A website makes an immediate and lasting impression on customers as to a business’ overall mission, personality and trustworthiness. A website that makes customers feel safe and welcome is a champion for a business’ reputation. Does your business website foster a sense of trust in your customers?
Whether your business is represented by your website or is an ecommerce venture conducted directly on it, there’s a lot you can do to make it a trusted destination for your customers. Nurture trust by providing an atmosphere that demonstrates respect and consideration for your customers. Like being a good resident of any community, the more approachable you are, the more neighbors are likely to drop by for a visit.
Here are four ways in particular to help your customers trust your website:
- Be a friendly neighbor. Rock your About Page by clearly explaining what you do, where you do it, why you do it and for whom. Being forthcoming with information will let your visitors will know right away if this is where they want to be, if they want to learn more and if they want to do business with you. Respect their valuable time by using straightforward language rather than technical jargon or vague generalities. Show customers there are actual people running and working in your business by including biographies and photos. It’s much easier to trust people than an anonymous entity. Express your interest in engaging with your visitors by including contact information.
- Participate in a neighborhood watch. Help your visitors feel safe when their confidential information is transmitted to and from your site by providing an SSL Certificate which indicates that the process is secure. This measure provides the assurance to your customers that you take the secure transfer of their data seriously.
- Show that someone’s home. When there’s no sign of activity on your website, readers will get the impression that they’re visiting an abandoned property rather than a legitimate, thriving business. Post relevant and helpful content frequently so your customers will see that your business is alive and well and actively committed to serving them. Create forums or a blog where you can directly and immediately communicate with your customers via your website.
- Remodel / update / repair as necessary. An outdated website is as undesirable as an abandoned one. Run the newest version, install current technology, keep it fresh, attractive and operating flawlessly. It’s difficult to trust a poorly maintained website (and the business it represents) so make every effort to keep your site looking sharp and working well.
Is there any more important element than trust in your relationship with customers? Because your website represents your degree of commitment to your business, maintaining a site your customers trust is critical to your success and growth. Your website can be your biggest asset to demonstrating trust — or the biggest detractor from it. Incorporating these simple elements into your website will go a long way toward fostering customers’ trust in it — and ultimately in your business itself.
Image by Flickr user Kreg Steppe