Whether you own a start-up or have been an entrepreneur for years, building trust and credibility is a job that never ends. Potential and new customers want to see upfront how your business can help them, and existing customers are more apt to refer you to others if they like you and trust your service.
Gaining trust is relatively easy for a brick-and-mortar business, where consumers can experience how you and your employees present and manage your company in person. But this is more challenging for a service business, whose only presence exists on the internet. So finding ways to create customer comfort and confidence is critical.
What Right Strategies for Online Image- and Brand-Building Can Help to Do?
- Make a good first impression. Users will linger on your website if it looks professional, inviting, and suitable for their needs. Design elements should be appropriate for your business, using just two or three main colors, an obvious highlight style for links, and a limited number and style of easy-to-read fonts.
- Ensure ease of navigation. Content should be organized and accessible so users can find what they need with as few clicks as possible.
- Include graphic images. Photos of employees and company vehicles, before-and-after pictures, and brief videos explaining or demonstrating what you do are powerful and can take the place of text that busy users won’t want to stop to read.
- Include company background. Consumers like knowing “real people” are on the other side of the screen. A brief history provides context for your service, staff profiles humanize your business, credentials (certifications, licensures, continuing education) prove your expertise, and logos of professional associations show dedication to your industry.
- Make contact information readily available. Your easy-to-find phone number, email address, and contact form all invite inquiries—turning visitors into leads. Provide some type of immediate response so your leads know you received their message—and then follow up as soon as possible.
- Include testimonials. Reviews from satisfied customers and clients can be a powerful way to tell people why they should use your service. Brief one-to-two-line comments praising you, your employees, your process, your professionalism, and your quality of service convey credibility and trustworthiness to users finding you for the first time.
- Brand your service across the Internet. Keep your look, message, and feel consistent between your website(s), social media pages, videos, and other online presence. Customers and clients will come to recognize your business no matter where they find it.
The easier it is to do business with you online, the higher your conversion rate from visitors to leads to customers.