The Importance of Transparency and Modernity

With the growing continuous news reports of fraud, phishing, and illegitimate businesses, people are becoming more and more distrustful of what they see online. If you’re a startup or small business trying to attract new customers, it is essential that you learn how to create a sense of trust online. All marketing efforts will be wasted if your business doesn’t appear trustworthy. A 2013 study done by Boston Consulting Group surveyed 2,500 consumers and found that authenticity was a main quality when measuring attraction to brands—to millennials it was ranked second. The Authentic Brand Index concluded, “The stronger a brand’s Core Authenticity, the more likely people are to become advocates fro the brand, and the greater the share a brand will have of high value customers in its market.”

Image credit: Authentic Brand Index

Businesses lacking available information and businesses that appear out of date have a much harder time gaining trust from potential new customers. Just because you know you are a legitimate and trustworthy company, doesn’t mean that the people researching you have the same feeling. Trust is no longer given; it must be earned.

A very simple and easy way to earn trust is to ensure that your business looks trustworthy. But what does a trustworthy business look lke? The businesses that appear the most trustworthy also appear to be professional, modern, and transparent. These businesses have plenty of information available and provide you with the means to contact them. The most effective way to do all of this is to get a great website filled with original content. Poorly designed and empty websites will signal to the customer that you’re not modern, you’re out of touch and so are your product and service offerings. Some might even think that you’re an illegitimate business. If your business doesn’t look like a modern professional organization you are inadvertently driving customers away.

Image credit: MarketingNutz

The top way to garner trust is to be transparent. Even if your business doesn’t appear 100% modern you can still gain trust through being transparent.  But what does it mean to be transparent? And what level of transparency is required for my customer? Transparency in business means you’re not hiding anything from anyone, you’re publicizing information before the customer asks for it. You amiably divulge how you create value. You can increase transparency by talking about your methods, what equipment you use, who your suppliers are, etc. The goal of transparency is to create a feeling that invites the potential customer into your business. The more expensive your product or service the higher level of transparency you should have. For any product or service that could incur a large sunk cost, potential customers are going to want to do intense research on your company before paying you an exuberant amount of money for a product or service.

Image credit: ProtoFuse

The next most effective way to earn trust online is to appear modern. We don’t want people to perceive your products and services as outdated or else we will lose those customers. Many industries have completely changed over the last decade and if we don’t look modern people will perceive us out of touch and incapable of effectively serving them. A business that appears modern and transparent you will have a much easier time earning trust and converting online seekers to customers. Don’t lose a customer due to a poor online presence.

We want to attract a customer with our website not deter them. Once we have attracted them we should immediately be working toward earning their trust. Your online presence is the first experience for many potential customers, you should deeply care about this moment and do your best to make it a good one. Look like a great business online and start building that trust. Subscribe to my blog to get a notification when I post my next blog “Creating an Excellent Online Experience” where I will break down the specific methods, tactics, and underlying theories that we can use to let our online presence work for us instead of against us.

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