Starting a New Online Business – How To Build Credibility
When starting a new online business understanding how to build credibility with your customers will be one of your biggest hurdles, learn how to overcome it.
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Hurdles like your competition, quality checks, and legal requirements are all things you’ll need to deal with as a startup, but learning how to build credibility with your customer base is probably the most significant one in terms of generating revenue to stay in business.
Think about it for a second…
What will make them choose you over your competitors?
What will make them buy from you and come back for more?
If you don’t have an answer to these questions your business is going to be in real trouble.
With that in mind here’s how to build credibility with your new online business.
1. Create a Consistent Brand Message and Design
Your brand is your identity as an online business. Just like companies with physical stores, you want to make sure that each time a potential customer sees your brand, they quickly identify it and respond to the message.
When thinking of your business logo design, create an image that tells who you are, your values, and your strengths. Make sure the message is consistent across all your channels.
2. Keep Your Word
Practicing what you preach is an excellent way to build customer trust. If your business is about creating unique handmade crafts, for example, make sure that all your products are handmade and not factory-made. Keep your word, whether it’s responding to questions rapidly, keeping appointments, or completing the promised work quickly.
3. Increase Your Social Engagement
Social networking is one of the best ways to build credibility with your customers. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ are perfect venues for you to interact with customers and post information about your business.
Know your customers, then look for ways to earn their trust. You’ll become friends, and it will be easier for them to recommend the business. Because social media platforms allow a more relaxed form of communication, it’s an easier way for you to build a stronger relationship with your customers. In most cases, they’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you, making them more willing to listen to what you have to say or try out the products.
4. Showcase Your Achievements
Make it easy for your customers to see that you’re trustworthy and reputable by showing them the testimonials, reviews, and awards that other people have given you. Doing so will give your customers a sense of satisfaction that they’re dealing with a business that offers high-quality products and one that is well-respected.
5. Create a Brand Ambassador Program
Brand ambassador programs are a great way to increase the number of people who recommend your business. If you have some sort of a following, whether on social media or elsewhere, make it a point to reward anyone who recommends the products.
For example, if you have a blog with a large following, create a program that rewards readers for sharing your articles on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Doing so will spread the word faster.
6. Guard Your Reputation
A minor mistake such as delayed deliveries or wrong product deliveries can quickly damage your credibility and the trust you’ve built with your customers. Make sure that every order is handled carefully from start to finish.
Additionally, check the quality of your products before you ship to ensure they meet the set standards. If necessary, do the work yourself, even if it means slowing down your delivery schedule. Your customers will appreciate the extra effort you’ve made to meet their needs. Most will value the personal touch. Other ways to safeguard your reputation are:
- Resolving conflicts quickly
- Answering every question and inquiry fast
- Providing satisfaction guarantees with all sales
- Giving a human touch to every interaction
7. Blog Consistently
Blogging is an excellent way to give your customers updates on your business. When you blog about relevant, practical and exciting topics, they’re more likely to pay attention to what you have to say. Your customers will always look forward to the next piece if you blog regularly. To successfully blog:
- Understand what your clients are interested in
- Address their questions in the blogs
- Write about trending topics
- Become an authority figure
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When you become an authority figure in your field, people will look up to you. As an expert, potential customers are more likely to trust your business and give you a chance. To become an authority figure, gain the necessary knowledge, create fresh content regularly on relevant topics, and use SEO tactics to make sure people find out how much you know.
8. Offer an Appreciation Program
An appreciation program is excellent for building customer trust. It reminds customers that you’re always thinking about them, which in turn will make them more likely to trust what you offer. Create different appreciation levels so that each of your customers feels special. Boost customer trust by:
- Offering coupons and discounts on products
- Giving them first dibs on special offers
- Entering them into an exclusive club where there are exclusive deals or high-end services only available to them
9. Keeps Tabs on Your Competition
Your competition is always lurking, waiting for you to slip up. You can’t afford to drop the ball when it comes to keeping your customers happy. If another business starts offering them more benefits for less money, your customers will flock to them. Keep an eye on your competition by analyzing its marketing strategies, product offerings, and customer interactions.
10. Display Certifications
Customers value your products and services because you are credible. That is, you’ve been certified by governing bodies such as the Better Business Bureau. Display your certifications on all of your advertising materials.
Other than this, talk about what have you done to ensure safe transactions and communication? Go ahead and show the badges, awards, and certifications you’ve acquired. Sometimes, customers will be on the lookout for any kind of proof that you’re credible.
11. Work on Feedback
You can’t afford to ignore customer feedback. Making that mistake will hurt your credibility and reputation. Even if the information isn’t what you wanted to hear, thank the reviewers for taking the time to share their thoughts. If possible, address their concerns or answer any questions they may have. While you can’t please everyone, work hard to meet your customers’ needs.
Credibility Is Not Built in a Day
The key to building trust with your customers is knowing what they want and giving it to them. It’s not a one-day or one-time effort. It takes time for your customers to develop confidence in your business, but these 11 tips will guide you on how to build credibility for your business. Make sure they see you’re always looking for ways to improve.
If you’re looking for more insight on how to build credibility with your audience, take a look here.