Money Crashers is an online personal finance site, devoted to helping people make smarter money decisions in their everyday lives. They provide valuable and relevant information on a variety of topics ranging from ways to save money in your everyday life, retirement, and investments. Their diverse topics range from how to make your home more energy efficient to extreme couponing to the best cash back credit cards.
Customer trust is the lifeblood of the business. Competition in the industry is high, and there are many other places readers can go for personal finance education. By building a reputation that is based on trust and credibility, they have been able to sustain solid readership growth for several years now.
For an online business, it’s not easy gaining trust from people, but Money Crashers has found that building customer and client trust through the reputation of their site is the best way. Quality content is always their number one priority, and they know that readers can see right through any attempts at trying to provide a shoddy service. In addition, it’s best when they try to truly connect with their readers and answer any questions. Readers get a personal response back from Money Crashers as well as maybe seeing a written article based off the question that people have asked. They do a good job to actively engage their readers to participate in discussion-based articles.
Responding to peoples personal questions can definitely build the trust in customers. People post real-life questions about their personal financial difficulties which get answered by the authors. Money Crashers has been able to help many people overcome their obstacles and improve their daily finances. By being able to showcase examples like these to other readers, they can immediately prove themselves as a trustworthy and valuable source. Also, the fact that thousands of readers have chosen to subscribe to their daily content is a big reflection of the value they see in Money Crashers.
Communication with the audience is imperative. When writing articles, they write in a way that is easy to read and comprehend while still respecting the intelligence of their readers. It’s important for them to focus on the brevity but also try to maintain comprehensiveness. They know their readers live very busy lives, and need answers to their questions or advice on personal finances in a short and concise fashion. It’s obvious that if their posts were filled with fluff, their readers would be tempted to skip their content and go elsewhere.
An important thing Money Crashers keeps in mind is making sure to never speak “above” their readers. It can be found on competing articles that authors assume the readers are experts on the topic and go right into the finer aspects of the said topic. When Money Crashers speaks, they make sure to define and explain the idea before moving into its more detailed points.
Instead of paying for expensive forms of advertising, they have decided to recently use free forms of advertising that they felt would be more effective. Readers can differentiate between genuine ads and ones that are purely funded by money. Thus, we recently began to utilize some tips to use a Facebook page for business marketing, which has allowed them to only showcase our content and service to those readers who are interested in financial education. The result has been a significant increase in readers, and a reduction in unpleasant people bombarded by unnecessary advertisements!
Money Crashers showcases their trust with a little section called “Featured In.” They find that forcing their readers into trusting their site can be a turnoff, thus, they hope their content can speak for itself.
Other ways to cater to their readers would be through potentially trying out podcasting and video. Some readers have already shown interest in these areas, so it’s their job to accommodate those people and provide and an alternative way to take in financial education.
You can find Money Crashers at http://www.moneycrashers.com/
Shawn Trautman has captured national attention as a businessman and Lead Instructor in over 50 top-rated DVDs including Dance Lessons 101. Shawn’s success as an instructor can be attributed to his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to learning through video and relationship building.
Dance Videos Direct, and the Shawn Trautman brand of dance instruction, has developed one of the most original and successful dance instruction methods for teaching new dancers. His Dance Collection has taught countless numbers of people how to dance in the comfort of their own homes since early 2005 and is now one of the best-selling dance lesson collections worldwide.
Gaining the trust of new customers is always a challenge, especially through an online business. But Shawn has found a way of building that trust before an order is made through promotions and product reviews. Not only are customers allowed to add testimonials and reviews on their website, Facebook page, and Amazon.com, but they strongly encourage it as it showcases real life application and usefulness. They regularly hear from new customers how these reviews have positively impacted perceptions, buying behavior, and have sparked consumer interest.
In 2011, Shawn Trautman Instruction launched a survey to all past customers and of those that responded, 87% listed Customer Review as the #1 reason for selecting the Shawn Trautman brand of products.
At the end of the day, if the customers don’t trust the Shawn Trautman brand and all it stands for, then they’ve wasted their time and effort and have failed as an organization that survives because of reputation and brand recognition. Trautman knows that if they begin by meeting the expectations of their customers, then move forward with the small things to truly delight their customers and exceed their expectations, they will be well on their way to building a strong brand and an increased bond with those that engage with their products. Their goal is to create true “raving fans,” so to speak, knowing that everything else will follow. Anyone can create a product or service that customers are “satisfied” with, but it’s all about creating one that their customers are “loyal” to. This may lead to repeat purchases and strong word-of-mouth advertising, but the personal relationships that they develop are invaluable.
