How to Calm Online Customers' Anxieties

Martin Hansen-Lennox

Published Thu 07 Jul by Martin Hansen-Lennox in Creating Better Content and Marketing More Effectively

Trust issues, hidden costs and lack of information can have a negative effect on prospective customers. We'll show you how to calm customers' natural anxieties and answer their questions to help them focus on their objectives.

Here are some of the issues which concern users:

  • Can I trust this company?
  • What's the overall cost once I'm at the checkout?
  • It it easy to get in touch with them if I need to?
  • It it easy and pain free if I want to return any goods?

These issues distract users from their main objective but by answering customers' questions and allaying any fears you'll go a long way to help smooth that crucial path to purchase.

Let's take a look in more detail: 

How Can I Trust this Company?

This is undoubtedly the biggest hurdle for online retailers. Headline news of online scams and faulty goods linger in the mind of anyone buying online. So how can you counteract your first-time customer’s natural fears that you won’t deliver?

  • Include genuine customer reviews: 

A huge 77% of UK consumers read online reviews before committing to a purchase, so it’s worth getting these in place as soon as you can

  • Social proof: 

A presence on social media is always a good way of proving you’re a genuine, up and running business. If your potential customers see others engaging with you and your business on social media, they’re more likely to follow suit

  • Be up front about your Terms and Conditions: 

Have your full policies on your website so that those who want to delve further into the particulars can if they so wish

Are there any Hidden Costs?   

Most online retailers have headlines on their home page: ‘Free Delivery’ with the sideline disclaimer, usually ‘On orders over £20...’ or even £40. 

But sadly many websites don't tell you this until you have gone through the checkout.

Cath Kidston takes a refreshing approach, by providing its customers with clearly set out and up-front information for the overall purchase cost, including postage and delivery time.

Showing the overall cost won't put people off buying.  People don't like to feel cheated, so by being transparent from start to finish can make a product or service look more attractive and avoids disappointment at the checkout stage.  

How can I get in touch with them if I need to?

It's virtually impossible to answer all customers' questions on a website, but you can make it super easy for them to get in touch if they have a query. Here's what we suggest:

  1. Avoid 0845 and 0345 numbers which can cost customers up to 10p per minute to call - Provide an 0800 number or a local landline
  2. A working contact page  - At a very basic level, your contact page must work, so frequently check it for errors. 
  3. Mobile responsive contact form - A lot of contact happens on Smartphones so make sure yours is
  • Use seductive copy/images:

Yes, you may have already got the sale but it's still very important to seduce the person reading the page.

  •  Keep your brand consistent: 

Don't let your contact form be boring, inject the personality of your brand 

  • Build trust for the future: 

A contact page is great way to set up expectations for your customers by providing them with simple and straight forward information about how and when you'll contact them 

What happens if I want to return the goods?

Buying items online, unseen, is a tricky business. Even if your product photography is A1, it’s still difficult to tell how something is going to be in the flesh, especially if it’s clothing. So having a decent returns policy can be the key to getting yourself a great reputation for brilliant customer service.

  • Be prepared: There are numerous reasons for people deciding an item is not for them. Give them as much information as you can so that if they need to return something, they will be so impressed with your customer service, the next time they want to buy something you’ll be at the top of their mind

H&M provide a list of possible questions, so you can choose which is most relevant to you and your situation

  • If at all possible financially, try not to charge for returns
  • Be gracious and if you do want to ask them why they’re returning an item, use phrases such as ‘Tell us how we could improve next time’ or ‘Help us make your experience as positive as possible’

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