Building trust with your ideal customers is vital for making more sales and growing your business. Trust comes when you provide something of value, offer your expertise, and understand your customers’ needs. Ultimately, people like to spend money with businesses they feel like they have a relationship with; developing this with your ideal customers can lead to more sales, a boost in brand awareness, and increased customer loyalty.
Here are a few different ways that you can build trust with your customers:
#1: Provide Social Proof at Every Opportunity
Word-of-mouth recommendations are a very powerful tool! People tend to trust the word of others like them, so take advantage of this by providing social proof of your brand’s reputation on your website. You can do this through reviews, testimonials, user-generated content, and “as seen on” sections of your website.
Take a look at how Bay Property Management Group provides social proof with their testimonials section at the bottom of each of their location pages. For each location, they have a series of Google reviews from satisfied customers in the area. This not only shows that Bay Property Management is a good company to do business with but, by specifying the location in each set of reviews, they show that each branch is pleasant to work with as well.
You can also boost your social proof with an “as seen on” section. People tend to trust brands and names they’ve heard of; if you have been featured by or worked with well-known brands, consider showcasing that in a section of your website. Take a look at how Personal Loan Offers does this on their homepage. Notice how the brands they highlight — Yahoo! Business, CNBC, BusinessWeekly, and Reuters — are all finance- and business-related. This shows that Personal Loan Offers are trusted by many authoritative voices in their field.
Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle Outfitters, provides social proof with user-generated content on social media. The #aeriereal campaign on Instagram encourages consumers to post their unfiltered, unedited photos on social media wearing Aerie clothing. To convince customers to do so, they stopped retouching models in bathing suits. This campaign not only shows that customers love their products, but also provides social proof that Aerie is a real, authentic brand that wants its consumers to be their truest selves.
#2: Always Ensure Your Customer Service is Top-Tier
Your customers want to feel listened to. If you receive any questions, get less-than-positive reviews, or your customers have concerns, you need to handle them quickly, professionally, and in a way that’s accessible to multiple types of customers. High-quality customer service will help you build trust with your customers!
Start by thinking about what types of customer service channels you want to utilize. Keep in mind that it’s better to have a few channels that your team is excellent at managing than many channels that leave you stretched too thin.
Live chat options are popular among younger customers; they’re fast, convenient, and don’t require anyone to sit on the phone for an extended period of time. Email inquiries are reliable, as well, and most demographics know how to use them now; this is ideal if you tend to receive more formal inquiries that don’t require immediate response times.
Providing customer service over the phone is more conventional, and tends to be particularly popular with those over 65. But the downside is that it can require heavy staffing and, depending on the number of inquiries you receive, might lead to long hold times. Integrators can also respond to customer questions and concerns via your social media pages (comments sections, mentions, and direct messages) or through an FAQ page on your website.
No matter the channel, you want your customers to have a pleasant experience with your service team. Encourage your employees to maintain a positive attitude, answer questions in a timely manner, apologize for any inconvenience, listen to the problem, and try to not let the conversation end without a solution both parties are happy with.
#3: Show You Understand Your Customers by Answering Their Questions
You should also consider getting ahead of your customer service team by answering your customer’s questions in advance. This will help your customers feel like you understand them, which will make them more likely to trust you. You can do this by creating content that addresses their concerns, needs, and pain points.
Start by getting in touch with your customer service team and see if there are any topics that they frequently get questions about. Create content based on these frequently asked questions! This will save your customer service team time and energy and help build customer trust.
Otherwise, try conducting some keyword research to see what your customers are searching for. One free tool you can use is Answer the Public. Start by coming up with a list of topics and search terms you think would be useful for your customers. Plug these phrases into Answer the Public and see what types of questions you could base content on.
Take a look at how My Canada Payday does this with the question, “should you declare bankruptcy?” In their article on the subject, they outline the considerations one might take before declaring bankruptcy, how the process works, and what happens afterward. Because My Canada Payday is a loan provider, this is something very relevant to their customer base.
Lastly, Semrush addresses customer questions by outlining how to use their tools in their content. For instance, they outline how to use the Semrush Position Tracking tool on their blog. As experts, they know that these topics can be complicated, but Semrush gets ahead of the game and a lot of potential customer service questions by showing all of the ins and outs of this particular tool.
