Trust, Transparency and Openness

What exactly does it mean to have trust and transparency? If you’re an ecommerce website owner then you’ve probably heard those terms before but how do they work and how do they apply to you? In this short post I’m going to show you some examples of merchants that are doing the right thing as well as well as those that are doing the wrong thing. The lesson here is to do the right thing! 🙂

What is Trust and Transparency?

Trust is what customers would say about your site when speaking to others. The simple aspect of trust is that they trust your site. Your site is not a scammer site and you’ve got to great lengths to build your trust and reputation.

Being transparent is not hiding behind your computer. Don’t bury your contact details somewhere in your site where it’s hard to find. Don’t hide your domain record details. Making them private only shows people that you have something to hide.

When it comes to adding more transparency to your site you should created videos that show you speaking about your site, product or service. This shows perspective customers that the site is real and has a real person. That’s being open and transparent. Oh, and don’t lie! That’s being honest.

What not to do

We’ve run across merchants who’s only desire is to drive traffic to their site in the hopes that people will buy their product. In fact we had a few merchants that had great traffic but would not focus on the user experience. We reached out to these merchants and explained that if they didn’t change their site and service then they would miss out on huge revenue opportunities and they didn’t heed the warnings and their site suffered from a loss of reputation and we watched as their traffic slowly died off to nothing. I just don’t fully understand the mentality of these types of business owners but I digress. Focus on not going down that road.

As a business site owner your focus should be the customer experience. You want to make sure that each and every customer has a great experience and that means making sure you have up to date information on your product or service. That you’re responsive to each customer and their questions/comments. Following up with your customers to make sure they are enjoying the product or service. Failure to do so will result in a loss of trust and reputation.

What should you do?

Most of our merchants do the right thing and that includes what I mentioned above and that includes being responsive, not hiding and being transparent and basically not acting like an ass to your customers. Below I’ve put a few things you should do when running an ecommerce site.

  • Know your product inside and out.
  • Always be available.
  • Using live customer service chat on your site (Bottom Right).
  • Don’t hesitate to offer a refund.
  • Go above and beyond to make the customer happy.
  • Blog often about what you know.
  • Have a phone number and email easily accessible on your website (Not buried).
  • Openness to change things to accommodate your customers.
  • Respond to all reviews good or bad.

These are just a few things you should do but use common sense and your best judgment and if you’re not sure about something please ask and don’t always be right. In this day and age of Internet eCommerce you’ll most likely always be wrong when it comes to an upset customer. Swallow your pride because the old saying is true. It can take you years to build your reputation and just one second to destroy it.