Building trust is critical if you are selling products or services online. Zappos became successful by offering free shipping and a great return policy. By leveraging the positive experiences of their audience through customer testimonials, Zappos was able to build brand loyalty and grow their business. Similarly, other sites highlight their guarantees and feature certifications or a phone number potential customers can use to contact a real person if any issues occur. These features can make the difference between someone hitting the dreaded back button and making a purchase.
Your clients trust you implicitly, or they wouldn’t have chosen to do business with you in the first place. There aren’t degrees of trust, at least not between business entities. Either clients trust you, or they do not, or they don’t have enough information available by which to make a decision. If they do trust you, the only thing that will keep them trusting – and keep them as your customers – is repeated on-time and on-budget delivery of a satisfactory product or service. The easiest way to compromise that trust is by, of course, providing something less than what your clients have become accustomed to.
Trust is like an elevator cable, in that only its absence should be remarkable. Trust between provider and consumer isn’t something you must only “build,” it’s something you first earn, then maintain and preserve. Saying you can “build” trust implies that you can move from a position in which a client doesn’t have faith in your ability to deliver, to a position where the client does.