By Pol Arellano
A good first impression, according to research, is mostly based on one important thing: trustworthiness.
Of course, there are key factors that play a major role in building trust. Initially, it involves your personal appearance, body language, and your voice.
If you’ve ever been part of a job interview (as an interviewer or an interviewee), you know just how important first impressions are.
This is exactly why you bring out your least tattered suit out, put on hair gel, and practice your responses in the mirror (admit it, you do this!) when you’re about to meet a prospective employer. You want to build that oh-so-important trust.
And first impressions are not just made in the confines of a company’s interview room. It happens all the time, in different places and channels.
And yes, it also happens online. And it’s equally as important. If not, more important. Especially for online entrepreneurs.
But as a business owner, how do you make a good first impression with your online audience when you can’t physically firmly shake their hands or give that dazzling smile of yours?
Here are 7 tips on how your business can make a great first impression online:
1. Be as beautiful as you can be.
Make your website or online channel stand out. By choosing the right font type, color, and creating a memorable logo, you will not only be impressive, but it will help you build credibility.
Make it visually stunning. Let it leave a lasting impression on your audience. Let it reflect your company’s culture, tone, and your brand’s colors.
Also, make sure that there are no dead links anywhere on it and that it’s responsive for all devices.
A simple, informative, easy-to-navigate website interface gives the impression that your company is legitimate, professional and worth doing business with.
2. Be flexible.
You have to be able to adapt to an ever-changing online landscape.
Back in the not-so-distant day, pop-ups were popular and were considered as effective means to get leads.
They’re good, but when used excessively, it could be pretty annoying. And with the emergence of blockers, marketers had to make use of other ways to get their business more traffic.
To be able to make sure that you’re adapting well to current marketing trends, you would need to hire or secure the services of knowledgeable web designers, developers, marketers and content creators. So that if your website needs a revamp, it can be done the right way.
3. Say all the right things.
It’s important to keep your website content creative, dynamic, and most of all informative. It should be free of major grammatical lapses and misspellings.
It should display all the necessary certifications, especially when your business has online payment transactions.
It should basically state all the things that you’d want your customers to read and know about your business — so that they could trust you and give your service or product a try.
Say that you have a lending company — would your customers want to input sensitive information (Social Security Number) on your website or would they want to exit immediately because of all the security red flags?
Remember, your clients are smart. And to be able to get their trust, you need to make sure that everything on your website spells credibility.
4. Be thoroughly helpful.
Having superior customer service online is a major differentiator between you and other companies.
Being a customer-centric company that’s willing to extend a swift helping hand to your clients is the way to go.
Not only will this put you in good stead with your customers, it is also a big financial plus. Studies show that happy customers are willing to spend 10x more than their first purchase.
Plus, it’s 6 to 7 times more expensive to market to a new customer than retaining your current ones.
So not only is being helpful a great trait to have, it can also make your business more profitable. So see? It really pays to be nice.
5. “Listen” actively.
Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you can’t listen to your clients. You can and definitely should listen to what your customers have to say.
And when you do listen, make sure that you do it actively — meaning, you should focus on what the customer is saying.
You should have a means for your customers to provide you with their feedback. Does your website have a comments section? Is your customer service email address displayed? Do you have a phone number listed there, too? Does someone answer questions on your social media accounts?
Comments about your service and your product can be valuable for your business.
Most of the time, feedback comes from a good place, especially if it originates from your long-time customers and patrons.
Read about how to properly deal with and address negative comments here:
6. Be prepared.
Since your website will be meeting first-time customers on your behalf, you need to make sure that it’s ready for the initial encounter.
One way to impress clients is to make sure your online home contains information that they can easily relate to as if you’re speaking directly to them. And this requires preparation and research.
So do your research about your target market. Talk in their language. Find out as much as you can about their needs, their wants, and highlight your solutions in a way that they would best understand.
7. Be true to who you are.
Honesty is a great marketing tool. And putting the truth out on your website for your customers to digest is not only admirable but a great move to getting clients’ trust.
There’s no sense in exaggerating features or making up your product’s benefits. Let’s face it — that’s just digging a pothole for your company to stumble on.
Doing that will only gain you hordes of angry customers, and in today’s connected times, it won’t take long for these angry customers to react online. And that will just hurt your business big time.
By being honest about what your product or service is and is not about, you’ll gain customers’ respect. It shows that you’re not just after a quick sale, but what you really want is to be as helpful as you can.
Read about how to give professional advice to customers here: