In the context of businesses, credibility is defined as the quality of being trusted by your target audience. The ideal outcome of trusting customers is, of course, higher conversion rates. And with trusting customers and higher conversion rates ultimately comes a robust and loyal customer base.
Credibility is one of the key distinguishing factors between businesses that succeed and those that face more challenges. You may sell a higher quality product, but if your credibility is in the gutter, it will undoubtedly affect your company’s success.
So, what are the secrets to building credibility?
Whether you have a well established brick and mortar store selling office supplies, a new online shop selling essential oils, or something in between, it’s in your best interest to follow this list of actionable steps you can take to build business credibility.
1. Keep things consistent
With all things in life, consistency is key. Your business’s design, website, ads, and messaging should remain consistent at all times. Your interactions with customers should also be consistent. Credibility and trust can only be built when your business presence is centered around consistency.
2. Celebrate customer testimonials
Use positive customer reviews from online testimonials, social media comments, and surveys to your advantage. Feature the feedback via email marketing campaigns, social media, and your website to help build your business’s positive reputation. Potential customers are more likely to convert when they see other happy customers raving about your services or products. You can also ask customers who’ve had good experiences to write a review online to help boost your business.
3. Listen to negative feedback
Negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback. Be sure to listen to customer complaints and to take them to heart in order to improve your operations. Negative feedback is actually really helpful data to have. And the more you listen to their negative feedback, the more likely it is you will make necessary adjustments in response. When customers see you being proactive and addressing their concerns, your credibility is boosted–big time.
4. Respond to online reviews
Regularly responding to online reviews—regardless of whether they are positive or negative—shows customers you care about what they have to say and take them seriously. It also adds a human touch to your business, showing customers that you aren’t a giant corporation that neglects its customer feedback or experiences. You’re real people with real reactions and solutions to both their positive and negative feedback.
5. Boost your online presence
In this day and age, every business needs to have an active social media presence. Social media is arguably the most important place a small business can be spending time and money in order to build a customer base, and ultimately, credibility. It’s a good idea to post on a regular basis so potential customers see you’re serious about your social media game and your offerings.
6. Work with influencers
A great way to build credibility is by partnering with influencers who your target audience respects and trusts. These days, people are spending vast amounts of time every single day scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and the likes. And, influencers have a lot of clout–which means their endorsement of your business will increase brand awareness, demonstrate that your business can be trusted, and pique interest among your target audience.
7. Include trust badges on your content
A great way to build credibility is by featuring trust badges on all of your content. When potential customers see that your business is trusted by household names, they are far more likely to take a leap of faith and trust your business. And be sure the badges you use match your branding. If they are clunky and feel out of place, people may become suspicious of their legitimacy.
8. Be honest and transparent
To build credibility, you need to be honest at all times. This means being transparent with everyone you interact with–customers, employees, suppliers. Maintaining open and honest communication will set the tone for your business’s reputation. In addition to being the right thing to do, maintaining transparency and engaging in ethical business practices has been shown to drastically increase employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty.
9. Make yourself available
If potential customers reach out with questions, it’s critical that you answer as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Customers trust and appreciate businesses that respond swiftly with complete answers. And if you want your customers to feel free to contact you with whatever comes up, make sure your contact information is easy to spot on your website.
10. Pay on time
Building credibility is not just important for potential customers, but also for potential vendors. If you establish yourself as a business that follows through and pays on time, this encourages vendors to do business with you. You can use Melio as a way to quickly and easily pay business bills, schedule bills in advance, and make sure you never, ever miss a payment.
It all comes down to reputation
Ultimately, credibility is the foundation of any successful business. Your reputation is what differentiates you from companies that offer the same products or services. But remember–credible companies are not built overnight. It takes time, devotion, and a lot of intentionality. But if you implement these ten steps into your business operations, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the most credible business on the block.
*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.