Now, I can hear some of you saying: “But I’m not a big firm with a well established and known brand, like Amazon.com or Microsoft or even BMW. So, how on earth can I build trust when I don’t have the financial resources and market recognition to achieve what these companies can?”
Understand this: Trust relies on a lot more than just big dollars to spend on a branding campaign and a huge multi-national firm behind it all.
Instead, it relies on answering the (often) unspoken fears of potential customers visiting your website.
So, here’s just a few simple ideas to get your creative juices flowing. There are lots more things that can be done, but these are the easier ones that anyone can implement:
1) Provide plenty of information on your website to show visitors that your company (and staff) are real. Make sure you have a Contact Us page with your full physical address (not just a Post Office box number), 1 or more phone numbers, and an email address (or form they can complete to send you a message) as a MINIMUM. Verifiable company address details are always helpful in building trust, because they allow a potential customer to research you in the Yellow or White Pages and so forth. (or on Google Maps)
2) If practical, I always recommend including photographs of your office building, both outside and inside shots, as these show the real business.
3) Have photographs and a brief bio of some of your key staff. If you’re a small business (say, less than 10 people), profile all of your staff with a current photo and Bio. If you’re too large for that, then profile your key management personal in the same way.
4) Any publically available legal items like an ABN, Tax Number or Company Registration number (and so forth) that can be independently verified should be listed on your site in plain view. Don’t make your site visitor dig down through 10 levels to find some obscure hidden page in your site with this information listed on it. Put it in the footer of every page, or prominently display it on your Contact Us or About Us page.
5) If your firm has any sort of Government and/or Industry accredited rating for something that you do, prominently display the appropriate logos on your website. As an example, one of our clients The Best of The Kimberley – www.kimberleytravel.com.au – is Accredited as an Australian Tourism business by the Australian Tourism Accreditation Board. This tells the visitor that their site has had to jump through certain hoops to achieve this rating, which says they are a professional operation.
6) Place a Contact Phone number at the top of all of your site’s pages – make it large and obvious, with text included that says something like: “Need Help? Call 1800-555-555″, or “Questions? Call us Toll Free on 1800-555-555″. If appropriate, also list your hours of operation next to the number so visitors know when they can call for help.
7) Add a Live Chat service to your site, with a prominently displayed logo inviting site visitors to click on the link for help. Companies such as LivePerson offer an excellent service that allows even the smallest of companies to provide Chat Support on their website/s. These sort of services have been proven to increase sales conversion on websites!
8) Guarantees, guarantees, guarantees! In short, what kind of guarantee do you offer prospective clients to build trust in you? If your product/s are very good quality or your service/s are liked and appreciated by current clients, then why not Guarantee a result for prospective new clients as a way to reassure them that you can and will fulfil on your promises to them.
A quick tip for this one: guarantee a specific result (and if appropriate) within a specific timeframe, rather than just a satisfaction guarantee. Of course, a satisfaction guarantee is going to be a lot more appropriate for some types of businesses than others, so be flexible, depending on what you sell.
A strong guarantee has been proven to increase sales conversions, and as long as you actually offer a good product and/or service, your refund requests will still be low, but your conversion to a sale will definitely go up!
Lastly, promote your guarantee Prominently on your website. Make it blindingly obvious to any random visitor that you do offer a guarantee, and lay out any specific terms and conditions clearly so that there is no confusion about what you will and won’t agree to.
9) The last “secret” is that of independent proof of your security and legitimacy. In plain English, this means showing proof to prospective clients that you are a real business, registered with the BBB (for example) and that you take the security of their Identity and Credit Card information very seriously.
Some of the firms who provide assistance in this sort of field include:
McAfee Secure : the world’s most viewed web site security trustmark
BBBOnLine : the Better Business Bureau’s Online Reliability program for members
TRUSTe : proof that you protect clients’ privacy
These are just some of the many similar programs/services offered to online businesses, and may vary from country to country and even industry to industry. You can do some research on these sorts of programs through Google if you want to know more about how they work and what they offer.
Be aware that none of these services are usually free, but, if they increase conversion enough, they will often pay for themselves very quickly. Think of them as an investment in your success, rather than a cost or overhead.
OK, well there’s a number of different ways you can increase Sales Conversion on your website. One or more of them will be suitable for you. Now, all that’s left for you to do is start discussing how you’re going to implement these “secrets” on your website with your Web Designer.
White Chalk Road are a specialist Search Marketing Agency based in Perth, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. As a Google Premier Partner, WCR specialise in SEO, Search Marketing, Advertising & Marketing Automation. WCR help Perth businesses, across both B2B and B2C markets, who need help being found online by their customers.