Developing trust means going through all the intangibles outside of the product. Whether a personal follow-up phone call, email, or some other engagement strategy, it’s the service level and intangibles that create the magical moments with customers and allows businesses to grow.
Throughout their website, they provide customers with the comfort of knowing that their business is certified and accredited by many different organizations.
2011 has been called by many as the year of the twitter. This was the year every business owner serious about social media tried to build her presence on Twitter. Twitter is probably the best place to learn new things and directly interact with awesome new people.
We at TrustedBusiness.com had the privilege of learning and interacting with some of the most influential people on Twitter. So this our attempt to thank these experts and recognize them for their efforts.
THANKS FOR BEING OUR TWITTER HEROES.
So without further delay here is the list (Alphabetically).
He is the guy who inspires us to think big everyday. Right from his quotes to his small snippets of advice, everything makes him the lovable small business expert.
You probably know her outside twitter on Fox News, but it is her effortless interaction with her followers on twitter which is most admired by us. We only wish she shared a bit more Small Business advice based on her rich experience.
Ann Handley really knows how to make the content of MarketingProfs go crazy viral. As the Chief Content Officer she is the driving force behind the super awesome content coming from MarketingProfs.com
Carrie Wilkerson has been seen on Lifetime TV, Forbes.com, CNN, and much more. While not busy focusing on her career as a speaker, author, small business owner, she is busy away with her four kids.
You might know him as the co-author of Trust Agents, one of New York Times bestselling books or seen him write an article for Entrepreneur Magazine. But he is also the president of a media and educational company called Human Business Works.
Having found two startups, Pyramid Digital Solutions and HubSpot, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to startups. As a technology guy big on coding, we are lucky to see that not all his tweets are about coding. (actually none of it is on coding)
George Clegg has been the owner of an IT consulting firm for over 20 years, and has learned the difficulties and issues that many small business owners may face. Anything you need to know about IT, he’s your man.
If you are looking for legal knowledge on how to use law as a strategic business tool, then Hanna Hasl-Kelchner is your woman! She’s helped plenty of executives, business managers, and entrepreneurs with their legal matters.
John Jantsch blog, Duct Tape Marketing, has been chosen as Forbes favorite for marketing and small business. Who better to get information from than from the source itself, providing you new marketing ways and strategies.
Looking for a social media expert? You’ve come to the right place. You may say that Kim Garst is a social media guru. Got questions about how to use Twitter or Facebook or Youtube to help your business? Ask her, or just check her Facebook page.
Another social media guru not to rule out is Laura Roeder. She went from a “Junior Designer” to a “CEO” within a matter of minutes when she quit her job and started her own business. Who better to follow than someone who’s taken the dive and wants to help others better their business?
As a speaker, teacher, community builder, thought leader, Liz Strauss hold the title of being one of the most influential blogger on the Internet. She is currently the CEO and founder of SOBCon and runs Successful-Blog.com.
Matt Wilson is looking to help any young entrepreneur further their career in life. He is the Co-founder of Under30CEO, a leading media company for news, trends, and events for young entrepreneurs.
You can find Melinda Emerson hosting #SmallBizChat on Twitter every Wednesday from 8-9PM EST. She is also the author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.
Found as one of Forbes Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs on Twitter, Nina is also the founder of Ask the Business Lawyer. Anything business law related, she’s your woman.
Who else better than to get marketing tips from someone who has had over 20 years experience in sales. He is currently a Senior Media Strategist at Berry Network (a division of AT&T Advertising Solutions).
Being busy as the CEO of GrowBiz Media and managing SmallBizDaily.com, Rieva Lesonsky has had 30 years of experience in consulting small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Sarah Needleman is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones since 2001, and is currently covering small businesses. She is also a writer for many other columns such as Small-Business Boss and Accidental Entrepreneur. We are praying that she starts her own blog soon.
Busy being a speaker for small business, Senior Director of Social Media Network Solutions, and a marketing Professor at Georgetown University.
Who is our last and final man? It’s TJ McCue of course. He publishes Tech Biz Talk, a review site for business owners who want to learn about the newest and best applications out there that will help their business grow.
Respond Quickly to all Bad Comments
A “Thank you” can go a long way when you are acknowledging someone for writing a nice comment or a review on one of your social media networks. Every business should respond to all good and bad comments that have been written about them.
It is also important to make sure you know how your business wants to come off. Professional? Casual? Friendly? Each company is different and should respond according to its culture. What better way to promote yourself than tell your loving customers to share the greatness of your business with their friends?
