From Strangers to Customers: How to Earn Your Audience’s Trust

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you fail to establish a level of trust between you and your customers, you'll never be able to take your business to the next level.

Do you want to generate more revenue from your business?

Invest in building your audience’s trust. I promise you that this one strategy can take your business to the next level.

Andrew Davis hit the nail on the head when he said, “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

For me, the formula is quite simple; zero customer trust equals zero sales.

There’s no way you’ll be able to establish a business that’s going to stand the test of time if you fail to earn your customer’s trust and keep it.

In our fast paced society where the web visitors have the tendency of clicking away in a matter of three to four seconds, establishing trust between businesses and customers have become exceedingly challenging.

If you’ve been struggling with earning your audience’s trust, then allow me to share with you three ideas that you can use to help you with just that.

Let’s hop right in.

Related Article:6 Signs A Customer Is Not Worth It

1. Show the Number of Items Sold

If you’ve been into selling shirts through Teespring, then you’d know how huge of an impact following this tip can make when growing your sales. Apparently, most Teespring marketers found that their sales drastically improved when they showed to their audience the number of times their shirt designs have been sold.

While there might be several explanations for why this is so, I imagine social proof to have a lot to do with why the audience find it easier to buy when the number of shirts sold is shown.

According to the Wikipedia page of Robert Cialdini’s Six key principles of influence, “People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic.” Such is the power of social proofing.

Because those who are looking at the Teespring landing pages can see that other people have been buying the shirt designs, it gives them the impression that the merchant is worth their trust, so they end up buying the shirt as well.

You can also use other elements aside from the number of items sold on your website. You can show the number of shares, likes, or comments (among others). The important point is your counter should show a convincing enough figure that would make your prospects feel comfortable buying your services because a good enough number of people liked your services.

Related Article:Find Your Biggest Customer Service Opportunities in These 3 Places

2. Show Something Familiar

Holidayme added a chock-full of familiar elements on their website that their audience is sure to recognize. More than just adding the “familiar stuff” however, they took it a step further by adding the “trust-inducing” familiar elements at that. What am I talking about?

Check out Holidayme.com’s homepage and notice these:

  • The TrustPilot logos on the upper right and lower left part of the page,
  • The Apple and Google Play logos.
  • Norton Secured logo.
  • The Visa and Mastercard logos.
  • The phrase “Best Rates Guaranteed” (emphasis on the word Guaranteed) is also an eye-catcher.

Adding all of these “trust-inducing” elements above the fold is sure to help establish a level of connection between HolidayMe and their web visitors.

The fact that the elements are image based (and not text based) also helps since the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than it does texts. That being said, even if their web visitors will only give their website a three to  five-second glance, HolidayMe is still able to convey the message that they are a trustworthy website/business to deal with.

3. Reviews or Testimonials

According to an article published at SearchEngineLand.com, “88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” The figure gives us a clear idea of how valuable of a tool reviews or testimonials can be when you’re trying to establish trust with your customers.

If you’ve been to several E-commerce sites, you’d have probably seen how most of them take the time to show what their customers are saying about them. Whether you’re at Amazon.com, on a Facebook business page, or even in regular business sites, you’re bound to see a section that highlights their customer’s testimonials.

And so the question becomes, “How exactly do I get my clients to review my services?” I know why you’re asking this question. You’re probably worried that your customers will be turned off if you’ll straight up ask them to leave a positive feedback about your products.

Well, I’ll tell you right now that you are not the first to think that. While almost everyone recognizes how important reviews or testimonials can be, not many take the time to ask their customers since they’re worried about annoying them about it. Don’t fall for this myth. With all the businesses that I worked with, I have yet to see any of their customers getting irritated because of them asking for reviews.

For the most part, their customers would just ignore their request if they don’t feel like giving any reviews that is all there is to it. No one has ever berated my customers, threatened to report them, or to bash them for their review request.

Be selective from whom to ask a review. Contact those whom you know are happy with your product. Another thing that you need to consider is timing. We have found that asking our customers for positive reviews when they have just praised us for something (no matter how small), increases the chances of them replying to our request with a resounding, yes.

Related Article:Customers First: 5 Customer Service Skills Every Employee Must Have

What’s Next?

Have you been struggling with establishing a level of trust between your business and your audience? If you have questions, suggestions, or even tips that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section below. Cheers.

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