Building Brand Trust

Building Brand Trust
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan April 26, 2018

As a home services or construction professional, you put your customers into an awkward situation every day. Whether it is someone's home or business, your job is usually to access someone's property and invade personal or work space. In most cases, they don't know you from Adam.

Your business needs to be trustworthy. While how you and your employees handle themselves onsite is a big part of that – it takes a lot of preparation to build a trustworthy brand. We're not saying that you have to be the next Amazon – but there are some things you can do to portray your business in a way that demonstrates your trustworthiness.

Let's go over a few things that you can do to build brand trust.

  • Strong Google Listing
  • A professional looking & updated website
  • Uniforms & vehicle wraps
  • Well curated online reviews
  • Answering your phone in a professional manor

Strong Google Listing

When a customer first learns about you as a possible vendor for services – whether they find out from a friend or because of your effective advertising, one of the first things they'll likely do is Google your business name.

If your Google listing is well-established, that means your "Knowledge Panel" for your company may pop up. That section of the search engine result will feature images, business hours, contact information, Q&As, and reviews. You'll want to make sure that your Google listing is maintained, so that what your prospective clients see when they Google your company is up-to-date and reflects well on your business.

A Professional Looking & Updated Website

Another common first visit for a prospective customer is your website. The look and feel of your website can say a lot about your business. The shelf life on websites is not good – so even if your website was state-of-the-art five years ago, it may not what it needs to be.

Having good content for your customers to look at is important. If you are a remodeler claiming to have 20 years of experience and your portfolio page says "Coming Soon"... there is a problem.

Uniforms & Vehicle Wraps

The reason people like big brands is because of the packaging. For a lot of folks, there is a specific comfort in knowing that you go anywhere in the world and know that a cup of coffee with a certain green logo or fries in a particular red box will taste the same.

You don't have to go out and buy billboards for your business to achieve the same end. Your brand should continue past your website and print materials and extend to your work vehicle and uniform.

When you sign up for services online and see a logo, then see a van with that logo, and a service technician wearing a patch with that logo – you get the feeling that you're working with a professional operation. The same scenario – but with a beat up work truck with garbage in the back and a guy in an old t-shirt walking up to your door – doesn't give you that same warm feeling.

Well Curated Online Reviews

More and more people are using online reviews from total strangers to make a judgement call about what local business they are going to use. For most businesses, online review just happen by accident when they provide exceptionally good service to someone who feels strongly enough on their own to do some social good and share the praises of your business. That isn't efficient enough. Instead of waiting around, you should make it easy for customers to leave you a review.

You've got to know what you're doing to avoid trouble with invalid reviews. Yelp, for example, takes a hard stance against review solicitation. Google recently updated their terms to include new warns against "review-gating" – "Don't discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers".

For that reason, and because it is often a huge timesaver considering the response rate for obtaining reviews – you should utilize a review management system of some sort. If you're a Footbridge Media client, we have a very cost effective model built into our most current program. Well operated review management service are usually very responsive to the updates that big review sites like Google and Yelp push.

Answering Your Phone in a Professional Manor

If you answer your business phone with "Hello", you are doing it wrong. If you operate a business, answer like a business. It reassures the caller that they haven't misdialed and they are talking to the right person. You also have to answer quickly – for service industries, a missed phone call usually means a missed lead.

Each of these things by themselves are little steps. You don't have to invest big money into all new trucks or additional staff – just be aware that everything you do portrays your business. With the right mindset, you can continue to build your brand trust – so that people will be comfortable calling you into their home or business.

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