#4: Make Sure You’re Active on Social Media
If you’re active on social media, this can help humanize your business and build up a stronger connection and a sense of trust with your target audience. Start by thinking about which social media platforms you should use for your business. For instance, Facebook is a good go-to, since it has by far the largest audience base. If you have a lot of visual content then Instagram and Pinterest are excellent options. Twitter, on the other hand, is more text-based but good for driving more traffic to your website. If you run a B2B business, LinkedIn is a great option for professional content.
If you’re not a social media pro, not to worry. There’s a huge number of paid and free tools that can help you maximize your output. For example, Social Pilot has a guide to the best Facebook publishing tools that will allow you to bulk schedule a lot of your social content in advance, as well as analyze what performs well and what doesn’t.
#5: Create Content that Positions You as an Expert in Your Field
You should also create content that showcases your expertise. Not only will this show that you’re trustworthy and deliver on your promises, Google actually looks out for expertise and authority when it’s deciding which sites to rank well on the search engine results pages (SERPs). If you can show you’re knowledgeable on a series of subjects, you can boost your rankings and earn more organic traffic.
Think about what types of content will position you as an expert in your field. What is it that you do better than your competitors? What is it about your business that makes people choose you over anyone else? Keep your content relevant to your audience and discuss topics that your customers might not know a lot about.
Take a look at how Lawsuit Legal, a Florida law firm, showcases their expertise in an article on employees’ rights in the workplace. People go to Lawsuit Legal for employment disputes, fraud, and more. The company showcases its expertise by outlining which laws have been designed to protect workers, what employees can do if they feel they’re taking advantage of, and what can affect their rights. This shows they know what they’re talking about, builds trust, and encourages the reader to make a call.
Or take a look at how Blue Apron, a meal kit subscription service, showcases their expertise in their guide to grilling with marinades and rubs. Before committing to a meal kit subscription service, a potential customer is going to want to know that Blue Apron can be trusted as a cooking expert; after all, they are providing customers with food! This article shows that they know what they’re talking about and helps build trust.
#6: Show Your Customers Behind the Scenes of Your Company
If you show your customers the behind-the-scenes aspects of your business, they’ll feel a stronger connection to your company and trust you more. You can do this with FAQ live streams, product unboxings, videos of a typical day in the office, or “about the team” pages. Think about what would be practical for your business. Do you have a unique manufacturing process? A modern workplace? These are the types of things you’ll want to show your customers.
Microsoft does this well in their blog post on their hybrid workplace brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss how the pandemic made society rethink the future of work, and how work-from-home practices will become part of the new normal. This builds consumer trust in two ways: first, people like to see the rationale behind a company’s business decisions. It shows that they respect their customers and value transparency. Additionally, this article gives an inside look as to what it’s like to work at Microsoft in a post-2020 world.
About the team pages are another great way to humanize your business, which further builds consumer trust. Take a look at how Atlassian does this (above) in a way that’s unique to their company. At the top of the page, they show their employees working, having fun, and collaborating with each other. Just below that, they introduce members of the leadership team with a headshot and a short bio. This shows that Atlassian likes to work hard and play hard!
#7: Ensure Your Site Looks Professional and is Easy to Use
Your website is the virtual storefront of your business, so it needs to give the best impression possible. You wouldn’t leave your physical storefront dirty or undecorated, and the same should apply to your website. Make sure it looks professional and is easy to navigate and use; providing a good user experience (UX) will help build trust.
You can do this with a clean design, high-quality images, well-written content, and easy-to-use navigation. Additionally, it is vital that your website displays well, regardless of the device or browser. Make sure it is optimized for desktop, mobile, iOS, and Android devices. For further reading, take a look at this article from Hubspot on how to improve your website’s UX.
Building trust is one of the most important aspects of growing your business. If your target customers trust you, they’ll be more likely to spend money with you and stay loyal. Think about how you can showcase social proof and create content that will help build trust. Behind-the-scenes content and answering customer questions are great places to start. After that, you need to roll up your sleeves and ensure you’re providing the best experience possible with your website and customer service. Better get to work!
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.
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