Each business lives and dies on it’s appearance. It’s both a good thing and a detriment that can hinder and uplift your business all the same. If you are great at presenting a professional image and feel comfortable, wearing your brand on your sleeve, then you will find this nothing to worry about. If you do find you are a bit stiff, not comfortable in front of the camera and not quite sure how to build trust in people, you will find you’re at a natural disadvantage. Trust signals are used to present the best possible image and it acts kind of like a stamp of approval. For example, you would rather do business with a company that has been health and safety approved right? You wouldn’t want to work with a company that has failed inspection. But let’s explore this more.
Basic Trust Signals for a Website
Websites need to have some very basic trust signals. For example:
- Registered address. The person viewing your website must be able to find your location on a map. Why? It’s human nature for one to pinpoint something, make sure it’s tangible, real and can be contacted, seen, touched or in some way interacted with.
- The phone number. You must have a phone number that is legitimate, that goes straight to the office. This shows confidence and trust in the public that they can speak to you anytime.
- This one is a huge topic right now. User reviews and the star rating you get from them, must be displayed on the website nowadays. If you don’t, it shows you lack confidence in your brand, or have a bad rating you want to hide.
All of these things show the customer that you are trusted and trustworthy of them. Giving them reassurance by displaying your user rating is a killer move. Your star rating can act with such authority that a stranger immediately trusts your business without ever having bought something from your business.
A truly interesting subject of trust and trust signals is B2B relationship forming. It turns out that every business is subject to it’s industry and therefore, every industry has different methods of appearing trustworthy. For example, if you are a tech firm wanting to build relationships with other businesses, you might want to use one of the best tech PR firms to build trust signals. They will focus on social media and your content strategy. Being a figure of authority and thought leadership within an industry is hard. With great business blog posts that are designed to attract commercial entities, you can become a source of valued and trusted information. Educating brands on how to use your products and services is a solid way to entice companies to work with you.
CSR stands for corporate social responsibility. This is a huge, and we mean huge, topic right now. Workers’ rights, working conditions, maternity leave, pollution, giving back to local communities, charities and so many other things that a modern business should be doing are demanded by customers. You have to have a policy for climate change and how you are doing something about it. This may be to cut down on waste, emissions of pollutants by a certain percentage. You should also set aside a percentage of company profits to help local communities. Working with charities that provide local services could help better your brand and trust with people.
Customers are more likely to trust a business that has the same social values as they do. This means, respecting people with different beliefs and openly saying you want this type of atmosphere in your business. You should also do something to slow climate change so customers trust that you are not conflicting with things that matter to them.
Trusted Returns Policy
Customers are more likely to trust you if you have a good returns policy. This might be something such as making it clear upon the checkout screen, what the returns policy is. You can summarize it and also have your returns policy rated by an external audit company. Have clear protocols, rules and contact points for customers to use.
Trust signals come in many forms and using a good many of them for your website, policies and communication standards with other businesses, will forge a line of trust with everyone you interact with. Perhaps the main point to focus on is your overall corporate social responsibility, because this is where the majority of your actions will count.