Kit Yarrow in her book “Decoding the New Consumer Mind” describes recent shifts that are changing how and who we trust when we’re buying. People are less trusting in general and more emotional, particularly with emotions like anxiety and anger. This is a huge opportunity for professional service firms to build trust online and offline—and bring in more clients who will stay with them.
Here are four key areas for building trust online that you can use offline as well:
“In the minds of consumers, businesses have become the antithesis of humanity. …Despite feeling burned, consumers still crave positive relationships with brands.” – Kit Yarrow
Often we think that talk about “brands” doesn’t apply to B2B the same way it does in consumer marketing, but even in B2B purchasing, people want to connect. Trust is highly valued. When a strong brand connection is present, B2B buyers are more likely to choose that firm. Bonus! They are willing to pay more for that trust and are less likely to switch firms. To leverage your brand power, talk about what your firm really values and the qualities of service that differentiate you from other firms.
“[The] digital world is a place where we scan and view rather than read, and where we’re bombarded by stimulation and constant interruptions. It is an environment that trains us to want everything faster…” – Kit Yarrow
Visitors to your site need you to simplify decision making and make it easier for them to explain why they would choose your firm. Simple doesn’t mean stupid. It’s harder to take highly technical content and explain it simply than it is to keep it complex. Your firm needs to do the hard work of explaining features and benefits of your services and persuading your buyer.
“In my research, I’ve found that we’re not only more trusting of new things but also increasingly wary of brands and products that don’t innovate… For the first time, heritage can be baggage.” – Kit Yarrow
Innovation doesn’t mean you have to constantly develop new services. Your firm can appear innovative by having a clean, quick-loading website and updated social media. You also come across as innovative if you help a potential client think about problems in a new way that offers new solutions.
“ … we seem to assume that if a lot of people are doing the same thing, they must know something we don’t. Especially when we are uncertain, we are willing to place an enormous amount of trust in the collective knowledge of the crowd.” – Robert B. Cialdini, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”
Proof on your website and in your marketing materials is important for many reasons, beyond the one stated above. Testimonials and case studies can be written in clear language that allow prospective clients to put themselves in the shoes of someone already benefiting from your services.
Want more trust-worthy ideas?
Download our checklist to help you excel in all four areas of online trust!