A while ago I attended an online marketing workshop with Pascal Fintoni (a business development coach specialising in online marketing training and mentoring) and thought I would share some of the main themes and ideas that came up.
A key theme that was present throughout the workshop was trust. Trust is present when someone ‘believes you are competent and capable and you care‘. Trust can be defined as:
‘A firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing’.
In this case the ‘thing’ being your business, company or organisation.
In order to sell a product or service effectively, I recognised that making your customers trust you is a key principle, and even more so with online marketing.
A lack of ethics and trust, lead to a credibility crisis in a business. When that happens, customer relationships are often destroyed and this makes it extremely difficult to re-build trust, credibility and integrity once it has crumbled.
3 key principles which were discussed at the workshop included:
- Customers buy from people they trust
- You must evaluate how your website or online marketing can make people think you are a trustworthy brand.
- Understand people will Google you
- If a bad press article come up about your brand, or your website doesn't appear on the first few pages of Google, people will assume you aren't legitimate or trustworthy.
- Research reveals the trustworthiness of the internet is declining
- Web viewers in general are becoming much more aware that all websites on the internet aren't trustworthy, and it is your duty to prove your website is.
15 ways to make customers trust your business
- Go the extra mile. Under promise but over deliver.
- Invest in your website. It's not enough that you have a website. You have to ensure your website will enhance user experience (UX). Your website must have qualities including mobile responsive, fast download time, fully functional features, navigability and an effective design.
- Get good at SEO. Customers may not trust you, but they will trust Google. If you are highly ranked, a customer will be much more likely to trust you are offering what they are looking for.
- Provide spectacular customer service – constantly.
- In business, be explicit, tell your customers everything ie. any hidden or delivery costs!
- Make a great first impression. We only have 1.7 seconds for someone to judge whether what we are offering, is relevant to them.
- Manage your customer relationships well. Return customers need the least amount of effort, use this to your advantage.
- Communicate and do it well! Ask for feedback often then listen carefully and respond.
- Meet commitments. Even something small such as telling a customer a product will be delivered by a certain date, keep your word and don’t let them down.
- Showcase testimonials and case studies. They are a powerful tool in earning trust and credibility with customers. It is your customer telling others how acquiring your products or services benefited his or her business.
- Keep a consistent theme and message, don’t conflict or confuse customers. Create one story across all platforms.
- Tell the truth – this may sound obvious but if you state your product or service achieves an outcome, make sure it does. Never be afraid to point out that your product or service may not be the right fit for a certain customer.
- Get certified. Part of the research customers do is due diligence. They want to eliminate all the possibilities of dealing with a fraudulent business. One of the ways they do this is to check with regulating agencies.
- Be active in social media. Social media is a great way to bring your business closer to people. The idea is to get more involved with your customers. If you have a Facebook page, engage your followers once they post a comment. Do not be disheartened or get annoyed with negative comments. Give your response in a respectful and highly respectful manner.
- Attend to concerns right away. Trust is a quality that is earned over time. If a customer calls your attention on a defect or a problem with your product or service, attend to it right away. Be a listener 80% of the time.