Authentic, trustworthy, and human: how to get new customers to take a chance on you
What makes a customer return again and again? A good experience the first time? Sure. Feeling valued and respected by the company? Certainly, but what about attracting new customers? Retaining customers is really important if you want to avoid customer churn, but every business does need to attract new customers too. Especially if you want your company to grow. So, what can improve your appeal to a potential customer? The answer is making your business appear trustworthy and authentic.
People love to upgrade. We upgrade our phones as soon as we can. We get excited if we are offered it early by our provider. That can be a good and a bad thing for your business. It means that your existing customers can jump ship to one of your competitors if they think they’ll get a better deal there. That’s the bad part, the good part is that you can also appeal to your competitor’s loyal customers. How? You need to look more trustworthy than they are. No one is suggesting slandering your competitors to everyone you meet (please don’t do that), but we do have some suggestions as to how you can make your company appear to be an authentic, reliable organisation who any potential customers feel safe dealing with.
1. Social proof
Providing social proof means not simply trying to push your products or show off the services you sell. It means showing how what you offer can solve a problem or help others. If you make cleaning products for example, then showing your product in their pristine bottles and telling them that it removes oven grime won’t cut it. People want to see and hear proof from real people. One way to accomplish this is to try to get content from people who are using your brand. Asking your customers for photos or videos of their nice clean ovens is worth more than if you were to make a video yourself. People trust other people, but not necessarily businesses. Getting real people to share real content while tagging you in it means your trust rating goes up. Simple. If this isn’t possible for you though, don’t despair. You could always take a picture or video yourself to share under your personal name. Then again, if you are discovered to be a part of the business and therefore seen to have an agenda for posting the content, then your trustworthiness goes down. Nothing can beat authentic content from your genuinely satisfied customers.
Yes, fake reviews are sometimes a necessary evil, especially if you’re starting out, but nothing compares to a real, sincere, positive review. Even if it says, “they were pretty good,” it’s still more believable than what you could make up. Go for credible, over unrealistically positive every time. People don’t like to feel managed and manipulated, so if they smell a bunch of fake reviews, they’ll distrust your company and likely take their business elsewhere. If people sense you are an authentic company with real customers, they’ll be more likely to become one themselves. Call it sheep mentality if you like but nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd and it’s the same with positive reviews.
So, in terms of how you get your customers and clients to leave reviews and testimonials, our advice is to make it easy for them. Share the link to your page on Facebook or google reviews on your social media accounts or email them following up their purchase. Asking them to leave them a review may work, but to really seal the deal you need to make it worth their while. Offering a discount on a future purchase from you or offering to enter them into some sort of competition if they leave a review is a really successful way of getting feedback on your business or products. We suppose this is because they feel like you are doing something for them, so they don’t mind doing something for you. Tit for tat and all that.
If you’re wondering how important reviews of your company or products are then you should know that the majority of people read several reviews of a product before they buy it. Jill Anderson of Medium writes that, “according to Fan & Fuel (2016), 94% of online customers read reviews before making any purchasing decisions.” So, don’t waste any more time wondering if you really need reviews on your website or social media. You do. End of. Just make sure they’re as credible and real as possible.
3. Brand personality
Show your customers who you are as a company. Show them your values and what inspires you to do whatever it is that you do. Your “about us” or “our story” page on your website is one of the most important ones on there. If they don’t trust you, they won’t care about what you have to offer. That means that if your “about us” page doesn’t resonate with them, then there’s no way they’ll click through to your “services” or “products” page. That’s not good. People want to see that you are an honest business who sell products or services that address a genuine need or solves a real problem. See our blog post on brand transparency for more information on this.
Consider sharing content from other sources on your social media, not just posts about your company and your work. Showing that you have an awareness of things going on in the world and the wider economy convinces people that you are not just a business, but you are real people. Your future customers will never be your future customers if they think your company is a faceless, spiritless machine. You’re a human, so show them you are and that you care about things outside of your immediate business. If you run a butcher’s, say, then sharing posts about changes to farming standard laws and ethics of agriculture is both relevant to your field and shows that you don’t only care about how much meat you can push. Make sure whatever you share is somehow linked and relevant to your business though. Followers of your butcher shop don’t want to know about the latest wakeboarding championships. They want to know about meat, but they also don’t want to feel like you’re shoving it down their throats. There’s a balance.
The trick to authentic marketing is to not let people know that they are being pitched to. If you give value and a quality customer service, then great. That will help you to hold on to your existing customers, but to attract new ones you must appear to be human, genuine, trustworthy and authentic as a business. Being professional is a great thing but being unapproachable and distant isn’t. Once you have convinced a new customer to try your services or products, then it’s up to you to keep them by providing value and quality.
For more tips on how to effectively market and promote your business, check out the marketing blog on our website, or to see how we can help your business to flourish and grow organically, get in touch with one of our marketing professionals at Deearo Marketing.