Admit When You Screw Up, Then Leverage Your Mistake
As a company, we make mistakes at times, and when those times happen, it’s best to fix those mistakes quickly and admit fault. But this could also be your chance, as a company, to shine and fix things to make it right again. Having a high executive or someone high up in the company respond back to such issues will reassure the customers that your business is taking the situation seriously.
Remember to respond quickly because the longer you wait, the longer your customers will think that you don’t care about them. As mentioned before, it’s about building a relationship and emotional connection with your customers. Once you’ve already apologized for the issues at hand, it is a chance for you to follow up with the customer.
Don’t Sell, Just Make it Easy and Compelling for Customers to Buy
Making the online shopping experience of your customers enjoyable and easy is the key to successful e-commerce. Facebook has applications that allow businesses to sell their products without ever having to leave Facebook. The flow of the sales process should be very simple and easy to maneuver. A great mix of buying opportunities and engaging with a Facebook update can be a powerful tool. Mix the two together and you have a perfect combination of selling and sharing at the same time. Example being: A post on Facebook “What do you think is the most common women’s shoe size? After you guess, click the link to find out the answer and enjoy 50% off on select shoes (link).”
Having said this, Facebook is not the only place to sell your products; you can also try on Twitter. @JetBlueCheeps and @DellOutlet do a great job in selling their product and services online and allowing their customers to share their experience. Twitter could be a great place to sell out your inventory that could be deeply discounted and sold quickly.
Want to learn some more secrets to earning trust through social media, check out our eBook at http://www.trustedbusiness.com/10-secrets-to-earning-trust-through-social-media/
Trust – is it really that difficult to understand why it is so important to business, and yet there is plenty the experts won’t tell you about the important of trust in business. Read on if you want to find out the real truth about trust.
Companies that are seen as having a high degree of trust are the most successful. Trust is really a big deal – in our personal relationships and in our workplace relationships with co-workers and customers. Developing trust and maintaining that trust is key to successful workplace environments, to building a strong customer base, and to the overall prosperity of a business.
Think of trust as a bit like a bank account. You make deposits and withdrawals. Every action with co-workers and customers is either a deposit into the trust bank or a withdrawal from the bank. Make sure to choose your actions carefully. Just a single wrong action can bankrupt your trust account.
There is no magic answer to gaining trust. But let’s look at some of the best ways to create trust.
Never underestimate the power of trust in the success or failure of your business.
Flickr image by stevendepolo
Trusts is essential to the creation of any relationship. Nothing will build a long lasting relationship quicker than trust. In marketing and sales, there are techniques that will be used to build trust over time, and there are techniques that will be used to create instant trust with a customer. Let’s look at 7 instant improvements, to build trust.
1. The Power of Persuasion
You don’t have a lot of time upon that initial contact with the customer to build trust. The power of persuasion allows you to create trust instantly with customers. In marketing and sales, it’s extremely important to be able to create that instant trust. To make a sale you need to be able to build a relationship, and that’s based on trust.
2. Your Appearance
First impressions are important, and how you appear can build instant trust. Research has shown that people will form an impression of your appearance within seconds of seeing you. This applies whether your customer is standing in a store looking at a salesperson or staff member, or looking at your website. A professional appearance will evoke feelings of trust and confidence.
3. Transaction Guarantees
One way to build instant trust is to take away any concerns a customer might have about making a purchase. For example, “No questions asked return policy,” or “price match.” Many times it’s not the transaction that concerns the customer it’s how things are handled afterwards, such as warranty or return policies. Alleviating these worries builds instant trust.
If you want to build instant trust, have someone that’s well known and respected, as your spokesperson. Look what Trevor Linden has done for the company Clearly Contacts, which was once seen with skepticism because of its rock bottom prices. Instead, now they are a company that millions trust with their eye wear.
5. Be Approachable
If you are approachable, customers will want to talk to you and ask questions. Your body language will tell the customer far more than your words – your facial expressions and your posture are key. An employee can instantly build trust with a customer by being approachable at all levels.
6. Learn to Listen
The most basic human need is to be understood, so be sure you know how to listen. To listen, you need to stop speaking. Listen to what the customer has to say then ask questions. The simple task of listening can build trust.
7. Learn to be Direct
Don’t talk in riddles to the customer, and don’t beat around the bush. Tell it like it is. If you don’t have the answer, then find someone who does. Your customer will respect you for your honesty, and that creates trust. No one likes to have their time wasted.
We’ve given you 7 instant improvements that you can do to improve the building of trust. There are plenty of others, but this is a good start.
Flickr image by opensourceway.
The first step in generating a sale is to build customer trust. Customers don’t want to part with their money unless they feel a sense of trust. There’s a common belief that the need to trust applies only to online e-commerce sites. It applies to all businesses. There are more scams online and so the online consumer will have even higher demands in the trust department before committing, but trust is key to the success of all sales. Here are 6 customer trust building secrets you should know about.
