How to build a trusting relationship with your online clients
Most business takes place online these days, and it has done for a while. You simply cannot beat the unrivalled convenience of shopping from a home device, and we likely never will, until the product we select can be 3D printed right to our location, somehow beamed from our smartphones. That is likely some way off, so we needn’t dig deep into that crazy idea.
But we can keep in mind online business needs that will always stand the test of time, in some form or another. Building a trusting relationship with online clients if certainly one of those timeless needs. Unfortunately, it can be hard to figure out if those who visit our website have peaceable intentions or not, and if not, that needs to be resolved.
On top of this, many of us, young entrepreneurs or business hopefuls with a need to shake up the system, wish to take a more humanistic approach to things. A trusting relationship with online clients is essential to get out of the somewhat artificial relationship businesses can have with their audience. This is how your ingenuity and power as a young upstart can apply itself creatively.
Thankfully, there are a number of worthwhile systems you can put in place to ensure those visiting your website are encouraged to behave themselves. But first we need to define what a client ‘behaving themselves’ even looks like. We would like to volunteer the following advice:
Ensure they’re real
First of all, while you won’t have the chance to get to know all of your clients on a first name, mutual basis (that would be very odd indeed,) it’s important you are able to systematically understand that they are who they say they are. It’s important to use a service proud of helping enterprises verify their customer’s identities, such as Jumio. This can help you use the best AI and algorithmic machine learning to ensure that your clients are who they say they are. If you can confirm this, then you can take the venom out of the potential for fraudsters to use your website, and you may even completely deny them access to account ownership.
You might think that the cornerstone of a trusting relationship with your clients is for them to trust you. You might think you need to bend over backwards in order to achieve this. However, it’s first important to protect the sanctity of your own online presence. First, you need to trust those who hope to use your website. If you can do this, then you have gotten your fundamental requirements out of the way, and you can continue in a worthwhile manner.
Reward continual engagement
It’s important to let clients know that you’re at the other end of whatever platform you’re running. Otherwise, you can simply come across as faceless, and quite indifferent to the continual engagement of a loyal visitor or client. If you wish to foster continually supportive behavior, you should reward it. Special mailing lists for elite clients, allowing them first access to promotions, potentially even gifting free months of your premium account service could be a great idea. When you reward continual engagement, you change the dynamic to ensure a more loyal approach. This in itself can be a worthwhile endeavour.
You can ensure the most sleek business website design, the most engaged utilities for your clients, the most reactive and supportive social media connectivity, but if your website has downtime, things look bad.
Without the details, clients can often look at downtime as a security flaw. If you’re scheduling maintenance, go ahead and announce it well ahead of time. If you can, limit downtime as much as you can, to the point where it is an extremely rare occurrence. If you can do this, then your website can seem reliable and secure. Most corporations are also silent when their website is down, to avoid reporting on it and to avoid spreading an ‘incompetent’ message.
But seeing as though you wish to take things a little more seriously and speak on the same level as your audience, opening up as to the issue can be important. For example, apologising on Twitter, describing the nature of the issue, and potentially when the solution can be expected can help you seem vocal, understanding, and also reliable. A resource like this can ensure clients know you will never hide behind a false wall.
However, of course, investing in the best hosting services, anti-DDoS setups and ensuring you use a host with full, live, round-the-clock support can help you limit downtime effectively.
Allow reviews, comments, user engagement
It can be very worthwhile, if you stand behind your product, to allow customers to comment on it. Allowing reviews, comments and user engagements can be a great step forward. You might reward this kind of interactivity with loyalty points, free shipping on their next delivery, or something pertaining to an incentive.
Often, an informed opinion and feedback on the product purchased can help you develop what customers might be wanting, could help you understand bug fixes, features or repairs you might need to make, and also, positive reviews can be seen as a form of salesmanship for other people, and they may respond in kind. If you can allow this kind of inquiry, then your audience will again understand that you are paying attention to reality, not only that which makes you look good.
While not offering a physical product or service, it’s important to see how Netflix’s live streaming capacities have drawn ire by following the reverse process. After a noticeable dip in quality of their original programming and stand-up special hostings, Netflix responded in kind by removing reviews from their platform. This is not a customer-friendly response. This does not build trust with an audience. If you can subvert this need, then you will likely have a better opposing effect.
With these tips, you are certain to build a trusting relationship with your clients.