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Article: Developing Credibility

An important part of building a successful Internet business is developing your credibility.

Although the Internet has opened a whole new world of opportunity for all of us, it has also created a breeding ground for scam artists. Internet users are very reluctant to order online and share their personal information. For this reason, you must take every opportunity to build your credibility.

==> Domain Name

The first step in establishing a credible Internet business, is to invest in a domain name. This will instantly convey to your visitors that you take your business very seriously. Websites hosted on free servers are not taken seriously and will suffer a serious loss of business. Your visitors may feel that if you don't have your own domain, you may not be a credible company. They'll simply take their business elsewhere.

==> Contact Information

It is very important that you provide your visitors with your complete contact information. This information should include your "real" postal address and not a post office box number. A business that hides behind a PO box loses credibility. It's perfectly acceptable to use a PO box as long as you also include your postal address.

A great way to display your information is to create an "About" page. Your "About" page should include all of the following:

An "About" page is a very important part of building your credibility -- especially if you're selling a product or service. You must do everything in your power to put your potential customers' mind at ease

==> Privacy Statement

A credible business should let their visitors know exactly what their policies are in regard to the personal information they collect. A great way to disclose your policies is to create a "Privacy" page. Your "Privacy" page should include all of the following that apply:

==> Testimonials

A great way to convey your credibility to your potential customers is to display customer testimonials. Your testimonials should include your customers' name and web address. In addition, try to avoid using testimonials that you have to ask for. For example, instead of using a testimonial like this:

   "John is a great web designer and I 
   have been very happy with his services."

Display unsolicited testimonials like this:

   "John, your web design services are absolutely fantastic! 
   My sales increased 200% the first day! Thank you so much
   for providing such an exceptional service."

Can you see the difference? The second testimonial is much more believable and will have a much greater impact on your potential customers. Make sure you always ask permission to use your customers' words prior to displaying their testimonial.

==> Money Back Guarantee

In order to put your potential customers' mind at ease, you must completely remove their risk. Provide them with a solid, no risk, money back guarantee. This will not only build your credibility and put their mind at ease, but it will also build their confidence in you and your product. In addition, you must honor ALL refund requests in a timely manner with complete professionalism

No matter what you're selling or how great your product is, you will receive refund requests. It's just a part of doing business. Don't take it personally or try to argue the point with your customers -- simply give them a refund. You may be surprised to learn that the customers who ask for a refund may purchase other products from you in the future.

==> Feedback

Many times, your potential customers will have questions in regard to your products and services. To further build your credibility, provide your potential customers with an easy way to contact you. Create a page on your website called "feedback." Place a form on this page to enable your visitors to contact you.

It is very important that you answer any questions you may receive as quickly as possible. Your personal response to your potential customers can literally determine whether or not you're going to make a sale.

A feedback form will also enable you to gather testimonials and receive suggestions to assist you in improving your website, products or services.

==> Secure Server

If you're processing your customers' orders online, you must place your order form on a secure server. This will protect your customers' personal information, while at the same time, provides them with added confidence in placing an order with you. In addition, make sure you let your visitors know that their infomation will be processed on a secure server.

==> Share Your Expertise

Another great way to develop your credibility is to share your expertise. You can do this in a number of ways including:

Sharing your expertise will enable you to promote yourself as an expert in your field. Not only will it assist your potential customers, but it will also develop your credibility.

By taking the time to build your credibility with your potential customers, you will increase your Internet sales considerably.

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