1. Be the Expert the Consumer Can Trust
Success equals customers that trust your business practices and your staff. Remember, your work force is often the face that the consumer sees. That’s why it is so important for management to both educate staff on the importance of trust and how to build that trust; and then to define what’s expected of staff when they are dealing with customers.
2. Do More Than Just Provide a Price
Consumers get tired of seeing ads and hearing about how a price is the sale price or the lowest price. They know ads are just trying to convince them to purchase. A pushy salesperson that just starts rattling prices is seen as the equivalent of an advertisement. Consumers want more. They want to know about the product, warranty, and how it compares to other products. Providing customers with useful information builds trust, and when you build trust you build sales.
3. First Impressions
You get only one shot at first impressions. How you look, and what you say (or don’t say) can be the difference between building trust or mistrust. Whether it’s a salesperson, a receptionist, a manager, or another employee, that person needs to be seen by the customer as professional, knowledgeable, and courteous – that will build trust. Carefully of your body language, which can say a lot more than your words.
One of the most powerful tools you have, at your service, to create credibility and beat trust is branding through name recognition and reputation. You can achieve branding by using clearly defined branding strategies, which serve to build trust and motivate customers. Think of names like Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, HP, Sony, Proctor and Gamble, we could go on – they branded themselves, created trust within the consumer market, and that has translated to success for these companies.
5. Customer Service
Today’s customer wants more than just a good quality product and a good price – they put a lot of credibility and trust into products and companies that recognize the importance of customer service. Your company’s customer service policies can make or break your company. This is because your entire business is dependent on customers, who buy products or services. Strong customer service from the first encounter with the customer, and long after will build trust, which will lead to that first sale, and many repeat sales.
6. Build Relationships
To build trust you need to build relationships with the customer. Stay in contact with the customer. Offer newsletters, special promotions, notice of sales, club memberships, etc. When the customer believes you care about them and are looking out for them, they will trust you and what you have to offer, and they will also promote you to their friends and family.
Building trust is the framework for building a successful business. Now that we have revealed 6 secrets for building customer trust, it’s time to put them to work.
1. Success Through Branding
You might think that only big business needs to brand, but that’s not so. The minute you open your doors you need to begin to brand your company. You will become a brand in the eyes of the customer whether you promote yourself or not, the only difference is rather than becoming a motivating, trustworthy brand you will likely be seen with indifference.
2. Design Considerations
Whether it is your website or your store layout, the design can invoke credibility. A crowded or cluttered store can confuse the customer and leave them feeling uncertain or untrusting. A store that is laid out store that’s easy to navigate and find things puts the customers at ease, they relax, and they begin to trust.
3. Use Powerful Testimonials
Power testimonials have been around since the early days of marketing. When you use user feedback or testimonials for your products and services, it can provide potential customers with the confidence and trust to buy your products or services.
4. Default to Yes
Here, is a simple method to build trust that is often not even considered. Answer, every request with a yes. Does this mean that customers can take advantage of your? Sure they can, but businesses that use this confirm it’s such a small percentage that the benefits far exceed any drawbacks.
5. Trust Other People First
People won’t trust you unless you first trust them. Trust your customers, and in turn, they will trust your business. Amazon Kindle is a perfect example. You can purchase any Kindle book and return it within 7 days for a full refund. Could the customer read the book and then return it? They sure could, but Amazon is trusting the customer won’t do that. By trusting their customers, they have seen their business grow at an unimaginable rate.
6. Think Like a Baker
Think like a baker – that’s how trustworthy people think! An eater sees a pie, sees it eaten, and sees no gain. A baker sees an endless stream of pies, with the each one becoming better than the last. Think like a baker and your customers will trust you.
7. Show Your Expertise
Each of us has a certain area where our expertise will shine. Let your customers see that expertise, and if you don’t have the expertise to answer the customer’s question, then find someone in your team that does. It will bring trust. In addition, signage from reputable partners can go that extra mile to create a customer that trusts your business.
8. Keep it Fresh
This applies both to storefronts and websites. If every time a customer visits everything looks “exactly” the same; the stocks in the same place as it was a month ago, or there has been no change in the arrangement; then your customers are likely to think you didn’t sell anything, and they’ll wonder why you don’t sell anything. This can cause them not to trust your store. In fact, they’ll likely leave without buying. So keep it looking fresh at all times.
9. Be Friendly and Approachable
We hear it all the time – be professional. But, you can take that a step further, and simply be friendly and approachable. Watch your body language, because even the friendliest “hi,” can be construed differently if your body language says stay away (I.e.| crossed arms).
