Note: This is a guest post by Heather Redding. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
Whether you’ve got a traditional brick-and-mortar business where you sell products to local customers, a virtual brand shipping items around the world, or a service-based organization, trust will always be essential.
You need your audience, both current and future, to trust in your enterprise, and believe that you can deliver on your promises. This means that all companies need to figure out how they can increase credibility online and offline.
Credibility is a lot like respect in the fact that you can’t just launch an expensive marketing campaign and expect the public perception of you to change.
You need to earn the trust of your audience, which means dedicating time to laying the foundations for growth and proving that you deserve a positive reputation.
If you’re ready to discover the positive impact that credibility and trust can have on your business, the following four steps will get you moving in the right direction.
1. Improve Your Communication Skills
Businesses have a wide selection of ways to communicate with their customers in the current marketplace. You can post blogs on your website and share snippets on Twitter.
Communication is often at the heart of establishing credibility for any company. It’s the only way that you can convince your customers to see you as you want to be seen.
Think about how you harness your voice in the online and offline world.
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- Do you have a great and friendly tone that makes your clients feel more comfortable reaching out to you?
- Are you communicating with your customers on the platforms that they already know and love, or are you waiting for them to track you down instead?
Even your email marketing campaigns will make a difference in how your audience perceives you. For instance, do you give every subscriber a chance to identify what topics they’re most interested in and how often they want to hear from you when they sign up.
2. Refine Your Image
There’s more to most companies than meets the eye. However, many consumers will still judge your business by its visual appearance.
Before they have a chance to get to know you and your products, customers will decide whether your company is likely to be trustworthy and reputable by looking at things like your logos, your marketing content, and even your website design.
Let’s consider your website, for instance. A website is the core of your digital presence and the main place that people will come to learn about you. If you don’t have a well-designed website, then your clients will assume that you’re not willing to invest in your business.
On the other hand, if you have a professional and well-managed website, then this instantly puts your customer’s mind at ease.
Think about asking a professional to design your website for you, rather than just creating something simple to cut costs.
Remember to invest in things that will improve the performance of your site, too, like SEO, security, and page speed.
3. Highlight Social Proof
When you’re working on improving your image online, one of the best things that you can do is leverage the feedback of customers and clients that have already used your business.
Today’s customers are more interested than ever in reviews and testimonials to help them make buying decisions. 73% of customers say that they trust a business more when it has positive reviews.
If you’re still a relatively new business, then you can encourage feedback by giving customers free trials and demonstrations to test out.
Alternatively, you could replace the reviews and testimonials on your website with certified trust seals, like SSL certificates, to help put your customer’s minds at ease until you get the feedback that people are looking for online.
4. Protect Your Customers
Speaking of SSL certificates, businesses that want to show their credibility also need to make sure that their customers feel comfortable using their websites at all times.
This means making sure that your website is protected. Think about including a disclaimer on your website that showcases how you backup your website data, and keep information safe.
In a time when customers are quickly losing trust in companies, it makes sense to show your audience that you have their best interests in mind.
A data backup protection plan and disaster recovery strategy will convince your customers that you know what you’re doing.
You can also highlight any forms of encryption and protection that your website has too, particularly when it comes to managing customer transactions. Make sure that your customers feel secure during every interaction.
Make the Most of Credibility
Even the best marketing strategy and the most exciting products in the world won’t make your company successful unless your clients can trust you.
Building credibility with the four steps above will help you gain the trust and respect of your target audience, so you can increase your chances of not just conversions, but also dedicated long-term customers.
Take a look at your website or business image and ask yourself whether you would trust your company if you never encountered it before. If the answer is “no,” then it’s time to get to work on boosting your credibility.
Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.