“People buy from people they trust”.
This is a common refrain in today’s business world where customers are increasingly bombarded with choices.
That’s why for many businesses trust has become the building block of a solid customer base.
It makes sense, considering that 43% of consumers spend more on brands they are loyal to, generating more revenue per session than new shoppers.
While that may not seem like a big deal, you should know that increasing your customer retention rates by as little as 5% can boost your profits anywhere from 25-95%.
Imagine how much more money you’ll make if you earn customers’ trust and get them to stick around.
However, the difficult part for many businesses – especially fully remote startups – is figuring out how to go about building trust with customers and long-term loyalty.
In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at the top 7 reasons why customers distrust online businesses and some tips on how to deal with them.
Table of contents:
- You’ve promised what you cannot deliver
- You leave a bad first impression
- Your business looks unprofessional
- Your website looks amateurish
- It’s difficult to reach out to you
- You’ve let your social media accounts go dormant
- You have a bad online reputation
1. You’ve Promised What You Cannot Deliver
The promises you make to customers set expectations on the quality of your products or services.
Unintentionally promising more than you can deliver is a dangerous game because your customers feel like they’re being let down.
This, in turn, will make your business lose trust, credibility and, ultimately, revenue.
Solution: Avoid biting off more than you can chew. Make sure you only promise what you can absolutely deliver.
When in doubt, remember that it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise and underdeliver.
If you have reasons to believe that you’ve failed to meet customer expectations, have a look at your marketing material and make sure you are correctly communicating your product’s features and benefits.
2. You Leave a Bad First Impression
As they say, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.
From the moment you approach a client or customer, your attitude, behaviour, and even the place you meet them will influence their decision to do business with you.
For example, meeting your clients and customers in your local cafe doesn’t exactly scream “trust and professionalism”, let alone the noise factor. Most of the time, that leaves a bad first impression.
Solution: Make sure you maintain a high level of professionalism by paying attention to business etiquette rules such as making eye contact, proofreading emails for grammar and typo mistakes, always being on time, etc.
If your business does not have a physical location, consider renting dedicated meeting rooms to meet your clients and customers and project a professional image.
3. Your Business Looks Unprofessional
Making your business look legit is key if you want to look like you know what you’re doing.
When your message is conveyed well and your business looks professional, then you can easily build customer trust and loyalty.
However, as a startup, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of well-established businesses, left unable to make a lasting impression – especially if you’re using your home address as a business address.
Solution: Even if you’ve just launched your startup, you don’t have to use your home number, mobile number or home address to run your business.
With stiff competition everywhere these days, making your business look bigger and more successful matters more than you think. There’s nothing deceiving about that; it is just good business sense.
This is where a virtual office can help. While you might not be able to afford a permanent office in a prime location, a virtual office provides you with everything your business needs, from mail handling services to professional business address to on-demand office space and beyond.
Having a virtual office instantly makes your business look more professional and attracts new customers.
4. Your Website Looks Amateurish
It’s not a surprise anymore that a bad website design and a poor user experience leave a negative first impression on potential customers.
That’s why you should take your time building a striking website that increases your chances of gaining customer trust and succeeding in the online marketplace.
Without essential site functions such as website responsiveness, user-friendly design and engaging content, you are missing out on critical consumers.
Solution: Make sure you carefully choose colour schemes, images, CTAs, and a logical flow of the information.
You should also remove outdated content and add fresh content to boost your traffic and engagement.
If you can’t do it yourself, have a professional web designer do it for you.
5. It’s Difficult to Reach Out to You
With more than 80% of customers saying they would do business with a competitor after more than one bad experience, keeping customers happy when they reach out should be a top priority for you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to reach out to a business when you need assistance with products or services or have a question to ask.
Poor customer service leaves customers completely hesitant to do business with you again in the future, making them lose trust in your brand.
Solution: Make sure your customers can call you anytime they want, day or night.
Instead of answering your own phones and missing calls and opportunities, it’s best to have someone else taking the calls while you’re able to focus on more meaningful tasks.
You can solve that with high-quality answering services that replace the need for you to have a dedicated in-house receptionist.
For example, a professional virtual receptionist does everything from answering FAQs to forwarding calls while providing 24/7 coverage.
This guarantees that they’ll represent your business well, helping you gain customer trust and confidence.
6. You’ve Let Your Social Media Accounts Go Dormant
In the world of the Internet, dormant social media accounts can have immediate negative effects on your business, including damaged credibility and lost customer trust.
This is because inactive accounts simply look bad with so many different social media platforms available.
For example, if your business has a few posts from six months ago on Facebook, it can make people question if your company still exists – all while losing followers and missing out on customers.
Solution: If you’ve been inactive on social media for a while, it can be tempting to press delete and turn off the lights to all of your accounts.
However, that will make you lose your connections and subscribers who signed up to hear from your business.
Instead, it’s best to identify the channels that receive the most attention from your audience and focus on keeping them active.
Put a social media strategy in place that enables you to keep customers engaged and quickly respond to comments and questions.
7. You Have a Bad Online Reputation
Customers don’t want to do business with brands that have a bad online reputation.
While it’s true that you have very little control over what people say about your business online, suffering the slings and arrows of negative reviews and content can really affect your ability to gain and maintain customer trust.
For example, research conducted by Trustpilot revealed that 90% of consumers have chosen not to buy from a brand because of its bad reputation.
Solution: There are many ways you can manage your business’s online reputation, from responding constructively to criticism to optimising your profiles on search engines and review platforms.
You should not wait for any negative customer reviews to surface online to start proactively monitoring your business’s reputation.
In today’s digital world, online reputation management needs to be a must-follow practice – even for startups with a small customer base.
Conclusion: Customers jump ship when brands underdeliver, look unprofessional, deliver poor customer service, or have a bad online reputation.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that by maintaining customer trust you have bigger chances to boost sales and propel your business to success.
The sooner you start taking steps towards creating meaningful connections with customers, the sooner you will get to generate high-quality leads and build a solid customer base.
Want your customers to trust you whilst you focus on creating revenue? With a premium virtual office in Melbourne, you don’t need to work hard to get noticed in a crowded market and convince customers that you are a reliable brand. In less than 24 hours, you’ll get access to a wide array of services that will make your business look incredibly trustworthy and instantly improve your brand’s reputation.