Is Customer Trust Really the Determining Factor for your eCommerce?

Why is it that so much emphasis is placed on developing customer trust and good consumer relationships for eCommerce business?

Research finds that: 67% of consumers trust a purchase on a familiar online marketplace even if the retailer selling the product is unfamiliar to them. If customers had a satisfactory experience, 54% will return to buy from the same marketplace again. The reason being they trust the marketplace.

With the continually emerging and evolving online marketplaces, one of the known ways to stay sustainable in the eCommerce ecosystem is to develop long lasting and reliable relationships with customers. There are other factors too that influence customers to buy from you, for example, the quality of your product and a well-functioning website. But what makes Trust stand out?

Trust is the overriding factor that determines whether a visitor will purchase from you or not.

Trust is the magnet that brings together your other strengths and competencies.

Without consumer trust, no individual quality of your business is usually enough for visitors to buy your service or product. If all your distinctness and strengths don't come together to create trust for your visitors, they will simply leave for other options.

Obtained from “Study: Why B2B Marketers Waste 19% of Their Budgets”

So what are some of the proven ways you can influence and grow trustworthy relationships with your clients?

Solidify the Relationship

Online fraud of financial and personal information is one of the major reasons people are reluctant to buy online. Offline shopping precludes giving out personal and financial information in many cases. Since eCommerce precludes live and verbal social communication, your customers may never get to interact with you personally. Therefore, the need to establish trust is higher in eCommerce.

So how can you reinforce that you are genuine and trustworthy?

One way to do it is through communicating testimonials and reviews. Post reviews from your previous happy clients on your website, social media, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and also send them on newsletters to your subscribers. Online feedback and testimonials play a huge role in shaping your users' decision to buy or not. Word of mouth remains to be the single most effective sales factor and marketing technique that does its job without you having to spend your finance on it. But it obviously doesn't come without effort. Therefore, it's important to have a good website technology, quality products, and of course, a good customer support service for your clients to speak something good about.

Research again shows:

88% of online consumers look for ratings and reviews, with 47% of online consumers seeking them only if [they] are not familiar with the retailer and 41% only purchasing if ratings and reviews are present. – Bizrate Insights
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Obtain reviews by seeking them personally from your consumers either through email, phone calls or social media. It can also be in the form of ratings like on Facebook, but even better are descriptions and videos of your clients talking about how your product or service benefits them. And don't be afraid to ask, because customers do love communicating their experiences. Also, keep up with reviews of your services and products given on other websites and forums, such as Yelp, Amazon, and Yahoo. Show that you are responding to customer's feedback, solving their problems, and also appreciating their good ratings.

Invest in Trust Seals

However, reviews and testimonials are not 100% guaranteed to build trust between you and your customer. Once a potential buyer has read and heard all word-of-mouth and first-hand reviews, there may still be a gap in his/her mind before they choose to buy from your store. A significant percentage of online shoppers (70%) refuse to continue with their online transaction because they did not trust the transaction. 53% also say that if there was a seal present, they wouldn’t have canceled the transaction.

This is important. It pushes your customers to trust you and have faith in your business. Computer users and eCommerce consumers now increasingly recognize the significance of Trust Signals. One of the most widely recognized methods is the SSL/TSL certification, which is a networking protocol that serves browser authentication, encrypts and secures client and server communication, and makes the server authenticated.

eConsumers increasingly look for the padlock and know the difference between http:// and https://. When they see the green bar on a website, they instantly know that it's a place they can trust enough to enter their information. They know it's a genuine business and safe. Without this, they are left to trust the vendor alone which is something most users are not comfortable with.

Though this license can be expensive depending on the level of security you integrate, but worth it if you are serious about building customer loyalty and selling more.

A padlock and green bar in a browser’s URL window are an indication that the website has obtained Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL). Even that little “s” in a URL is a sign that the site is a trustworthy e-commerce site…It ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. – Jeremy Said

After Sales and Ongoing Support

What's next after you have ensured your website is secured, authenticated, and users are able to verify that you are a genuine seller?

Ensure that your customers are now able to reach you anytime. Your contact page and details should be up to date. And the contact information should be present in every page, usually in the footer. Adding your address in addition to your phone number eases your customer's worries even more. Ensure that you respond to all customer queries. Having representatives to manage live chats is the most beneficial support you can provide to your users. It works as a substitute for face-to-face interaction and brings satisfaction that you care about your clients and there is someone to listen to their issues.

Stay in touch with your customers through email marketing. Send newsletters for updates, new products, and offers. Reward your loyal customers with discounts, coupons, and gifts, and they will reward you.

Wrapping up

Trust influences a consumer's decision to visit your site, buy your product, return to the site, and even promote your brand. Sometimes customers themselves become brand ambassadors of products because of the benefits they have received and the faith they have gained in the business. Without trust, visitors will simply drift away to competitors and choose other options. It doesn't take much long for the visitor to lose attention, but a lot for the vendor to gain and retain it. So ensure that you are investing wisely in building trustworthy relationships.

