Tuesday, 28 December 2010

5 Ways To Gain & Keep Your Customers Trust Online

Now more then ever, organizations are opening up to the public and becoming transparent due to the impact and evolution of social media. Social media has forced small and large organizations to join in on the conversations that people are having about their brands. If you want to continue growing your business and its brand then you need to gain trust from your customers immediately. Below I listed 5 simple ways to keep and gain your customers trust in an online environment.

  1. Be consistent with all of your branding. In order to keep and gain trust you need to keep a consistent branding strategy across all of your platforms on and offline. What this does is shows your prospects and consumers that you are consistent and clearly portrays who you are, everywhere, all the time. Something to keep in mind is the consistent branding all the way down to the simplest things such as consistent color schemes. These color schemes should be followed through from your website all the way through to your business cards and letter head. Being consistent tells your customers that “this is who you are all the time, with no smoke or illusions”.
  2. Let a personality show through. People trust, and buy, from people. This is the reason its important to let a person, or at least your businesses personality, shine through in your online presence. Especially in your businesses social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Be you and tell your story, you may surprise yourself how people will react to this if you are used to hiding behind the curtain and letting only your business speak.
  3. Respond to comments and reviews both negative and positive. I have many conversations with business owners regarding the conversations that are happening on their social media pages. It is very common for the conversation to go right into the direction of customer reviews. If you are looking to keep your customers trust then leave the customer reviews to the customers and don’t think making a false review for your business will help you. This seems like common sense and basic but I have come across a few instances where employees or business owners themselves feel the need to create false customer reviews about their own business. This can shatter the trust and will dilute any real customer experiences especially good ones. On another note, take both negative and positive reviews as a learning experience and use them to show the public how you handle situations. This over the long run will spotlight your business as positively as possible, and the goal is to have that positive outshine the negative.
  4. Capture client testimonials. Create a system where your capturing testimonials from people who use your product and or service. By doing this you are creating a great way for you to gain your future customers trust. In many cases before someone decides to purchase something from you they research your business online and part of that research will be in the form of reading your past testimonials. Don’t just capture the testimonials but make them readily available for your future customers to read and gain trust in your brand before they purchase from you. Post them on all your platforms. Invite people to read about these experiences, so when its time for them to use your company they already are competent in the fact that they made the right decision.
  5. Be transparent and authentic. The many social media platforms that are available these days have made it easier then ever to allow your brand to become transparent and authentic. Being transparent enables your customers to see into your company and gain trust on a whole new level. Social media makes this easy by allowing you to respond to whatever issues that your business is having in a public manner for all to see. This will automatically create the sense of authenticity of your brand and will ultimately create the trust your brand and organization is looking for.

Have you gained the trust of your online community yet? What are your tactics towards creating trust in your organization? Are you using social media as a tool to create transparency and put a face behind your company?


Dax L'Amour, Ph.D said...

Brilliant information!
With all that's going on today in the internet arena, these points you made will help anyone create a aura of trust attached to their name/business. Thanks for this post!

Diana Scott said...

Thanks for the tips. They have got me asking myself if I am doing things the best way I can! I shall be taking a more critical look at what I'm doing.

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