3 Tips on Building Trust with your Online Customers
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners would argue that it’s easier to build trust with a brick-and-mortar business than a purely Internet based one. Why? Well, with your regular customers, you have a chance to engage in small talk, ask about the kids, and fill the downtime with getting to know them. You know their regular orders; you know when they usually visit; you know which of their employees they’ve developed a relationship with.
Online, you don’t get the face – to – face human interaction that helped our species evolve into a society. Here are some things you can do to make sure that trust relationship is still developed online.
1. Connect with the experts
Chances are, someone online is already doing what you’re doing and they’ve already developed relationships and reputations. Try to connect with them to see what they’re doing. Interact. Build your own relationship with the expert. When the time comes, you might not be able to help a customer with their needs, but if you can point them to someone who will, you’ve become the person they can go to for connections. Next time, if that customer needs something, they’ll come to you for help. And, this time, it might be your business that can provide the service.
2. Acknowledge your advocates, apologize to your critics.
If someone praises you for the work you did, send a thank you. A Tweet, an email, a Facebook post. It doesn’t cost you anything to make your customers feel good. And, hey, if they went out of their way to show you some gratitude, you should return the favor.
On the other hand, if someone gives you a bad review, don’t ignore. See if that person will engage with you. Ask them about the review and see if there’s something you can correct. Was their order broken or not as described? Was it not shipped fast enough? If they’re complaining about something that really can’t be changed (like they didn’t realize what they ordered or forgot they already had one), don’t start a fight. Send them a coupon (something like free shipping or 10% off) as a way of an apology.
3. Give them content they can use
Let’s say you sell air conditioners and you have a blog on your website. Rather than blogging about how much people need air conditioners, give them some tips on using them. Like, turn it down or off after 6pm to save on your electric bill. Or how to check your house for places the air might leak out.
Maybe it means air conditioners will last a little longer and people won’t buy as many, but when it’s time for that new one, you’re the company that knows how to take care of air conditioners and are interested in helping people cut costs.
How have you built your online reputation? Share in the comments!
Posted on August 12, 2013, in Biz Tips, Entrepreneur, Internet, Small Business, Technology and tagged customer, customer reputation, customer service, Internet, online reputation, technology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.