Any business owner knows the importance of establishing credibility for the business. If people do not trust the business or are unsure as to whether or not the business is legitimate, they are not likely to make purchases from the business. One challenge facing many business owners today is the process of establishing credibility online.
The problem with interacting with people online and with doing business online is that people do not really know who you are. As far as anyone else online knows your profile and the details you provide about yourself and your business could be false. Until people have faith in your creditability they really do not know if your business is a scam and if you are trustworthy.
Having a twitter for your business is completely useless if you aren’t having interactions with followers. Your social media strategy has to reflect a goal; listening to what your customers want, talking/marketing your business, amplifying and driving sales, customer support, and customer integration. All these goals are described by Scott Bartell in a post from SEOmoz here
As a business owner you must go out of your way to establish your credibility online. In fact, the success of your business depends upon letting consumers know that they can trust you and your business. Proving this point to others online is often much easier said than done.
The content you provide on your website can provide a thin level of trust in your business. It is human nature to want to believe what is written. If your website copy is well written and explanatory, your business will begin to appear more credible. If you have little information and details provided or if your website content is not well written, your business can quickly begin to look less credible.
Your website should include detailed contact information.
This information should be easy to access. If you do not provide sufficient contact methods, people will question the creditability of your business. They want to feel assured that should they have a question or a problem, they can easily contact you.
Consider offering a guarantee on your products and services.
This shows customers that you believe in the products you offer. Customers can also feel better knowing that if there would be some problem there is a policy in place so that they can receive a refund. Having a guarantee in place will make it known that you stand behind your products and services. A guarantee provides an excellent way to enhance your credibility with consumers.
Include testimonials on your website.
Testimonials can build your credibility. Visitors will probably place a greater weight on what former customers have to say. They may not form their opinion on your credibility on what you have to say about your business alone. When you have a transaction with a customer ask them for their feedback. Find out if they will give you permission to include what they say on your testimonial section of your website. Of course, you will always want to use honest statements that come directly from your customers.
Place a portfolio of some of your best work on your website.
This provides an opportunity for visitors to see some of your work. It allows anyone interested in your services to get a preview of the level of quality products and services you offer. Having a portfolio places your business in a more credible light. The portfolio shows that you are truly as skilled as your website states. Potential clients will also know that you are willing to have your work reviewed and even scrutinized if necessary.
Provide ease of transactions for your customers.
Your website should also include some details about you and your business.
Visitors will see your business as being more credible if you provide information about the history of your business, experience, knowledge and any other important details. Offer a company history. Let your customers know how long you have been in business. Also include details about your years of experience or the combined years of experience of everyone working within the business. Businesses with a solid history and experience are important to prospective customers.
Through all my experiences I have found that nothing builds credibility and trust like quality customer service. Many sites like Ripoff Report can give companies, especially ones doing business online a tough rap thats hard to break. Pursuing any customer who has given negative words about your business to rectify their situation can go a long way in the right direction to solidify the trust in your business.
Work hard to establish the credibility of your business through your website. If visitors do not think you are credible, they are highly unlikely to do business with you. Make customers feel at home when visit your website. All-important information should be placed in a way that is easy for people to access. Include samples of your work and testimonials from previous customers. Go the extra mile to establish credibility.