It’s arguable that trust is the single biggest factor in whether your business is successful. Think about it, would you trust a business that you knew virtually nothing about, whose reputation was shady and who kept the important stuff secret with your money? Probably not, right? So you can’t expect customers to come flocking to your new business if you don’t do anything to build up trust.
The good news is there are lots of relatively simple things any entrepreneur business owner can build a trusting relationship with prospective customers. Here are a few of the simplest and most important:
Register Your Company
It should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs launch their business before they’ve dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s. Sure, you might be raring to get started with your latest money-making idea, but you do need to get all of the legalities in place and using a company like Your Company Formations to officially register your business is a good place to start. That way, prospects who are looking for assurance that you are legit can easily find it by looking at your company up at an official source. You’ll have to do it eventually anyway, so do it at the beginning.
It would be near impossible for you to build trust with customers and clients if you lied to them. Honesty is the foundation of trust and that is why you need to build honesty into everything you do. If, for example, you know that you can’t realistically offer 1-day shipping, be upfront about that or if you know that it’ll take 2 weeks to turnaround a project. Don’t be tempted to say you can do it in one just to persuade a client to buy.
Sure, you might get a few more customers upfront, but when you can't deliver, they won’t come back and they’ll tell other people about your unreliability/lies and word will spread that you can’t be trusted. Obviously, things do go wrong sometimes and you may occasionally be unable to deliver, but as long as you’re honest from the start, upfront about any issues and able to compensate appropriately, you should be fine. In business, honesty really is the best policy.
Leverage Social Proof
Social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials is an excellent way to build trust in your niche. People like to feel confident in their buying choices, and if they can see that lots of other people have used your products/services and had a decent experience, they will be far more likely to become a customer themselves. That’s why you should offer any incentives you can to get customers to leave you a review.
However, you should bear in mind the above point about honesty and avoid buying fake reviews because not only is it dishonest, but it’s far easier to spot than you might think. Not only that, but you should also let unflattering reviews stand -you can add your piece rebutting any remarks you think are unfair but don’t delete them. When all customers can see is row after row of 5-star reviews, they are going to trust your business less, not more.
Create a Solid ‘About Us’ Page
One of the things customers initially do to scope out a new business is to check out the ‘About Us’ page on its website. If it’s a well-written page filled with lots of solid facts and information about you, your business and what you do, including any incorporation details, an address and telephone number, they are far more likely to trust in you. Sadly, many businesses use this page as another ad for them, filled with lots of sales copy, and this can be very off-putting. Build trust by really putting yourself out there.
Not only to build trust but to build interest in your brand is to be visible. Post content about yourself and your efforts to launch the business day to day, including lots of videos and pictures, on social media and people will be able to see for themselves that you’re genuine with everything that you do.
Make trust the foundation upon which you build your business from day one and you will not have to struggle nearly as hard as others in your niche to build up a strong, loyal and happy customer base. It really is that simple.