There are a lot of scams online — how can you let your customers know that you’re a reliable company to do business with? There are a variety of quality signals you can provide that will reassure visitors to your website that you’re not a bunch of Nigerian con men.
- Secure your site. This is absolutely crucial for any site, not just those that are selling products online. Our development team at Delphic Sage recommends PCI scans at a regular interval and using SSL on pages where secure information is submitted. We also recommend turning off older server ciphers (SSLv2) and ciphers of less than 128 bits. A PCI scan is the standard for e-commerce sites and helps prevents your server from known potential vulnerabilities. Malware scans are helpful on sites where users can share files with each other, these files end up at least temporarily on the server and thus should be considered potentially harmful.
- Join the Better Business Bureau and display its emblem. The BBB conducts background checks on its applicants and excludes sketchy companies that engage in questionable practices, so membership proves that you are trustworthy. It also lets visitors know that they’ll have recourse if there were to be a problem in their dealings with you. (In addition, the BBB site will link to your site, which may help with your traffic.)
- Display your phone number. No matter how small your company is, you should provide a phone number so customers can call you. This communicates that you are a real company run by real people who will answer the phone if they have a question or need a problem resolved. Don’t bury it in small print at the bottom of the page – display it large and proud, because you have nothing to hide, right?
- Show pictures of your staff. Let customers know what the person answering that phone call looks like – and what his or her coworkers look like as well. Emphasize the human element with head shots and short bios of your staff (keeping them professional, of course). Customers will enjoy, and be reassured by, the personal touch – crooks don’t want their victims to know what they look like.
- Use social proof to let visitors know that others trust you. There’s a whole menu of techniques – comments, testimonials, media mentions – that let visitors know you have customers who are happy with your products and services.
These are all ways to build brand trust. It’s important to not only be an honest and trustworthy company, but to show plenty of evidence of it on your website.