More and more shopping is being done online now, which means customer trust is a commodity that’s constantly growing in value. Establishing customer trust through good service is easy – you simply ensure the customer has an excellent buying experience. But how do you encourage them to make that first purchase? Inspiring customer trust from the moment they first visit your website is essential to making the most of your conversions.

Let’s explore some of them in more detail, and discuss why they’re so effective.

1. Personalisation

Online shopping has transformed the ease and the convenience with which customers can shop, but it has also taken the personal element out of the experience. Now customers don’t see a friendly smile, they just see the products and the checkout and it’s done.

This is where you can follow the example of Helloprint by inviting customers to get to know your brand and the people behind it. It’s always a wise idea to use personable, open, and friendly language in all your website text.

Take a moment to explain who you are as a business, what encouraged you to get started, and what you want to achieve. The better your customers know you, the more comfortable they’re going to feel buying from you.

2. Meet the Team

This follows on from the last point – make an effort to introduce the important members of your business through the website. Give customers the opportunity to get to know the owner, the managers, and those who satisfy the orders that they’re going to be making. Humans are social animals, and we like to think we’re buying off other human beings rather than just an empty corporate husk.

Introduce the help desk. Use actual photographs of the team if you can, rather than generic file images, as this will further boost customer trust. It’ll help remind customers that if there’s an issue, they’ll be able to speak to an actual human being, rather than just shuffled from answer machine to answer machine.

3. Show your Reviews

Product reviews

Another key element in building trust is to have reviews visible. If you can, try and integrate a review feature that shows reviews from verified buyers – a star rating, headline, and few choice words can make all the difference. This builds trust because it shows customers the experience that other customers have had purchasing from you. No matter how friendly your language, you’re still going to try and sell – other customers will just speak plainly.

Always remember that it’s impossible to please everyone. If you have five hundred reviews and every single one of them is five stars, it’s going to look suspicious. Have a reply feature so you can respond to negative feedback and highlight what you’ve done to rectify the issue. But make sure you encourage raw honesty in your reviews.

4. Integrate Online Chat

One of the benefits of buying online is that you can have instant online chat features on websites, which further encourages trust – especially on the first visit. It tells customers that if they have any issues, they’ll be able to speak to a member of the team who will be able to help them with their problem. This can be anything from how to cancel an order through to help with changing their account password.

You don’t have to manage the online chat system yourself – there are many companies who offer dedicated online chat services. An operator will take the details and forward any queries to you, or field them on your behalf. This allows even smaller businesses to make the most of the benefits online chat features bring.

5. Clear Contact Information

Making yourself as easy to contact as possible is a strong way to encourage customer trust as it shows you’re interested more in a positive customer experience than simply selling your stock. You should have a phone number, email address, and a postal address at least – all of which are highly visible from any page a new website visitor happens to land on. This means that if there are any issues, they know how to get in touch.

The more effort that you make to ensure you’re easy to contact, the more legitimacy you afford your business presentation. It helps encourage customers that you’re a legitimate business, and that if they want to do some research on you they’ll be able to find your location and your information. Transparency is essential.

6. Social Media Integration

Another way to build trust is to integrate your social media profiles into your website – an Instagram or Twitter feed can help keep customers up to date with what you’re doing at any given moment. Seeing posts from the same day will help give your business a vibrant, busy, and active image – don’t integrate if you only post something once every six weeks. Social media helps to portray your business’ personality.

It also can help encourage customers to see how you deal with disputes. Many take to social media to vent their frustrations or to try and contact companies when there’s an issue. It’s your chance to show how calmly, professionally, and efficiently you’re able to deal with a customer when they’re not satisfied or something has gone wrong.

7. Offer Robust Returns

A robust returns policy is essential, not only as legal requirement in the UK but as further encouragement for customers to trust you. Businesses often think it means they’ll lose money, but actually the benefits they get from the improved image far outweigh the cost of a few returned items. It shows that you not only stand by the quality of the products you’re selling but that you’re conscientious about customer experience.

These are just some of the ways your business can inspire customer trust from the very first visit to your website. It’s an important consideration, as remember even the most loyal customer was once a first-time buyer.

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