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5 Ways to Build Customer Trust on Your Site

| July 14, 2014
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Each time a potential customer or client interacts with your site, you’ve got an opportunity to build a relationship with them. Like most relationships, the foundation will be built on–and revolve around–trust. But that’s not always easy to do.

While it might seem like a mountain of a task at first, you’ll find that it’s a lot more manageable once you break it down into smaller action items. If you’re not sure where to get started, here are 5 things you can do today to not only create a trustworthy site, but also provide an awesome user experience.

1. Make Your Contact Information Easy to Find

You can have all of the FAQs and informational copy that you want on your site or app, but your users will always have questions. This is why it’s important to have easily accessible contact information.

Just take a look at B2C sites like Verizon or Macy’s, and B2B sites like Marketo and Salesforce. You’ll notice that there’s either a link to their contact information, or a phone number right up at the top of their site, where it’s highly visible and easy to access.

marketo

Marketo’s site features two ways to contact them right on their header, so you’ll always know where to look, no matter where you are on their site.

While this method works for many sites, there’s no guarantee that this placement will be as effective with your users. Run a few user tests on the placement of your contact information and see if your users find the placement on your page intuitive. If your users have trouble finding it, test a few other placements to find one that works well for both of you.

Be sure to also couple your easily accessible contact information with great customer service, and you’ll have a 1-2 punch that’s sure to gain the trust of prospective and existing users.

2. Offer Live Help Options

Internet users have instant access to information, so it’s no surprise that a majority of users want instant responses to their questions.

One of the most effective ways to immediately address questions and build trust with your site’s visitors is through live help methods like Live Chat and Click-to-Call. Studies have shown that 50% of internet users worldwide prefer to use live help methods over other means of contact, which is a significant chunk of online traffic no matter how you slice it.

Just like the placement of your contact information, be sure to also test the placement of your live chat link. After all, there’s no sense in having this feature if your users can’t see it or have trouble accessing it. Does it work better living in your “contact us” page like the example below, or as a tab floating over all of your pages? These are questions you’ll be able to answer after testing this feature on your site.

hanapin

Hanapin includes live chat as one of their contact methods.

3. Show Off Your Clients List

If someone tells you, “trust me, I’m a doctor,” you’d probably be a little skeptical until they were able to prove it. The next best thing would be getting confirmation from a third party, ideally from a large, reputable group of individuals.

This is the exact purpose that a client list serves.

This concept is frequently referred to as “social proof.” It’s an effective way to build trust in the eyes of your site’s visitors and give you added credibility, especially if done correctly. Take a look at how Unbounce and Mixpanel leverage their list of high profile clients in the images below.

unbounce

Unbounce implies that if you trust these companies, and they trust Unbounce to build their landing pages, shouldn’t you do the same?

mixpanel

Mixpanel’s homepage features animated panels that feature the logos of their high-profile clients.

4. Don’t Be Shy with Endorsements

If you happen to have some high profile companies, industry experts, or publications who’ll vouch for you, don’t be afraid to show off what they’ve said about your product or service. If you can work these into a case study, that’s even better!

salesforce

Salesforce’s Customers page features a carousel of endorsements from high-profile companies who use their service.

It’s important to be careful in citing endorsements, and make sure that they’re relevant to your audience and service.

HubSpot is one site that does a great job of not only making their case studies accessible, but also allowing you to view them by industry. This lets prospective clients can see how similar companies have found success with HubSpot.

hubspot

Hubspot features their case studies right in their header, and once you click through, you’re given the option of viewing a variety of reviews and testimonials by category.

5. Get Rid of All Your Dead Links

Laugh all you want at how basic this tip is, but clicking a dead link is jarring, and it’s one of the most effective ways to lose credibility with a site visitor who might otherwise have been having a great user experience.

Don’t let all of that goodwill and trust you’ve built up go to waste with dead links. Use Google Webmaster Tools or Screaming Frog to see which links are sending your users to 404 error pages, and be sure to monitor activity on your error pages. Google’s analytics blog has a few tips you can easily implement, so you can start knocking out your dead links today.

*Bonus Tip – See How Trustworthy Your Site Is Compared to Competitors

There’s no better way to get a competitive edge on your competitors than to learn what works and what doesn’t work for them. When testing your site alongside your competitors, don’t be afraid to ask your participants which site they trust more. You can even have them grade each site on a scale of trustworthiness.

While running your study, you should also be sure to follow up by asking “why?” Otherwise, you’ll never know if it was your live chat, your case studies or the myriad other reasons that might have swung the vote of your test participant. If you’re looking for a few pointers on how to set up your competitor study, you can find them here and here.