In a fast-paced world of computers, the Internet, and digital commerce, starting a business is easy. Just launch your passionate idea with your Smartphone. It’s that simple. However, building that business into a success is anything but easy. The online world is overcrowded, the Internet user has a low attention span, and with growing numbers of hackers and fraudsters, user trust is more difficult to build than catching a fish in the ocean with your bare hands.
So you ask yourself: How do I build trust? How do I convince a loyal visitor to try my service? How do I convince a cold prospect to click to order my product?
Here are three tips to guide you on your entrepreneur journey:
1. Sell a life-changing product
Convincing a customer to trust your brand is far from easy. Before you get a visitor interested in landing on your e-commerce site, clicking on your product page, pulling out his credit card, and visiting again to do the same, you need to build a memorable, life-changing product.
In the highly, overpopulated World Wide Web—where almost everyone sells products these days—people are more careful than ever. It is no surprise that, according to a survey by Bright Local, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews even before visiting a brand’s storefront. You need to put your all into it when building your products for your respected customers.
In other words, sell products so valuable that they have the positive effect of changing your customers’ lives for the better. Once a buyer has tasted what you offer and felt content, they’ll entrust you with their money again, urge others to do the same and become life-long, loyal customers.
“Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh
To achieve all of that, you need to build a great reputation. Here’s how:
2. Keep your word
Most digital startup founders will position themselves online to promote their brand to millions of prospects, clients, and customers. The sad news is, once they began to expand their customer base, everything changes. The customers might receive products that are completely different from what they were promised in the marketing stage or the business owner promises a money-back guarantee but fails to honor that promise when a customer asks for it.
Nothing shatters a company’s reputation more than false promises. False promises make customers angry, damage a company’s credibility and makes the entrepreneur look unreliable. It’s like a man who lies to his lady. Nothing peeves a woman more than having a man who constantly lies to her face. Even if the relationship continues, there’s a great probability that it will crash in the long run, because the man’s credibility is at stake.
Like a relationship, only one thing can save a digital business when its credibility is at stake. The CEO must work hard to protect his company’s image. Allow me to explain…
3. Protect your image
The major difference between a brick-and-mortar venture and an online business is that your product represents your brand in the brick-and-mortar business, whereas you’re the brand in the online business. As an online entrepreneur, you must understand that your personality, background, and professionalism are going to play vital roles in your business dealings with your clients.
Your customers have to know you and like you before they will entrust you with their money. If your image is shattered by negative PR, terrible stories, or bad reviews, then you’re doomed. That’s why you need to protect your reputation with all of your strength and might. But, you might ask. “How exactly do I do that?” Try the following:
- Release magical products – As always, your starting point is your product. If you want to shield your reputation in the online world, then release only magical products. In other words, sell super valuable, durable products to your customers. You don’t want to be known as a brand that sells fake products to its customers.
- Keep inventing – The digital world is moving fast, your customers are always longing for more and better options, and the competition in the online world is fierce. If you don’t build newer, better products with relevant features for your target market, they’ll dump you and buy from your competitor.
- Offer excellent customer experience – When a prospect lands on your website, for example, wow them with your simple, easy-to-navigate site structure. When delivering an order to your customer, be prompt, keep it simple, and make it look good. When replying to an angry client, listen attentively to their queries and compensate them with something that will make them feel special.
In short, offer an excellent customer experience, because, according to new data from Moz you risk losing 22 percent of your business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of their search results.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
The bottom line, to build trust, you have to offer your customers valuable products, you have to keep your promises, and you have to be exceptional to uphold your image, honor your dignity, and reveal your credibility. Only then will your customers like you, trust you, and keep ordering from your online storefront.
How do you build trust with your family, friends and customers? What do you do daily in order for them to know you care? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com