Every time users visit your website, you get the chance to create a long-term relationship with them. One fundamental component of any relationship that underscores this bond is trust. Gaining users’ trust is no simple task, and there are many ways you can lose it. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to building customer trust, it depends on what type of website you have and what kind of business you’re running. However, we have put together these five actions you can take to inspire more trust on your website and improve user experiences at the same time.

1. Make your contact information easy to find

No matter how exhaustively you explain your product or service, people browsing your site will always have special questions or want to know about specific details. For that precise reason, it’s important that you make your contact details easy to find and provide a way to get in touch.

In most cases the contact details appear at the top or bottom of the page. If your pages are particularly long or if you have only one very long page, it can be beneficial to make this contact information accessible in other ways. For example, it is possible to provide the information in a window that accompanies the user when scrolling down. Definitely consider this if your page is built using an infinite scroll!

Beyond making it easy for visitors and potential customers to get in touch with you, responding promptly (and with real answers, of course) is a big step to building trust. If you guarantee that you’ll get back to them within a certain amount of time, wchether it’s within 2 hours or 2 days, sharing this information lets customers know what to expect and adds to the transparency of your business.

2. Add live chat

Speaking of responding promptly, live chat is another way of demonstrating to visitors that you’re real and available. Internet users are used to accessing information at any time, which is why it is not surprising that they expect quick, if not instant responses. After all, the internet itself is always on and always open for business!

If you implement live chat on your website, it’s one of the most effective ways to connect with users and to give them the feeling that real, trustworthy people are working behind the scenes, especially in service-related industries. As with contact details, live chat should be easily accessible. Ideally, you can use a service like SnapEngage or Zopim that allows users to navigate from page to page of your site while chatting without being too intrusive or damaging the customer experience.

3. Be proud of your references

Imagine you’re standing at a bus stop, telling a friend about your back pain. If a stranger would jumped in and asked “Can I help you? I’m a doctor, you can trust me!” you would probably react with some skepticism. But what if your friend said, “I went to a doctor was able to help me with my back pain”? It’s far easier to overcome the skepticism and to display expertise when a trusted or known third party will vouch for a stranger’s capabilities.

You can prove the reliability of your product or service by showing important references from key customers on your website. Displaying logos of customers, particularly those with a certain prominence and a positive image, can quickly convey your reliability and reassure potential customers. After all, that means well-known companies are already using your service or product.

Still – be careful when including company logos. They should be placed in a spot where they’ll be noticed, but not in the foreground. Your company should have first billing on your website. Your own products, services, and logo should be the focus, references should support your message and offering. Don’t overshadow your website’s design and your own company’s corporate identity with the reference customer’s logo colors and design.

If you decide to display logos from reputable news media, blogs, and review sites, the same rule applies. Use them intelligently and sparingly. You want to buttress your company’s reputation, not confuse potential customers.

4. Provide supporting details

When visitors look at a list of reference customers’ logos, they’ll likely wonder what exact service or product you provided and how well it worked.

There are two ways to answer these natural questions: Include some customer quotes or testimonials to describe the collaboration and resulting benefits. You can also offer case studies that describe in detail how your company worked together with your customer. For example, take a look at test IO’s case study with Tout, a mobile video platform. Case studies and testimonials allow potential customers to evaluate products or services in context and can lead to a quick decision about whether to get in touch (see point 1).

5. Get rid of dead links

As simple and unnecessary as this advice might seem, there are sadly  still many links on homepages that don’t work or lead the user nowhere. You can inspect these with tools like Google Webmaster or Screaming Frog’s broken link checker.

Beyond this, you also want to check that your website’s complete functionality is available on a broad set of device and browsers. For this, something like test IO’s crowdtesting service allows you to get a large number of testers who check your site on many real devices.

The advantage of also using real humans to check your website is that even if a link isn’t technically broken, the content of the page may have changed or it may not make sense anymore in the context of your site.

In general, it’s important to remember that the way to gaining potential customers’ trust is paved by many of these small steps. By using an unbiased crowd of testers, you can make sure you aren’t losing that trust with any errors, problems, or mistakes on your website. It’s one of the best ways to increase customer trust and make sure your company doesn’t lose any potential customers.