the biggest concern is often whether they can trust your brand. Most customers will be hesitant about believing the company’s claims, especially if they can’t be backed up by more unbiased sources.
And that’s why it’s crucial to use social proof as much as possible throughout all of the channels that you promote your business. Whether it’s genuine customer reviews on product pages, a separate reviews page on your website, or even positive customer experiences showcased on social media, it’s crucial to have a diverse strategy when it comes to showing your customers they can trust you and that others are happy to work with you.
Another viable way you can exhibit the effectiveness of your offerings is through remote video testimonials. These can provide an authentic representation of your customers’ experiences. Seeing and hearing satisfied customers directly through videos adds credibility and trustworthiness to their testimonials. It allows potential customers to connect with real people having the same struggles as them. As a result, they’ll be encouraged to try and see how your products or services can address their own problems.
But to showcase your customer experiences, you must have a process for getting them to share how they liked working with your brand and the products they bought from you. And you can’t expect people to just send you their reviews (not to mention video testimonials) without being asked.
Therefore, you should develop a process for reaching out to new buyers and asking them to share their experiences. You could even offer a small incentive, such as a discount on the next purchase if they would be willing to record a short message or write a review sharing their thoughts.
Over time, you will build a collection of testimonials that can be mixed and matched to almost any situation, providing you with numerous opportunities to overcome objections and reassure your customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Getting your customers to trust you can be a tough challenge, especially when starting out. But if you focus on being transparent and build social proof elements on multiple levels, you can overcome any doubts and concerns and drive sales in the process.
Whether it’s having a strong social media presence, providing top-notch customer service, or even collecting as many reviews as possible, the important thing is to treat your online reputation as one of your biggest assets that you cannot compromise under any circumstances.