How to Make People Trust You Online

March 13, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

You know when you go to a website, look around a bit and have a feeling in the pit of your stomach that just screams SCAM’? Or when you deal with an eBay seller and have no trust in him even though his feedback is good but have complete trust in another seller with minimal feedback?

It pretty much boils down to availability of information. The more information that you have available, the more trustworthy you become. Here are a few steps that will make people trust you online:

1. Display contact information

Actually, you can do more than display it, broadcast it and encourage people to view it (much like how Noah has his email and phone number out in the open on Okdork) You’re selling something online; be it on your own website, eBay, or some obscure forum that we don’t want to know about. You’re a trustworthy person and you have nothing to fear because what you’re
doing is 100% legit. Give people a phone number where they can reach you (don’t want people calling at all hours? List the hours which you are available), display your address even if you’re selling a service, display an email address (or two), and display your name.

Most people don’t care about the information as long as it is there.

2. Have a Frequently Asked Questions section

It really doesn’t take too much extra time and is ridiculously beneficial. Don’t put in generic questions. Think of things that you ask yourself when buying something and list those. Don’t worry about losing a sale because you listed a straight up question/answer, if anything it would make someone want to work with you more.

3. Be in constant communication

You chose to sell online, so you have to be on the ball with this one. If you get an email, answer it immediately, don’t let anything linger and tell yourself that you’ll reply soon. 3 hours to you is like 30 days to a shaky buyer. Remember, a lot of people are still nervous buying ANYTHING online be their guiding step and they’ll always remember and buy from you again.

4. If you mess up

Bite the bullet. Simply make it up to the buyer. Give them the product/service for free or include something else in the deal. An honest answer is always the best. Sometimes we forget we’re dealing with other people online and a simple, “I’m really sorry, I hit the wrong button” really goes a long way.

5. Have testimonials

And I mean real ones, with actual email addresses and names. Ask your customers if you can list them on a testimonials page and have them write something about their experience with you. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be perfect. If someone isn’t too happy with your product/service, list that testimonial also, back it up with a response but list it if anything it proves that your testimonials are all real.

Don’t be dodgy, constantly communicate, follow these steps, and you will pass the online trust test. Enjoy and happy selling.

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1 reply to “How to Make People Trust You Online

  1. leslie Villarreal Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this truth about Yelp. I always felt Yelp used the extortion tactic.

    My business has a 4 start rating on City search and is nominated for “best of Citysearch every year”.

    Yelp has nearly put me out of business and their “club rat” reviwers are not even close to my client base. I do not pay for advertizing so they automatically put the worst reviews first. People who write these bad reviews have never complained at my spa but do it later to “get” something for free.

    I work so hard to keep clients happy and hate that Yelp rewards idiots who have nothing good to say about anything.

    I wish we could put Yelp out of business Only Idiots blog there.