In business, we often hear people talking about the holy grail of marketing tactics today – increasing the cherished email list. We also hear people talk of things like retargeting our audience with tailored messaging and the use of Chatbots which are capable of harnessing business leads through automation. Shopify is a wonderful platform for these kinds of tools and add-ons. No question.
One thing we are hearing less and less about, however, is the invaluable notion of building customer trust and loyalty. When was the last time you had a discussion in business about building trust with your clients? While everything is seemingly moving towards automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), somewhere along the line we may have forgotten the importance of building trust. Not in a ‘salesy’, fake way. More a considered, honest approach where there is a genuine consideration for the interests of the customer.
Starting an online Shopify store is exciting and it is also potentially very rewarding. When first setting it all up, it can be tempting to assume that the site design, products and images will speak for themselves and we can therefore make money while we sleep. Have you had the experience yet where you’ve woken up in the morning and orders have come through during the night? It’s pretty awesome, right? All of this is great of course, but there is no substitute for strong client trust relationships, which ultimately sees your customers coming back time after time and recommending your store to their friends and family.
If you want to get all ‘old school’ and place some value on gaining the trust and respect of your audience, check out the below tips for your success. Ignore them at your peril. J
- Have a strategy. Give some dedicated thought to how and why you want to build trust with your customers. Why is it important? How are you able to demonstrate that you are a trustworthy business? Try writing 5 points for each down on a piece of paper. This will become your blueprint for customer happiness and it can be refined ongoing by referring back to it periodically and making adjustments or additions.
- Do what you say you’re going to do. If you specify that you will dispatch orders within 24 hours, make sure you do. If you tell a customer that you will send them out some more information by close of business (COB), do it. People notice much more when a business doesn’t follow through on their commitments, than when they do. You really need to nail this one.
The Nuts and Bolts
- Be available. If you can’t be available 24/7 (and there are many options like Messenger that mean you can be), communicate your opening hours clearly on your site, and stick to them. With the availability to connect your Shopify store to Messenger, it is now possible to set up automated responses which can help your customers at any time of the day. They can also be turned off as you wish. Alternatively, just be present in business hours and get back to people quickly, just as you would expect if you were the customer, right?
- Let your customer base hear from you. Communicate with your community/tribe/audience in a way which is reliable. No one wants to hear from a business (even one they like) all the time. Furthermore, most business owners don’t have time to be creating content for their email list all the time. But it is important to remind your customers that you’re still there relatively often. Many experts believe this to be approximately once a week. It may be more or less for your type of business but keep it regular.
- Don’t spam them with rubbish. Having said all that about keeping in touch, it’s better to say nothing, than to keep sending communications that are useless or boring. Can you think of a business that just sends you junk all the time? How long does it take til you hit the unsubscribe button? Make sure you have something good to say. And by ‘good to say’, we mean something of value to your customer.
- A good returns policy. Letting customers know that you have a strong Returns Policy is a clear trust builder. The reason for this is that it sends a clear message that if your customers are unhappy, you will make it better. Even if you don’t want to, haha!
- A money back guarantee. It may not always be appropriate to do this, but if you are letting your customers know that you are willing to give them their money back if they’re not satisfied, you are really backing your product. It says you truly believe in what you are selling.
The Extra Mile
- Position your business and self as an expert in your niche. This one is becoming increasingly important in business. The best way to do this is to create compelling content which demonstrates that you really know your stuff. Think about your niche and try to come up with 10 article ideas that you can write about and publish. Doing this also helps Google recognise your Shopify store as current and relevant. These days people like to read articles that are short ‘snapshots’ of thoughts. Not a great writer? Hire someone to help you. It doesn’t have to cost a lot.
- Customer reviews. This one is probably not advisable for new businesses because it takes a while to build a reputation. Down the track, however, enabling reviews on your Shopify store can quickly let customers and potential customers know that you are transparent about your product feedback. It is a very powerful tool if used at the right stage. Think about a time when you’ve been browsing on a site and have noticed a product review. Whoever has contributed the review is (usually) an unconnected buyer without an agenda, other than to review the product. This tends to be something we give trust to.
Think about the things that make you trust a website. What makes you feel comfortable and keen to return to that site? What are the things that make you never want to go back?
Don’t forget to hit us up in the comments if you have others you think we’ve missed. We’d love to hear from you.