6 ways to build credibility for your online business

online business
Written by Nigel Simpkins

People don’t want to be sceptical of online businesses, but the truth is that they have to be. There has been a long list of data breaches and online scams, and that’s naturally made people a little hesitant to trust that new online businesses really are the real deal. As such, it’s important that you’re factoring in the “the trust issue” when it comes to the development of your venture. You need to bring people on board. Luckily, there are ways you can develop your credibility and establish your brand as one that people can trust. We take a look at a few tried and tested methods below.

Refine Your Products and Services

First thing’s first: make sure you’re selling quality products and services. People are more inclined to believe in a company if it looks like they’ve spent considerable time developing their offerings. This has a knock-on effect, too — if you really are providing outstanding goods to people, then it won’t be long before the five-star reviews begin flowing in. Studies have shown that people are much more likely to use a company if it has been endorsed by another person, even if that person is a stranger. You can help this along by encouraging people to leave a favourable review after the transaction is completed — a simple email can be all the prompt that people need.

Be Available

If there’s one thing that people want from the businesses they deal with, it’s availability. If a customer has an issue, or just a general question, then don’t want to feel like they’re just sending their words out into the abyss; they want to feel heard. As such, it’s recommended that you include various communication methods on your site. You should have email, social media channels, and a phone number to contact (a virtual receptionist can be handy on this front), and make sure that you’re responding to enquiries quickly. People can lose faith pretty quickly if they’re forever waiting to hear back for a simple question.

Big Business Look

It’s just a fact of business that people are more drawn to bigger, more established companies than they are small ones. That they’ve built up a successful venture is enough proof of credibility. As a small online business, you won’t be able to truly compete with the big boys — but you can make yourself appear much larger than you really are. One of the primary benefits of a virtual office address, for example, is that it can give smaller companies all the advantages of a prestigious location, without the high cost. Potential customers will associate your location with trust and credibility, even if you’re not technically located there.

Handling Issues

It’s all good and well shouting from the rooftops about how good your company is when things are going well. But how do you respond when things aren’t going well? That’s when the true test of your credibility comes into play. You can’t just say that your trustworthy and always put customers first — that’s just talk. Take a look at how you’re handling issues. If you strive to fix any problems that a customer has, and genuinely want them to have an all-around pleasant experience with your business, then the credibility will come.

Showing Your Expertise

Here’s a question: why should people trust that you know your business inside out, and that they should give you their money? One way to build trust is to show your expertise to the world. If you really do know your stuff, then make sure your potential customers know it. You can write blog posts about your products/broader industry, or host talks/podcasts if it’s applicable. No matter what industry you’re in, there’s going to be a lot of competition, and not all of them will be as knowledgeable about your products/services as you are. The only way to ensure everyone knows that is to establish yourself as an expert.

Invest in your Staff

There’ll come a point where you need to work with staff, either in-house or because you’ve outsourced some of your tasks. Since they’re representing your business, it’s essential that you’re, first, hiring the best employees you can get (even if that means paying a little more), and, second, training them how to deal with customers/complaints, and so on. Your employees will have a lot of potential to establish or destroy the trust you have with your customers, so don’t leave it up to chance — it’s too important.