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ONLINE BUSINESS HELP

Increase sales by building credibility:
By: Developer Shed
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    2003-08-09

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    Increase sales by building credibility

    By Shelley Lowery

    The Internet has opened a whole New World of information and opportunity for all of us. However, it has also created a breeding ground for scam artists. For this reason, many Internet users are very reluctant to share their personal information and order
    products online.

    As an Internet entrepreneur, it is your personal responsibility to ensure that your visitors
    feel very comfortable with you and your website. In order to gain your visitor's trust and confidence, you must build your credibility.

    Domain Name

    In order to establish credibility, you must be willing to invest in your own domain name and professional web hosting. 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


    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.

    Create a page to add to your website called "about" and include all of the following:

    - A personal or professional biography
    - A photograph of yourself
    - A complete description of you and/or your company
    - Your website and/or company objectives
    - Your name, address, phone number and email address

    It is very important that you include an "about" page, especially if you're selling a product
    or service. You must do everything in your power to put your visitor's mind at ease.

    Privacy Statement

    Internet users are becoming more and more concerned with their privacy. Create a page
    on your website called "privacy" and let your visitors know exactly how you will be using
    the information you collect.

    This page should include all of the following:

    - How do you plan on using their information?
    - Is their information sold or shared with a third party?
    - Why do you collect their email address and how will it be used?
    - Why do you track their IP address?
    - Let your visitors know that you're not responsible for the privacy issues of any outside websites you may be linking to.
    - Why do you use order forms and what do you do with the information acquired?
    - Do you run contests and what do you do with the information?
    - Do you have a discussion forum or message board? Let your visitors know that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and they should exercise caution.
    - Do you have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under your control? If so, let your visitors know.
    - Let your visitors know how they can opt out of your mailing lists.
    - Provide your visitors with your contact information, should they have any questions in regard to your privacy statement.
    See Stickys@uce's privacy policy.

    Testimonials

    Another great way to build your credibility is to display your customer testimonials.
    Include your customer's name, email address and web address with each unsolicited testimonial to increase believability.

    Money Back Guarantee

    To further increase your credibility, you must completely remove your potential customer's risk. Provide them with a solid, no risk, money back guarantee. This will put their mind
    at ease by building 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, potential customers will have questions in regard to your products and services. Create a page on your website called "feedback" and place a form on this page
    to enable your visitors to contact you. It is very important that you answer these questions 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 customer's orders online, you must place your order form on a secure server. This will protect your customer's personal information, while at the same time, provides your customers with added confidence in placing an order with you. In addition, make sure you let your visitors know that their information will be processed on
    a secure server.

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

    About the Author:
    Shelley Lowery is the Webmaster of Web-Source.net


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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