My wife and I have spent all day yesterday looking for a new place to live because we will soon be moving our business to Indianapolis. This has been an all-day marathon event and while it seems like every place is the same after a while, you still come away feeling one or two places are potentially the right one. A big part of the reason these one or two apartments or rentals stand out is because of the trust and credibility that the apartment and its staff portray.
Normally, when you go to a new apartment to look at a possible new home, your first stop is the leasing office. But, your first impressions of the apartment are built before you even park. As we drove into a complex my wife looks at the cars – do the tenants care about the look of their most visible possession? Are the grounds nicely kept? Is there a maintenance man carefully tending to the complex, etc.?
Then once you park and talk to the agent, you think; do I trust this leasing agent? Does he or she smile? Are they pushing me into some style I don’t want? Do they appear to know what they are doing?
All of these things affect the buying decision, but for the most part they have nothing to do with where you live. But, the trust you offer is really part of the product as well, because no one wants to do business with someone they don’t trust.
This is even more critical when dealing with businesses online because people are naturally even more distrustful of people they have not meet in person. Because of this you need to work even harder to garner trust with your online presence. So how do you do that?
There are a lot of simple tips that will help you gain more of your visitors’ trust. A few of them are listed below:
Display your phone number prominently- visitors want to see that you are only a phone call away.
Display a real address- visitors will be more trusting when they find out where you are from and that they know where to send any physical inquiries.
Actively post online through your blog- while many people think blogging’s main purpose is to gain traffic through search, more often it is a trust symbol to demonstrate expertise and display personality.
Actively participate in social media- participating in social media such as Facebook and Twitter shows that someone is home and that people have more than on option to get ahold of you and care about their product or service.
Professional web design- the design of your site shows your professionalism just like the way an apartment complex who keeps nice grounds shows theirs.
Site security- just like all the gated apartment communities proudly promote their security, your company can display its security credentials on its site.
There are many more ways to build trust online, but most importantly, ask yourself if you would be willing to do business with your site. And remember as trust increases, so does conversion.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanc/375349032/”>Christopher Chan</a>