How To Build Your Credibility Through Your Website?

by Gary on August 29, 2007 · 2 comments

in Online Marketing

The Internet today gives you an unprecedented reach. Through your bedroom, sitting in your boxers you can sell all sorts of tangible and intangible goods, and services, to people across the globe.

Unfortunately, the same Internet bestows the same power in the hands of crooks, cheats and insincere people too that not only fleece money out of unsuspecting customers and clients, but also besmirch the atmosphere for genuine entrepreneurs. So naturally your prospective buyers and consumers are wary of paying you; on the Internet it is very difficult to know who is genuine and who is not.

You cannot alley all the fears and apprehensions, but you can add some features to your website that make you easily traceable and that make your customers and clients feel safe about their money when they pay you.

  • Prominently display your contact information: Things like your phone number and geographic address give you a sense of real-world existence. Through your phone number people can contact you and can really hear you. If they see your address they know you can be reached in case there is need.
  • Have verifiable testimonials: Testimonials are great confidence builders. If your previous and current clients say positive things about you, your product or your service, the prospective customers and clients feel re-assured. It’s not always possible to display the phone numbers and email addresses of those testifying for you, but a website URL is a must.
  • Publish a blog: A blog helps you build a community and a community always nurtures trust. If you publish your blog and regularly interact with your readers it tells your prospective customers and clients that you are known and respected by many people and you would never tarnish your image by cheating people (although some can still do that).
  • Write authoritative articles: Writing authoritative articles and publishing them on your website make you a subject matter expert. It shows you know your stuff and it gives you a chance to highlight the benefits of what you are offering.
  • Provide a money-back guarantee and a return policy: This greatly re-assures your visitors. It’s easier to pay you if I know I’m not throwing my money into a dark well from where it can never be retrieved whether I’m happy with the product or not. Very few people ask for a refund but if you assure you visitors it can really boost their trust levels.
  • Use shipping companies that let your customers track the package: Recently when I purchased an adapter for my Casio musical keyboard online it didn’t arrive even after a week. Fortunately the e-commerce company had mailed me the consignment number. I simply went to the shipping company’s website and tracked the status of my consignment by entering the consignment number. The delivery man had returned because nobody had answered the doorbell. I emailed them and they delivered the adaptor the same day. Always use shipping companies that enable your customers to track their orders.
  • Use trusted payment gateway providers: Nobody wants to share the sensitive credit card information recklessly. Always use the trusted and known payment gateway providers to accept payments online.
  • Have a clearly-defined privacy policy: If you are asking for people’s email addresses and other sensitive information state it clearly that you are going to protect that information like your own life. Tell them that you are never going to share their information with third parties and you are never going to send them unsolicited emails and snail mails and even faxes.

This features can help you boost up your credibility to a great extent.

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  • WTL

    Having your phone number and email (not hidden behind a form) really encourages people to contact you.

    Another way to build credibility is to offer a mailing list.

  • Marc Levy

    Great article… the only thing I would add, and it does not rank highest on the list is ‘good design’. It has been proved that a large percentage of internet users trust a more professional looking site, especially when commerce is concerned. So Looking the part definitely helps!