10. Show the Customer You’re There for the Long Term
Customers can be worried that a business isn’t going to stick around when they need warranty, parts, or support. This distrust can mean that you lose the sale. By keeping your business well staffed, your shelves full of stock, being organized, having permanent signage, and anything else that lets the customer see you plan to be there a long time.
There you have it – 10 different ways to earn customer trust. Remember without trust you have nothing at all. For your business to succeed you need to have trust, so give it the attention it deserves.
Did you know that employees distrust managers and company executives? That was the recent findings of a study conducted by Maritz, a market research company. Only 10% of Americans believe the leaders of a company are honest and ethical, and 7% believe that senior managers have actions that match what they say. If that’s how employees feel, it’s likely that is how your customers also feel. That means you need to work on changing the customers perception of your company. Here are 5 things you must know about earning customer trust.
1. Do What You Say You Are Going to Do
If your company does not keep the promises it makes, it is a huge turn-off for customers. This includes thing such as:
Make sure that what you say is what you are doing. That’s how customers come to trust you.
2. Take a Cut in Pay
There is a significant gap between what executives and managers make and the rest of the working world makes. Even if, you can justify the salary you make, it still raises eyebrows, and gets customers talking, and not in a positive way. It breeds contempt and resentment in your customers. Reduce the hidden perks and go easy on the pay raises of executives and upper management.
3. Listen to Your Customers
Keep the lines of communication open between executives, managers, and employees so that customers know they are being heard. Never twist the customers words, and never try to make a customer believe that poor service is actually good service. Don’t try to be sneaky with thing s like surcharges being added as benefits – customers are a savvy bunch and they’ll catch things like this. If you aren’t listening to what your customer is saying, they are not going to trust you, and they are going to go elsewhere.
4. Don’t Hide
There is nothing more annoying or frustrating to a customer than not being able to contact the managers and upper executives. To build customers trust do not use private phone numbers and hidden email addresses. Let the customer know how to contact the people higher up in the company should they want to take to them. A good manager is accessible to customers and to his/her employees.
5. Don’t Lie
You might not go to jail, but your customers are going to catch that you are lying, and there will go your trust. How often are customers promised far more than the company actually delivers? Just tell it like it is – your customers will learn to trust what you are doing. Even if they disagree with what you are saying they will respect you for being honest and trust you.
These 5 things to know about earning customer trust are just the beginning, but it’s a solid place to get your started, because you see without customers trust and loyalty you have nothing.
In the last decade or so, we have seen the demise of many companies as a result of shady deals or financial scandals. Companies like Enron, Fannie May, Arthur Anderson, and tons of others, as consumers lost trust in these organizations and what they were saying.
After all, while on one hand, they were accepting government bailouts on the backs of Americans; while in the other hand they were giving management millions of dollars in bonuses, or flying CEO’s to remote vacation locations. As consumers learned about their indiscretions they no longer trusted them, and when a customer does not trust the company, the company will inevitably fail unless they can rebuild that trust.
Rebuilding trust is much more difficult than establishing trust the first time. A new business has no history,and so they start with a clean slate to build trust. However, an existing business that loses trust now has a black mark they must overcome.
These days, trust is discussed a great deal in business. It’s a word that’s used all the time. Yet although business talks about it, not all are putting it into practice in their businesses. When a customer believes you have the ability to deliver a product or service with as specific outcome, you have achieved trust. When the outcome the customer is expecting does not occur, then you have frustration, anger, and disappointment, and you lose the trust of that customer.
Remember, when people are unhappy, they are much more likely to spread the word then if they are content. This means that when a customer no longer trusts your company, they will tell others who may then not trust your company, and it will snowball. Before you know it you have to do damage control, or you have to work much harder to build trust.
Jeff Bezos, CEO from Amazon, understands the importance of trust, and to obsess over the customer. From the beginning, Bezos focused on the customer, providing excellent value, ensuring customer satisfaction, and building trust with their current customer base, and potential new customers. Bezos understood the importance of word of mouth in building that trust. Bezos said, “Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have, and we are grateful for the trust our customers have placed in us.”
One way to grow a business is to learn lessons from those that have been successful. If you take away only one small message, it is that you need to focus on building trust in the marketplace, and the rest will fall into place.
You can offer a better product, even a better price, but if you don’t have the “trust factor” it will not matter, because the majority of consumers will seek out a company and a product that they trust. A business that recognizes the importance of building trust will ensure that the entire workforce understands their role in building that trust.
Make no mistake – without customer trust you will not have a business that can grow and prosper. Your business, quite simply, will not be viable.