When it comes to customer satisfaction for online sales, the little things make a difference. For business owners, a good website can determine whether you land another customer who will bring you sales for years or whether you go out of business within a one-year period of time. Some may assume that a good, quality website can just be aesthetically pleasing or look nice.
However, there are a few more factors that identify a website as one that will tend to bring about satisfaction from customers- thus bringing about more sales. A quality sales-oriented website must have testimonials from past customers, a customer service feature or widget, and certain security identifiers in order to satisfy current and future customers.
Testimonials: the Art of Social Proof
Word-of-mouth marketing produces powerful results. Many businesses today understand this concept, and they attempt to display word-of-mouth through testimonials from past customers as a form of evidence to new customers that a website can be trusted. In order to create satisfaction, online business owner should leverage past customers as references. An owner might try sending out an email to his or her customer base to collect testimonials. These testimonials should not be difficult to come by as many people want to support businesses that they use often. Rewarding customers for online reviews can be done by giving a discount to each person who has given a review online. Restaurants do this often with a free appetizer as a reward for checking in or writing a review.
Some websites have shifted to using so-called “twitter testimonials” as social proof. In this situation, a customer would write a testimonial within a twitter post and then the website owner would be able to embed that twitter post into the website. This technique kills two birds with one stone. The website not only now lists a form of social proof, but the tweet acts to pull in traffic from twitter. The traffic comes from any of the customer’s followers or someone who happens to come across the tweet when searching twitter.
Is Anyone Home?
In the real world, potential customers expect to see someone when they walk into a store. This is quite normal. In the virtual world, people who come to a website attempting to purchase expensive items such as jewelry or state of the art technology expect to interact with someone as well.
If a client enters a website or virtual store and does not see a customer service widget with a live representative ready to assist him or her, it can bring about the wrong message. The implication might be that since the website owner does not have enough money to pay for customer service, then business must not be going so well or maybe the business is not established. This would lower a potential customer’s satisfaction and lower the chance of a sale. A person is not going to trust a site with thousands of their dollars if they cannot even provide a customer service rep to help you on arrival at the site. With all of the data leaks people are much more safe than they were in the past when it comes to their personal information. Even some of the largest companies in the country have had issues with data breaches so this has lowered the trust of the public to businesses as a whole.
Can buyers trust your website
Making sales online today requires a type of “technical” trust in addition to testimonials and customer service. If customers do not trust your website, they will not be satisfied and you will not make a sale.
Technical trust comes in the form of proper https-based internet connections that ensure the security of a customer’s online information. If one visits major websites that tend to involve sales of goods, one will notice that the URL always starts with “https”. That last “s” stands for secure. It indicates the encryption of information sent between your computer and the website that you are visiting.
Trust badges also provide a sense of security to potential customers. These badges tend to increase an e-commerce website’s conversion rate, and act as a quick reference for new customers to be able to associate your website with a credible brand or symbol. A quick yet secure checkout is paramount if you are selling anything online as it will help reduce the number of people that change their mind about a purchase at the last second. Do not sacrifice security for ease of use though as security of customer information should be top priority for any business.
Website owners who aim for consistent online sales should use testimonials, customer service and security to allow potential customers to be satisfied with their decision to purchase from you. In combination, those three things will help to boost your sales and maintain current and future customer satisfaction levels.