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Two key principles to encourage trust online and increase conversion

Sarah Graveling
Sarah Graveling
Creative Director
3 November 2009

It’s likely that the first impression many new customers will have of businesses will be gathered from their website.

Users will make an instant decision about the site the second they arrive, then spend the rest of the journey looking for key elements to challenge or confirm that reaction.

Following some key principles will ensure that expectations are met and users will feel that the brand is trustworthy.

Here are a couple of must haves:

Online brand design

No matter how small, all websites are a reflection of the brand. Credibility will come from clear and consistent usage of the brand identity online and coherent design.

There is absolutely no substitute for good web design.

Even if the user journey is simple and usable, if the site doesn’t “feel” right and reflect the expectations of modern web design, (unless in the unlikely event you are the only business offering what they are looking for) they will look somewhere else.

We produce extensive online brand guidelines for our clients to ensure that consistency is met and rules aren’t broken. The more detailed the brand guidelines, the more future proof the site will be.

Customer Service

On the high street customer service is something that is generally at the back of the shop or on the top floor. It’s where customers go to return an item or complain.

Online Customer Service is different. On the web users are limited to what questions they can ask, so customer service is often something needed in order to be able to make a purchasing decision.

John Lewis specialise in exceptional customer service so it will be no surprise I think of them as a good example. A few days ago I wanted to buy some bed linen that match a duvet I had already been given. On the website the naming of the item was slightly different to what I already had so I called them to double check it was the same range. The telephone number was clearly visible on the top right of the website and it was 8pm. They answered my question quickly, so I bought the items and they arrived a couple of days later.

Without the answer to that question I would not have bought them.

We may try, but it’s impossible to anticipate ALL the answers a consumer may need, so accessible customer service is essential to be able to build trust with consumers.

United Breaks Guitars

United Breaks Guitars

Have you every tried looking for a contact telephone number on BT.com? I did a year a go and it was REALLY frustrating, as I travelled around in circles on their website.

Don’t hide the customer service telephone number too deep, increase trust and improve the conversion rate.

In addition, customer service is increasingly important with Twitter and other social media platforms where disgruntled customers have an open platform to complain. Have you ever seen the “United breaks guitars” video on Youtube with nearly 6 million views? You really should.

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