According to a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year, two-thirds of American customers are highly confident in small businesses. The only other entity Americans have more trust in is our nation’s military. On the other end, only 6 percent of these same individuals have a “great deal” of confidence in big businesses.
While a small business owner might think this information bodes well for them and their burgeoning enterprises, there are caveats to consider. Numerous small factors can cause a customer to distrust your business.
1.Outdated, Poor-Performing Website
Research reveals two crucial insights about the importance of an up-to-date, high-functioning website:
- 39% of users will stop engaging with a site if the image won’t load or it takes too long for them to load.
- Given 15 minutes to review content, two-thirds of people would rather read something nicely designed than something plain.
Your target audience will notice if your site looks and operates as though it was built a decade ago. A site lacking any design aesthetic that is not optimized for performance is driving away more customers than you realize. Make sure to Invest in building a high-functioning website that is also visually appealing to build trust with your customers.
2. No Contact Information Provided
Did you know 51 percent of people think “thorough contact information” is the most important element of an organization’s website? A simple contact page with a phone number, email address, and contact form is so easy to create. It also goes a long way in helping to build trust with your customers.
3. No Pricing Information Available
Customers learning about your business want to know what your products and/or services cost. If a few clicks doesn’t reveal this information, people will think something fishy is going on. This will also cause them to feel like your business can’t be trusted.
4. Vague and/or Error-filled Copy
Whether it’s copy on your website or in your printed marketing materials, anything and everything you say needs to be clear, concise, and correct. A customer will assume you can’t manage their business needs if your company can’t handle writing error-free, informative copy. Vague content riddled with spelling and grammatical errors communicates that a brand can’t be trusted or relied on.
5. No One Knows Who You Are
Have you established yourself as an industry thought leader? Do third-party organizations vouch for your organization? Are customers leaving reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn? Even though you are a small business, your customers expect you to demonstrate your expertise. This can be through relevant and fresh content, and support that expertise using positive customer testimonials.
Third party badges, such as those provided by the Better Business Bureau or TRUSTe, must be prominently displayed on your websites. Don’t assume people will trust you solely because you have a functioning website. You have to establish connections in your vertical that demonstrate how colleagues and clients trust you.
6. No Social Media Presence
Don’t fall victim to the misconception that social media is only for teenagers who want to post selfies. People don’t use social platforms just to connect with friends and family. Today, customers go to social channels to learn about companies. Data from an online survey by BrightLocal last year found that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. 74 percent of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
While it is up to your marketing team to decide which social channels are most relevant to your business and its audience, it is imperative that you have an active presence on these platforms. Regularly updating your pages and engaging with those that reach out to you is an absolute must if you want to build trust.
7. Poor Email Practices
Are you contacting people who did not opt-in for your emails? Do your emails make it challenging to unsubscribe from them? Did you skip segmenting your email audiences? If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions. Change your email practices if you want people to trust your business.
If your business goal is to build long-lasting relationships with customers that trust your organization, you have to invest in fixing any errors that might be deterring these individuals. Discuss funding options with Strategic Funding now to discover how to develop a trustworthy organization.