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10 ways multichannel companies can build trust with customers

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | July 8, 2016
Experts in ecommerce, security, marketing and customer service discuss the best ways to foster trust with your consumers – and build a loyal customer base.

“You want your website to [look professional but also to] be simple and accessible—the focus should be on the products and how to easily get them in your customers’ hands,” adds Jesse Ness, CMO, Ecwid, a cloud-based ecommerce platform. “A clean design with a readable font is a must.” And “optimize your site for mobile phones.”

3. Have consistent messaging/branding across channels and devices. “Multichannel businesses must have a consistent look, feel and experience across all channels,” says Mroz. “If consumers see a difference in the visual branding and messaging of your products from retail store to website, they may sense the disconnect and hesitate to follow through on their purchase.”

“Building trust and loyalty with tech savvy shoppers means [also] creating a consistent brand experience regardless of device, operating system or screen size,” says Brian Rigney, CEO, Zmags, a provider of digital publishing software. “Consumers want visual, easy-to-browse experiences that provide an integrated route to purchase from any device. One way for online retailers to meet this demand is to embrace responsive Web design that tailors experiences for different devices automatically. [And] according to Aberdeen Group, responsive sites achieve 11 percent more conversions than non-responsive sites.”

4. Deliver products quickly – when you said you would. “Shipping speed is an often-overlooked aspect of customer relations,” says Michael Lucarelli, cofounder, RentSpree.com. “The faster goods arrive, the happier the customer will be. It tells customers that their transaction is valued by the company. No one likes to wait two weeks for their product to arrive,” he points out. “Processing [and shipping] orders swiftly, [and delivering them when promised,] makes customers more likely to order [again] in the future.”

5. Post customer reviews – the good and the bad – and testimonials. Testimonials and “recommendations from existing customers can go a long way in terms of instilling trust with potential customers,” says Weiners.

“Potential customers are going to seek reviews of your business, so display them clearly on your website,” says Ruben Mier, marketing director, HouseCall Pro, a SaaS platform for home service professionals. “Better yet, provide links to third-party review sites so that the legitimacy of your reviews never comes into question.”

And “don’t necessarily censor all bad reviews,” says Robert C. Johnson, CEO, TeamSupport, a provider of B2B customer support and help desk software. “Even though the review may be negative, it shows customers that your company is transparent and increases the credibility of your positive reviews.”  

6. Don’t email customers (existing and prospective ones) unless you have their permission to do so. “Only send marketing communications [materials or email] to people who have expressly asked to receive them,” says Geoff Alexander, president, iContact. “When someone signs up for your email list, they're essentially starting a dialogue with your business. And the simplest way you can demonstrate that yours is a brand to trust is to provide clarity from the beginning on what content you'll be sending them, and how often,” he explains. “But if you send a third-party email instead, [or give their information to a third-party marketer,] you [will] lose their trust.”

 

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