Do your current customers trust you? Clearly they must, or they wouldn’t be doing business with you. Once you have a relationship with people and you’ve earned their trust it’s more a matter of maintenance, especially if you want repeat business.
But how do you get a potential new customer to trust you? The time period between when a person learns about your brand, but before they do business with you is an extremely delicate time. This is when so many things can go wrong causing a potential customer to turn away and never return.
Here are a few things that could very easily cause someone to run for the hills:
Your Branding isn’t Consistent:
Something got me to your site. Maybe it was a business card or an ad or a friend’s post on social media, but odds are, I’ve been at least briefly introduced to your branding. If what I find when I get to your site doesn’t match the branding I saw initially, that’s a major red flag. You never want a person’s first thought to be “am I even in the right place?”
If your company recently rebranded, or if you’ve been using opposing visual styles all along, it’s time to get unified, and fast. Always keep a list of places where your branding is being used, so you can stay consistent even as your visuals evolve over time. No one is going to trust you to deliver quality products and services if your company can’t even manage their own public image.
Your Website is Confusing:
There are probably many different pages on your website, and they each serve an important purpose. The problem with many websites isn’t the pages themselves, but they way they are organized. It’s important to understand that all pages are not created equal.
If I’m a first time visitor to your site, I probably came looking for something specific. If you bury that information, or present too many distracting calls to action on your homepage, I may get frustrated and give up. It’s impossible to trust a company that seems to be hiding the things their customers really want to see.
Take some time to think about user experience and how your site is organized. Narrow the focus of your homepage, create intuitive navigation and test usability.
You Let Your Social Media Die:
Your company doesn’t need to be on every single social media site. Figuring out which platforms make the most sense for your industry and your customers is the first step and there are tools out there to help with this. Once you decide where your brand will be social, you need to have a strategy and you need to delete any accounts you don’t plan on actively updating.
My first thought when I find a company Twitter account that hasn’t been updated since 2014 is “maybe they went out of business.” Wondering if your business is still a thing doesn’t make me want to give you money for goods or services, it makes me suspicious. The harsh truth is you need to either learn to use social media properly, or delete your accounts.
You Aren’t Sharing Enough Information:
People understandably want to know what they are buying or signing up for. Make sure potential customers are able to get the information they need in order to feel confident doing business with you. Here are some examples where a business withholding valuable information could come off as untrustworthy.
- An online clothing store presenting only one view of its garments and not listing product details such as material and sizing.
- A restaurant menu that doesn’t bother describing the ingredients in its dishes.
- An online course description that is vague about requirements and results prior to purchase.
This isn’t to say companies need to go overboard or give products and service away for free, but it’s important to provide sufficient information so customers know what they are getting. Withholding crucial information makes it seem like you have something to hide, and that’s about as far from trustworthy as you can get.