How to Establish Consumer Confidence Throughout the Online Sales Cycle
There's nothing more important than building up confidence for your brand. However, it won’t happen fast and it won’t happen easily. It will likely take some incremental investments, but it doesn’t need to break the bank. Here a few ways that will help:
One of the most important elements of building confidence is authenticity. Therefore, being transparent about your product, how it’s made, service expectations (realistic), missteps, errors and taking responsibility for when you don’t meet them is a good start. Admit it, overcommunicate and always keep the customer’s interests in mind as a priority and your guiding principle when making decisions.
Building trust is about doing what you say you're going to do, time after time after time. Have real people interact with your customers, not robots or automated emails and macros. Yes, I get it, we need to be efficient, but customers are humans and they like to interact with humans via their preferred method of communication. Have a well-trained, highly skilled customer service team to handle issues and concerns. Train them to have real-life, authentic conversations with your customers. This will build trust and confidence over time and they will tell their friends about that experience.
First you need to ensure that you have high-quality products. When you experience a high-quality product, you're more likely to share and advise others to use that product. Then you need to show that you care for something greater than the product or profits. More than ever, people are buying from brands that have a strong WHY? Why does the brand exist? Is it to make money or to help someone live a better life, truly!
Seek Feedback, Be Available
Any feedback is a gift, so seek it consistently and take criticism positively. Most people want to help, and feedback will enable you to correct mistakes or reinforce your positive attributes. Overcommunicate with customers when dealing with feedback and let them know you care and that you took it seriously.
Leverage Social Media
Yes, I wish my kids didn’t spend as much time on social media as they do, but that’s reality and a new way to engage with friends and communities, so embrace it. You can get significant amount of feedback and engage many different types of audiences via social media. You can help educate them about your product or service, and deliver value beyond your product because you truly care. You can build confidence for your brand at no significant marketing cost. Just apply all of the above openly and transparently with good intent and purpose.
Minimize or Eliminate the Risk to the Customer
When buying online, there's an element of risk associated with clicking that "Buy" button. Make sure consumers know there's no risk in doing so, and if they're not completely satisfied, they won’t lose anything. Give your customers the opportunity to experience the product at their own time and convenience. Make it easier for customers to buy from you. Free shipping, free returns, a no hassle buying process, and plenty of time to try the product are good ways to eliminate risk and build trust. Of course, that assumes you have a high-quality product that customers will love and talk to their friends about.
There's no one easy way to build trust and confidence during the buying cycle. These are some ways that when applied consistently, over time, will help your brand become trustworthy in the eyes of consumers. It’s really no different than real-life relationships. Authentic, honest, transparent conversations with great intent and purpose can go a long way.
Alvaro Vaselli is the founder and CEO of Nuvanna, a consumer-oriented e-tailer providing innovative, best-in-class products that are thoughtfully crafted with expertly curated resources.
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