Stranger No Danger: A Lesson In Building Trust And Rapport With Your Online Customers
“Don’t talk to strangers,” is probably one of the most universal lessons parents teach their kids. No matter where you are in the world, what your economic background is, or the kind of neighborhood you live in, your parents must have warned you of a stranger danger and you are most likely have passed that lesson to your own children.
This lesson is meant to warn kids that all strangers are not to be trusted and can potentially be dangerous. But now that you’re an adult and interaction with all kinds of strangers is essential, does the lesson of stranger danger still apply?
Establishing Trust Without Direct Customer Interaction
Trust matters when it comes to brands and businesses that you’re interacting with online. Imagine visiting an online store for the very first time. You don’t know anything about the brand, the quality of its products, or its commitment to customers. How do you know if they’re trustworthy?
Now, flip the situation and imagine it’s your business. Knowing that, as a consumer, you wouldn’t trust just any e-commerce business, how would you establish rapport and build trust with your customers? Without direct customer interaction, establishing trust is difficult, though not impossible. Below are some ideas to prove your e-commerce business’ reliability.
1. Maintain a Professional Website
As an online merchant, your website serves as the primary medium of interaction between you and your customers. A disorganized brick-and-mortar store with unhelpful employees can turn customers away. In the same way, an unappealing and confusing website can turn customers off of your brand.
So, what does a great website entail? According website-building platform Wix, a professional-looking website:
- has a minimalistic home page, free of clutter
- uses design with visual hierarchy in mind
- has easy-to-read content
- is easy to navigate
- is mobile-friendly
Understandably, not all e-commerce business owners have web development skills or experience. So, consider talking to a professional who specializes in e-commerce web development.
Not can experts in this field make your websites look good, but plenty also offers white label SEO services that can catapult your website on top of search engine results pages.
2. Build Relationships Through Content
A powerful tool to connect with customers who have no idea who you are? The thing you’re looking for is great content. The blogs you have on your website introduce new users to your brand without it being pushy or intrusive.
Regular blogging shows that you’re not only invested in marketing your products, but you’re also concerned about your customers’ problems and your blog posts are your way of answering them.
In addition, your website’s content helps your customers become more familiar with your brand. When you learn to develop a distinct brand voice and show your brand’s personality through your content, people will feel like they really know and can trust you.
Content marketing is also an exceptional method of demonstrating your expertise. With regular, quality posts that add value to your readers, they will see that you know your stuff. This leads to them having more belief in the quality of the products or services you offer.
Digital marketing website Neil Patel says that to make great website content, you must:
- Create original content
- Come up with strong titles or headlines
- Make your content actionable
- Create content that provides answers to your readers’ queries
- Be accurate in your reporting and sourcing of information
- Use images and videos to communicate your content better
Once you have these things down pat, it’s only a matter of time before readers become familiar with your brand and trust you. Successful content marketing, which can be a part of local SEO services you might get, will convert mere readers and browsers into buyers.
3. Humanize Your Brand with an “About Us” Page
Imagine the cycle of dating: you meet and become initially attracted to someone. But apart from first impressions, you want to get to know more about them before you decide if they’re worth spending more time with.
The same is true with e-commerce. When prospective customers have a certain level of interest in what you’re offering, they’ll naturally want to know more about your business. And because you want to make knowing you easier, the most comprehensive way to introduce your brand is by creating an About Us page.
A good About Us page includes a brief history of your business, the types of products or services you offer, and the people behind the brand. You can also add your unique philosophy and awards you’ve received, if any. These elements humanize your business by giving it a story and a face. Consumers tend to trust businesses that have relatable stories.
4. Show Them That Their Security is Your Priority
Got your customers hooked and ready to make a purchase? Don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. There’s one final detail that can influence their decision to follow through with their purchase: the security of the transaction.
The last thing you and your customers want is to spend any time dealing with fraudulent charges because your checkout is not secure.
Payment security can make or break your business. No matter how trustworthy you’ve established your business to be, you could lose it all overnight with one payment glitch. With data breaches happening left and right, payment security matters more than ever for e-commerce businesses.
Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent and secure online payment solutions. Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay are only some of the top dogs that support online payment in a lot of e-commerce websites in the U.S.
These payment gateways continue to grow in popularity because they add a layer of security when customers are checking out. At the same time, they provide a faster and more convenient checkout experience.
By using secure payment gateways, your customers can see that you’re taking their security seriously and that they can trust you not to steal their information.
Customers’ Trust is Earned Through Hard Work
Establishing trust with potential customers is an essential move for every online merchant. The basic guidelines above should give you an idea on how to start.
By establishing your business as trustworthy, you can win over new customers, encourage them to return, and increase your revenue But, even if you don’t have a brand that stands out yet, having these signals of trustworthiness help prove to your potential customers that your business is reliable and legitimate.