Trust is hard to build and easy to lose. A single violation of trust can destroy years of slowly accumulated credibility. It’s this accumulation of trust and respect that will increase conversion with recurring customers, and new customers by referral. Lately, we are hearing more stories about losing brand credibility, such as with Target’s compromised payment consumer information, which resulted in net income falling to 46% from the year before, and sales down by 5.3%. Or during the 2013 holidays where Amazon could not deliver orders timely, as promised. It’s very difficult to recover from such disasters and would require some lengthy posts to even start to discuss how to recover. To help you now, I would like to provide simple ways for you to increase trust in your customers when first discovering your website.
#1 Reduce Page Load Time
While this could seem unrelated to trust, a slower load time on a website is usually linked with older, less trust-worthy sites. Not only will this help reduce bounce rates, a faster website will give your customer the idea that your company is a well-oiled ship, sort-of-speak.
#2 Who What When Where and Why
Introducing customers to your brand and how it aligns with the products they are searching for will definitely increase trust. Many companies fall short in at least one of these W’s. Immediately after the page starts to load, your customer should see and understand all five W’s in this order, quickly. Worst case scenario, even if their product search doesn’t align with your company, they will still have a positive outlook of your brand they might share to others.
- Who are you? Is your logo clearly displayed? Do you have an address, phone number, and company information listed? Do you have a personality?
- What are you? Is it obvious you’re an eCommerce shop? Do you have your succinct, mission statement, or value proposition, listed somewhere above the fold? What do you sell? What else do you do?
- When is the customer interacting with you? Are you relevant?
- Where are you located and is this important? Where is the customer landing on your site? Where do you ship?
- Why are you important to the customer? Why are you selling to them? Why do they need you? If the first four align, this should be the closer that aligns to their needs.
#3 Fair Pricing
When cost is important to your customer (actually, everyone), you owe it to them to be fair with pricing throughout your website. Pictures of your product should be of high quality to justify price and show value. If you explain pricing, don’t use defensive language. If costs are high in any particular area, explain why. If prices seem too low on products, explain how the bargain is made in your competitive pricing. Turn negatives to unique selling positives, for example: shipping may be high on the crystal dishes you sell, but that’s because you use the best packaging that guarantees your product won’t break during shipment and can be used for an easy return process, as well.
#4 Polite, Helpful Error Messages
Errors happen for many reasons, either because of a freak server issue or the customer reached a page that no longer exists. No matter the cause, the customer ought to be given an explanation of what just happened and what you can do to help them get to where they wanted to go. Use language as if you were guiding the customer in person, say sorry and assume fault, and offer links or instructions on what to do next. Be helpful – if they received zero results on a search, offer more than just “no results”, apologize but offer alternative products. Sometimes using pages with errors can be a great way to cross-sell, and your customer will be thankful for the suggestions.