So, is TRUST really the determining factor for the success of your eCommerce? The answer is overwhelmingly, yes. But it is not something that can be built in a short time. Moreover, with each customer, building a long lasting relationship will vary because the perception of each client will vary and so will their interaction with you.

No one method guarantees success.

What is known is that customer trust develops in stages, not instantly. The more you solve customer's concern points to remove their hesitations, the more you increase your chances to gain trust from your visitors.

Do you know of other methods to build trust with your clients? Have they worked for you and your business?

Share your experience with us in the comments below!

How To Increase Client Trust and Get Paid On Time

You may be working for a client and trying to meet your deadline, but struggling to gain their trust. While you work heart and soul, your client may think you are not doing enough. This becomes very difficult for you as you cannot express your dedication and increase their trust.

It's Time You Knew Why Your Clients Aren't Trusting You

There are several reasons for clients all over the world, cannot trust people who work for them. So, let's dive in and find out these causes.

Is there a lack of transparency in your workflow?

The most common and root cause of the trust issues is nothing but transparency. If your client cannot get a clear view of what you are doing, they will not trust you. It's a simple thing for creating a good relationship. If there is no transparency in your workflow, your client will most likely to think that you are taking advantage of them.

Are your billable hours misaligned?

A very serious problem occurs when your work and billable hours, client's goal and your dedication are misaligned. Every client wants the best quality work within a reduced billable working hour. On the other hand, you may want to take your time for completing the work properly.  This creates serious trust issues.

Have you maintained a proper communication?

Customer happiness is the most important part when you are dealing with their trust. Unhappy customers will tend not to trust you and most importantly, they don't usually pay the bills. You might think that providing high-quality work makes them happy. Unfortunately, you are wrong big time!

Customer happiness lies within their trust on you. It's all about increasing trust and making them believe that you are working your best to give them the most suitable results. This makes them happy and they pay you on time.

How to Solve these Problems for Increasing Client Trust

As you have come this far and went through finding out the reason behind trust issues with your client, this is high time we give you the solutions to increase client trust.

Please note that these are highly complex solutions and you may need powerful project management tools to perform them!

Wait, don't go. I am just kidding 😛

During my past 4 years as a freelancer, I have worked with many clients and faced these troubles. But people who I was clear with stayed with me and grew in trust. A trusty client is the best asset someone can build in a business.

My clients were spread across the globe. So I had to rely on web services that allowed me to overcome these problems. I personally love WP Project Manager because it is free and delivers what I need. Let's find out solutions to each of your troubles that you are looking for.

Create a window for your client into your workflow

Transparency in work means giving a clear view of what you are doing for your client. You can easily do it by creating a window into your workflow.

If you are using a project management tool for managing your clients work, then you might consider giving them access to it. This can greatly help you to show your client your progress and also every little step that you have taken.

Of course, you have your privacy and you don't need to show everything to your client. All you need to do is give them some access and using it they will be able to get insights about your work.

Set realistic expectations

Your client will always look for realistic expectations from you. This why you should be careful while planning the project and giving deadlines. Almost 90% of the projects take longer than allocated time. So, you must keep some extra time on hand while planning, but make sure they are realistic.

The best way is to use proper planning and scheduling tools such as GANTT chart. This will make sure your plan is realistic and this largely increases the trust of your client. Most of the project management tools have GANTT chart feature so you can take the advantage of it while making a winning plan.

Create a better relationship with proper communication

There is nothing better than a good relationship with your client. This not only increases their trust but also makes things easier. It is recommended to maintain regular communication with your client. You can significantly increase your client's trust and make them happy with your work.

Modern project management tools have built-in communication system including discussion, emails, notifications, daily digest etc. This helps a lot to build a better relationship.

So, What about Getting Paid on Time?

If you have successfully increased your client's trust, you will surely get paid on time. You can also take some other actions which may help you a lot to make things right about getting paid properly. Here are some tips that you can consider.

Create a proper payment contract

A contract is the proof of commitment you are making with your client. So, while making a commitment, include a proper payment contract and the services you will be providing. You can also ask for some policies including payment logistic, late payment penalties, termination or project, no payment issues etc.

Send invoices Regularly

Always create detailed invoices and send them regularly. Don't forget to include due dates, late payment penalties, payment options etc. Also send the invoice to the client directly.

Communicate

Maintain communication with your client on a regular basis. Use different communication methods including-

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Voice Mail
  • Cloud Billing

Automatic Payment

Try to convince your client to automate the payment system. You client may have dozens of things to think about every day. They might forget about the payment intentionally. So, if a recurring or automate payment is enabled, you will get paid on time regularly.

What's Next?

You must be tired of reading this long post. We are concluding it with the most important thing that you should keep in mind. Here it goes-

Being transparent with your work is the best solution to resolve trust related problems.

You can use project management tools for WordPress and speed up the process. All the screenshots provided above are taken from our very own WP Project Manager, a powerful solution that can greatly help you to increase client's trust.

Don't forget to give respect to your client and let them see your progress over time. This will increase their trust and they will not hesitate to pay you on time.

Take a look into what WP Project Manager has to offer!