The average internet user is afraid of getting ripped off. And I can’t say that I blame them.
Sure, the real world has its share of snake-oil salesmen preying on naive consumers. But these charlatans can be easy to spot – especially because they have to do their “selling” face to face.
On the internet, however, literally anyone can put together a convincing sales pitch. And that’s something that most online shoppers are extremely aware of.
Furthermore, being blatantly cheated is not the only thing that causes people to hesitate when doing business online. Shoppers are equally wary of handing their money over to a site that sells substandard goods, offers poor customer support, or doesn’t live up to the promises it makes in its marketing material.
In this article, we’ll take a look at six ways you can use your website to inspire confidence in your potential customers.
Offer Multiple Payment Methods
Giving people multiple payment options is a great way to increase your site’s conversion rate.
Some people don’t like entering their credit card details on a site they don’t trust yet and prefer to use a transaction processor like Google Pay or PayPal.
Other users may prefer not to involve a third party and insist on transacting with their credit cards.
Giving several options here means that your site isn’t alienating either of these two groups.
Some online retailers have realized the benefits of showing that their sites have gone through the credibility checks that online payment gateways put them through. They understand that this buys them genuine credibility in the eyes of savvy first-time customers.
Prominently displaying logos like VISA, AmEx, and MasterCard is a great way to associate your brand with transactional security. With that in mind, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t display these logos on every page on your site.
It’s not uncommon for shoppers to see the payment options only once they’re in the checkout process. If you’re doing this, you’re missing out on the opportunity to build trust with visitors while they’re browsing your site.
Take a look at what Fantasy Jocks have done in the footer of their website. By including the logos of their seven payment methods in a section that appears everywhere on their site, they’re maximizing their chances of establishing brand credibility as well as a sense of security.
Shine a Spotlight on Testimonials
Having a testimonials page, especially if you’re operating in the B2B space, is an absolute must.
Business customers, who tend to put their prospective service providers through a long screening process before making a decision, love seeing their peers say positive things about a company.
A solid testimonial from a credible source is incredibly valuable. That’s especially if it’s from someone in a professional position your visitor can relate to.
That’s why it’s critical to put a human face behind every single one of your testimonials. Make it clear that the person who is giving your service a thumbs up knows what they’re talking about.
The best testimonials consist of the following elements:
- The real name of the person providing the quote.
- Their professional title.
- The company they represent along with a link to their website or LinkedIn profile.
- A professional headshot of their smiling face.
- The specific product or service they bought from you.
- A detailed quote explaining the measurable benefit they enjoyed after using your services
Some websites take this a step further and even include testimonials on landing pages throughout their site. Take a look at how elegantly Mozart Data did this on their homepage.
Have a High-Touch Sales Option
Some first-time customers won’t be sold on the idea of doing business with you if there isn’t an option for interpersonal contact.
Sure, a high-touch approach isn’t the most trendy thing in the sales field right now. Automation saves time and money, but if you’re looking to build credibility and trust with an audience unfamiliar with your reputation, nothing beats offering a good, old-fashioned sales call.
That’s not to say you have to go full-on old school here; there’s no need to book a plane ticket to your customer’s location and take them out for a round of golf.
Video calling and screen sharing technology make online contact easy, personable, and extremely effective at putting a human face to your sales pitch.
What makes a prospect even more likely to request contact is if you offer them a very compelling reason to do so. An online demonstration of how your product works, for example, can work wonders here.
Digital suggestion box, Vetter, shows us how to do this on their homepage. On two very prominent locations, the site shows a button labeled simply “Book a Demo.”
Clicking on the button shows the user information that virtually screams “you can trust these guys!” through the screen.
A simple, elegant interface allows the prospect to book a time that suits them, shows them the person who will be doing the demonstration, and tells them how long they can expect it to last. It also throws in a couple of testimonials for good measure.
Vetter can expect every single one of their prospects to go into this demo with a very positive impression of the company’s professionalism.
Use Explainer Videos
Positioning your product in video format is a terrific way to generate trust with your target audience. Why is this?
Well, simply put, shoppers trust things they understand. The more questions they have about how your product or service actually works, the more skeptical they’ll be about its ability to deliver the benefits you promise.
Video is the ideal format for this type of communication. There’s only so much clarity you can create with text, diagrams, and screenshots.
The explainer video industry is booming right now, and for a good reason. Brands are becoming increasingly aware of how important it is for potential customers to understand every facet of a product and how it integrates with their life or business.
This level of insight breeds trust. Especially if the video explanation addresses and validates unique selling points.
For instance, if your marketing material promises a 10% increase in conversion rates for your customers, use the explainer video to clearly show how your service will make this a reality.
ShowMojo offers an excellent example of how an explainer video can be used for this purpose, breaking their product down intelligently and making it exceptionally clear how they will add value to the customer’s business.
Offer 24-Hour Live Support
Some customers have questions that your site doesn’t answer for them. Either because you didn’t realize that the question exists or because the visitor simply couldn’t find the appropriate section discussing the issue.
Having important concerns “unaddressed” can cause trust issues with some of your prospects. They may be dismayed that it didn’t occur to you to include it in your FAQs, or they may even feel like you’re hiding something from them.
Regardless, there’s an excellent solution to this problem: live support via a chat feature.
Not only does this allow you to grease the wheels of a specific conversion, but it also shows your audience how committed you are to customer support. Having an actual human being available to field support queries also shows them that they’ll never be left high and dry if they ever have problems with your product.
Help Squad is a good example of a company that takes this seriously. Their live chat feature is available 24 hours a day, their sales and support agents are friendly and exceptionally knowledgeable, and the chat feature itself is stable and very easy to use.
All of these things combine to make their offering extremely trustworthy in the eyes of a skeptical customer.
Some Final Thoughts
Another perspective on the importance of establishing trust is to think of it not only in terms of “making a sale.” Of course, this is one of the main reasons you want to appear reputable – to remove a giant obstacle between converting a first-time visitor into a customer. But the benefits of building trust go so much further than this.
A satisfied customer becomes a repeat customer. And repeat customers are the lifeblood of any business. Acquiring a new customer costs five times more than selling to an existing one. The effort required to keep doing business with someone who trusts you is also significantly less than making that challenging first sale.
Loyal customers also become brand advocates – people who influence their network into becoming your customers.
Now, taking all of this into account, think again about the breadth of benefits involved in becoming more trustworthy. It’s not just about motivating that single, first conversion. It’s about possibly missing out on all the subsequent rewards.
With all this in mind, ask yourself if you can really afford not to do everything in your power to boost your brand’s online credibility.