In the business to business (B2B) sector, the internet has expanded options for procurement and strategic cooperation in a major way. This is especially true for small businesses in the field, which now must compete for business with firms all over the globe and not just around the corner. While that competition has been healthy, for the most part, there is one effect that it’s having on the market that has been anything but beneficial. It’s eroding the trust that B2B relationships rely on to thrive.
Here are seven ways to build customer trust in our digital world.
Your brand’s online presence—web, mobile, and social media channels—says a lot about your values. Misspelled words and poor grammar, broken links, confusing pricing information, and hidden contact information can all deter customers from your business. Good communication is essential to winning the trust of potential customers as it removes their doubts, saves them time, and shows that your brand is serious about customer satisfaction.
Protect customer data—and tell your customers about it
Every brand should offer clear privacy policies and terms of service. Customers should know whether their data is being shared with third parties and should have the right to opt out if desired. In addition, all information regarding sales (such as deliveries, returns, and exchanges) should be shared. Make this information very clear and accessible on the brand website to build customer trust.
Encourage customer reviews
In addition to sending post-contact surveys, invite customers to leave reviews on digital channels that are visible to the public, such as the brand website and social media channels. Ask customers to rate your brand’s products and services on a scale and leave comments. If negative comments are posted, do not remove them but address them publicly and continue the conversation on a private channel. This shows customers that you take all forms of feedback seriously.
Allow customers to opt out
Some customers may love to be notified when there’s a sales event or discount available. However, everyone wants the choice to opt out, and giving customers this option is essential to winning their trust. For example, make sure that brand emails have an unsubscribe feature or setting that allows customers to receive fewer emails, and always ask for permission to offer notifications on mobile devices.
Offer a secure purchasing experience
Each purchase should be made with total confidence. Take every measure to secure the experience from start to finish. For example, outline the process in numbered steps, use trusted forms of payment, offer customer passwords for secure logins, and provide confirmation numbers with contact information should customers have questions immediately following purchase.
Offer timely service
Timeliness is essential to trust and has a major impact on sales. More than 50% of your customers will abandon your website if they have to wait three seconds for a page to load. In addition, Amazon cites that every 100-millisecond increase in load time decreases sales by 1%. While communications should always be swift, it’s also critical to optimize web and mobile. Don’t keep customers waiting, and never leave them wondering if their payment has been processed.
Keep content updated
Lastly, make sure that all content is updated frequently to reflect brand news. The website should share information regarding current sales events and discounts, blog content should be refreshed frequently, and contact information should be up to date. In addition, IVR menus should also be updated to connect customers with the right agents or the right information when needed.
Trust is the first step toward building a long-lasting relationship with customers. By giving them secure and seamless experiences on your brand’s digital channels, you can win their loyalty for the long term.
Head, Digital Media & Innovations
Global Media Alliance
LinkedIn: Eli Daniel-Wilson