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Build trust with your website

The priorities of small businesses  are usually centered around profit making and customer acquisition activities such as sales, marketing and customer service. All of these areas are important to business success and can directly affect revenue generation. It is therefore no surprise that they command a lot of attention. There is also a more subtle method of attracting customers to your business that can have a huge impact on how your business is perceived. It all begins with using your website to build trust.

Your website is an ideal tool for getting your brand message out. It is under your control and can be utilized in a manner that fits with your business objectives. You can use it to maintain the type of image that you desire. A good reputation is a very powerful marketing tool that encourages referrals. There are many ways that you can use your website to build trust in your business and we will explore a few of them.

Build trust with official channels of communication

Chat buttonYour website is one of your most important tools for creating and maintaining a trustworthy line of communication. It is a channel that any stranger looking for your business online can find. It is also very easy to refer people to it.  When information comes from your official website it is regarded as more credible than other external sources. Think about it. If you want to know the opening hours of a local store would you trust the store’s website or a third party website more? To maintain this level of trust it is imperative that your website is current and regularly updated.

Blogs, news and press releases

You can keep the public abreast of what is going on with your business in many ways on your website. You can run a blog to share stories and information and foster discussions. You can also have a news section of your site where you make announcements and publish press releases.

Email Forms

Forms on your website allow customers to send an email directly to your company with as little hassle as necessary. There is no need to log in to a separate email account or worry about sending the message to the right email address. The form can also be customized to guide customers to submit only the specific information that your business will need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Providing a list of frequency asked questions and official responses to these questions can help customers find answers to questions on their own. This may reduce the amount of time you need to spend answering these questions and provides a consistent answer that anyone in your company can refer to.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to share what your actual customers think about your business with the public. Since it is written in the voice of the customer and not the business it may be regarded as less biased. Customers in doubt may also find the opinions and experiences of other customers helpful in making a purchasing decision.

Build trust with signs of security

Shield PadlockBefore customers consider making a purchase from your website they want to be reassured that the website is genuine. They also want to know that their financial and other data is transmitted securely. With the proliferation of online scams and unscrupulous business practices customers are more concerned about privacy and data security. Fortunately there are many methods that you can use to reassure your customers and potential customers that your website is secure.

Security Certificates

One of the best ways to reassure customers that your website is secure is to secure the data they transmit via your website. This can be done by using an SSL Certificate to validate that your business is authentic and that the data transmitted between your website and the customer is encrypted. This provides a visual cue that customers can identify in their web browsers.

Policies and Terms of Service

Honesty also pays a huge part in gaining the trust of your target audience. Users of your website may want to know how their data is being used and who has access to it.  It is important to address these concerns in a privacy policy. If you are providing a commercial service with rules and restrictions that customers should know about it is wise to also have a Terms of Service page on your website.

Easily Accessible Contact Information

Although a website is a powerful tool, it may not be enough to gain everyone’s trust. It is not unusual for people to seek out more information about the company or people involved with the company. They may want to have an actual voice conversation or even visit the business in person. Visitors may become skeptical if the company’s contact information seems obscured or difficult to find.

Conclusion

Building trust in your business is not about using clever tactics to appear a certain way to the general public. It is about transparency and allowing the core values of your business to be expressed in your brand’s own voice. Visitors to your website can then make their own assessment based on the information you have provided. Your business processes should always aim to build trust  and your website is a wonderful tool to start with. Trust is also a precursor to customer loyalty which is also good for business.

 

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4 Strategies for Selling Services

One of the challenges of running a business that sells services is that you do not have the physical products that can be examined and compared with those of competitors. This affects both your marketing efforts and the experience a potential customer has in making a purchasing decision. It is more difficult to assure customers of the quality of services they have never tried before and a simple purchasing decision becomes a huge risk in the eyes of the  consumer. All is not lost though, there are many ways of reassuring a potential customer with the proper marketing strategy.

Customer ServiceFocus on customer service

Every contact with  a customer is an opportunity to make an impression. In the service industry there is no great product to distract potential customers from the quality of service provided. Customer service can usually be analyzed on par with the quality of the service that is on sale. As a result of this it is important that emphasis is placed on customer service as well as providing support to customers. The experience of the customer could determine whether or not the service is recommended to others or not.

Limited Time OfferOffer a limited time trial

The problem of the potential customer not being able to inspect a service like a physical product can be mitigated by allowing customers to try the service for free for a limited time before making a purchasing decision. This is a popular method which helps reassure the customer that the service will satisfy and allows the service provider a chance to make a good first impression. The trial period has to be long enough to allow the customer to get accustomed to using the service and get “hooked” into making the purchase while short enough to encourage the customer to make a timely decision on whether or not to purchase. While providing the service for free, even for a limited time, incurs costs these costs can be offset if conversions to long term customers increase.

MultimediaUse multimedia to engage your customers

When things are difficult to explain or put in words graphics and videos can tell a wonderful story. Pictures of the service you provide in use or pictures of satisfied customers can go a long way in convincing others to use the service. Photos  or videos of your service being used in-house also helps your business look professional and unashamed to stand behind its services. Videos showing how to use the service also help eliminate some of the apprehension potential customers may have to making the final purchase.

Testimonials IconShare customer testimonials

Referrals  are a very powerful tool since we value the opinions of others who have tried a service in deciding whether we should try it. This is especially true for services that cost money. Testimonials are a way of having current or former customers share their experience with others. This adds credibility to your business and helps potential customers know what to expect. It may address some of the concerns customers have about making the purchase without requiring any reassurance from customer service.

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