Thursday, July 24, 2008

Five Ways To Foster Trust From Online Customers

Eairlier today I wrote a post in my blog for parents called Baby Buggy Bumper about quality shopping online in response to a comment that a reader made.

Her comment was;
"You can't guarantee the origin of car seats on ebay nor can your be assured that these are brand new car seats. You should only buy a new car seat, unless you can guarantee that your car seat has NEVER been in an accident. Car seats also have expiration dates, and you can't confirm the manufacture dates of a car seat on ebay. Buy new from a reputable dealer. It's worth the extra cash for your child's safety."
I tried to educate buyers on how to make their online shopping a more secure situation. But there is a lot of mistrust in the comment, and it got me to thinking about how online sellers are all in the same boat. When it comes to trust that is.

Many online buyers don't trust us, because we don't all do things to foster trust in our customers. And so mistrust of me, becomes mistrust of you.

The things that I do, can effect your business and vis versa. So I want to give a list of things that I think online sellers can do to build trust with their customers.

1. Identify yourself, post your picture, give your email address and a business phone number where you can be reached. This builds trust, it lets your buyer know who they are dealing with, and it gives them a way to communicate with you. Use the about page and or profile page of the selling site you use.

2. Communicate with the buyer. Acknowledge their payment, let them know when you have shipped their item. Let them know that you will answer all and any questions that they have. Answer your emails as quickly as possible.

3. Sell only the best quality goods and services that you can. This is a no brainer, but it gets to the heart of the trust matter. There are too many sellers out there selling subpar goods and giving subpar service. If you do sell used or damaged items, then describe them accurately.

4. Stand behind the items that you sell. Mistakes happen, if it is your fault, live up to it. Be responsible. Give returns, refunds and other forms of compensation to your buyers who deserve it.

5. Make it easy for your customer to understand the terms of the sale. Shipping cost, and all other fees above the price should be clearly placed in your listing. Also let your customers know all your policies, when will you give a refund, when will you allow items to be returned. Who will pay for shipping when an item has to be returned.