How do you win your online customer trust, in a way that makes you feel good while satisfying your customer needs and expectations? Is it a matter of how loud you scream, of how easy it is to find it on major search engines or of how many people testify to your greatness? Probably none of these will do, but the answer is right in front of your nose, if you just look at how your physical world suppliers have done and continue to do it even when they have no online presence whatsoever.
Photo credit: bonsaigian
To get customer trust you have to give out something valuable without asking anything in return.
A few weeks back, I involved a group of my passionate POP subscribers to collaboratively lay out with me a concept map illustrating all of the possible ways to gain unconditional customer trust in an online environment.
What came out of it is a rich idea map, full of many useful marketing tips and customer service suggestions that can help most any online publisher or entrepreneur.
Here below are both the original version of that map, as it presented itself after a few days of spontaneous collaborative crowd-sourced inputs, as well as a new refined and edited version of the same which I have prepared later to synthesize and distill the key recommendations received.
Find here 18 different strategic suggestions on how to win your online customer trust, they key factor needed to successfully sell, promote or market anything on the Internet.
Click the image to access the new edited mindmap or go to the old unedited mindmap
Always Deliver More Than Expected
Provide extra value. For some this may mean to "give in abundance". For others it just means giving REAL value to your customers, beyond what is the "standard" expectation. This can be done in many ways:
- by providing more than the customer expects,
- by throwing in additional bonuses,
- by offering free support,
- by extending service and in many other possible ways.
It's the "go the extra mile" philosophy.
Give Out As a Gift Something of Great Value
Give away something so valuable that speaks miles for your products and your desire to satisfy your customer needs beyond expectations.
Offer a Tryout
Always give opportunities to try your product / service. Not allowing your potential customers to see, or try out directly your product is an indication to them that you have something to hide.
Make Your Customer Feel Special
Do something special for your customer. Give her a present, a gift, something good is always effective. Take the time out to do an informal text chat to help out with something problematic or just share something nice you have just discovered yourself.
Cheer Your Customer Up As You Do With Your Dog
Cheer your (potential) customer up and make a party each time you meet, just like people do with their dogs when they get back home - it works!
Listen to real, hidden goals.
Don't force your solutions on your customer. Listen in between his phrases to what he is really looking for to obtain and find a way to get him there.
Restate what the person is telling you to be certain you understand his perspective.
Listen for emotional messages, not just logic.
Allow Sharing of Customer Stories and Experiences
Potential customers have great stories and ideas to share. Create venues for them to do so and utilize their best stories to let your know customers learn what to expect from you.
Let Criticism Flow In
Welcome criticism and leverage it to make improvements.
Reach out to customers to have them suggest new ideas and solutions to improve your product.
Don't Try To Sell, Focus On Listening and Helping Out
People don't like when someone tries to openly sell them something, unless they are the ones asking for it. That's why your goal, when trying to win your customer trust, should be one of first listening and trying to understand what the real problem is. They try to help out sincerely, without the pressing desire to sell something at all costs.
Do it because you care about helping people in your niche marketplace. If they get help, they start to trust you, and when they trust you, they are going to ask you where they can buy what you actually sell.
Never Advise One Thing and Then Do The Opposite
Walk your talk. Recommend what you honestly would for yourself.
Honesty is always the best policy.
Always Begin With The Intention to Serve and Give
That should be your starting point. Not the one of selling. Help out is your first mission.
Lead by Example
Be a model.
Apply your advice to your own blog, business and network. Be coherent with what you preach.
Lead With Humbleness
Be a servant leader, asking: "How can I help you vs. me succeed?"
Share, give support, inspire, encourage, guide.
Know Your Competition Like Your Pockets
Customers love to have as a supplier a passionate expert. Someone who knows every product in the market, and the differences, strengths and weaknesses of each one.
Competitors are also an enormous resource for inspiration. They often have cool ideas before you that can inspire you, they make mistakes just like you do and it is good to know and learn from them yourself.
The more you you ignore your competition the more your customer will ignore you.
Show HOW You Do What You Do
Customers and prospective ones love to see how you actually create / edit / produce the product you offer. It allows them to see how much passion, skill and expertise you put into it.
When You Cannot Sell Your Products Suggest
If you don't have what your potential customer is looking for, don't send him away. Suggest an alternative solution if it involves sending your customer to the competition. Show that you care about finding a solution for them, not getting their money.
Freely share new communication tools vs hogging info to make yourself look better. This will communicate your attitude towards knowledge sharing and collaboration to everybody else, and your potential customer will see it as a proof of your engagement in the area. Even more-so, of your willingness to help them succeed!
Share not only your flow of data (search results, Digg, bookmarks, links...) = information, but also your network of contacts and valuable / trusted sources = people.
Know When To Walk Away
If you don't have what the customer needs but your competitor does, let your customer know. He will be thankful if he will happen to come around again, as he now knows that you are there just to sell him something. You have gained some trust.
Cheer Your Customer Up As You Do With Your Dog - Lisa F. Young
Don't Try To Sell, Focus On Listening and Helping Out - DualCall
Make Your Customer Feel Special - James Steidl
Know What Should Be Free and What Should Not Be Free - adempercem
Always Deliver More Than Expected - Tomasz Trojanowski
Always Begin With The Intention to Serve and Give - Helder Almeida
Let Criticism Flow In - Mikhail Kovalev
Know When to Walk Away - Luis Francisco Cordero
Give Out As a Gift Something of Great Value - Valeriya Potapova
Lead From Beneath As a Servant - noahgolan
Lead by Example - Tomasz Trojanowski
Never Advise One Thing and Then Do The Opposite! - pmtavares
Publish Yourself - Konstantinos Kokkinis
Offer a Tryout - Ljupco Smokovski
Show HOW You Do What You Do - nyul
Know Your Competition Like Your Pockets - mipan
When You Cannot Sell Your Products, Suggest - Jean-Noël Tercier
Listen Closely - Stefan Andronache
Allow Sharing of Customer Stories and Experiences - sgursozlu
Originally written by Robin Good and first published on MasterNewMedia.Robin Good -