It’s easy to build trust when you have the opportunity to connect with customers in person. You can look into their eyes, read their expressions, and interact at a more personal level. Even on the phone you can listen to a customer’s tone of voice and react accordingly. But, building trust online is a different story; not necessarily more difficult. Just different.
Certain companies have excelled at building online trust, such as Zappos, Apple, and Sephora. Their reputations are stellar. They are recognized in many surveys and studies as top ranked online retailers. Interesting to note that Apple and Sephora are also topped ranked traditional retailers, known for delivering an amazing customer service experience. That trust has crossed over into the online world. So, how do these companies build online trust? Here are seven common sense ways to do so. Unfortunately, they aren’t always so common.
- Remember that people do business with people. Even in the online world where customers purchase through your website, remember that the website was designed by people to be used by people. Make the site easy to navigate and simple to understand.
- Be accessible through multiple channels. In other words, you may have a great call center, but you should also have support available through the other channels a customer may want to use, such as email, texting, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Make contact information available on every page of a website. Make it easy for a customer to call, email, or connect with you instantly.
- Keep telephone hold times to a minimum. It can be frustrating for a customer to have to wait for extended periods of time. It sends a message that the company doesn’t care enough to staff properly. As an alternative, consider technology that will let the customer know how long the wait time is with the option of an automatic call-back.
- When a customer contacts you via social channels, respond quickly – which means minutes, not hours or days. Tweet If I wanted my question answered two hours from now, I would have waited two hours to ask the question.
- Share social proof. Use testimonials from happy customers to help prove trust and increase a customer’s confidence to do business with you.
- Ask your customers to post online reviews. This shows that you have confidence that you will take care of your customers by delivering a great customer service experience and taking care of any problems that may arise – in such a way that will earn you a glowing online review.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIV, Shep Hyken)