For business owners, customer trust is non-negotiable. In fact, it is a key factor in ensuring customers are not only satisfied in the here and now, but it also can be the glue that solidifies customer loyalty for the future. As such, it’s imperative that pest control company owners implement strategies to build and maintain consumer confidence. We’ll take a look at just how impactful trust can be for your business and ways you can develop and maintain consumer trust in your company and services for the long haul.

THE MOBILE EXPERIENCE. We do everything on our mobile devices, including socializing, working and yes, shopping. According to HootSuite, 92.8 percent of global internet users are mobile internet users. As consumers ditch their desktops and adopt a fully mobile lifestyle, it is in every business owner’s best interest to meet them where they are.

According to Review42, 80 percent of top-ranked websites are mobile-friendly, and 61 percent of users will never return to a website that is not mobile-friendly. With smart devices almost always in the palm of our hands, it’s critical that pest control business owners take the necessary steps to ensure their websites are easy to navigate for mobile users. 

There are multitudes of ways to spruce up your website and optimize the mobile experience for your customers. Make sure your website is easily navigable from a smartphone, including iOS and Android devices. Google research has found that 64 percent of smartphone users expect a website to open within four seconds or less, and 40 percent of mobile users have turned to a competitor in exchange for a better mobile experience. With consumers constantly on the go, convenience has become a must-have, rather than a luxury.

What’s more, consumers crave human interaction. By engaging your mobile users in a personal manner, you’re essentially breaking your brand out of the repetitive mold consumers have grown accustomed to in brand interactions. The more conversational you are, especially on social media, the more comfortable the user feels, which can lead to open feedback and brand confidence.

A BADGE OF TRUST. In today’s digital world, it’s natural for consumers to proceed with caution when identifying a reliable business and making a big purchase. As such, adding a badge of trust to your website and social media pages could be the missing piece your pest control firm needs to make a positive first impression to potential customers. In fact, a survey conducted by Econsultancy found 48 percent of respondents said that trust badges reassure them that a brand’s website is secure and trustworthy. 

While a badge of trust may sound like low-hanging fruit, it carries much more weight than meets the eye. It’s a symbol to let consumers know they’re in good hands, and that your services are legitimate and trustworthy. Typically, seals of this nature are strategically visible during the checkout process; however, more and more businesses are beginning to place them directly on their home pages and profiles as well. There are several types of website badges, including third-party endorsements such as the Google Trust Seal.

Similarly, products and services can align with a certification program, such as the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program, which helps consumers understand product claims and make informed purchases, or the QualityPro program, endorsed by The National Pest Management Association, that sets the standards of excellence for professional pest management companies and their employees through education, training and certification.

BOOST RATINGS & REVIEWS. Having the world at our fingertips has drastically changed the way people shop. A recent survey by Bizrate Insights found that 91 percent of respondents said they read at least one review before making a purchase decision on a product, business or service.

Customer reviews should always stay top-of-mind for digital marketers. Why? Potential customers want to know with full certainty that your company is one they can trust. When making a purchasing decision — big or small — we’re likely to take a leap of faith if we see others doing it, too. Not only do reviews play a critical role in a brand’s visibility, but they also greatly influence consumers’ buying decisions. According to Forbes, American consumers will pay 17 percent more to purchase from a company with a reputation for great service.

Positive ratings and reviews are an extremely powerful tool, helping businesses to build significant trust and credibility among both existing and potential customers. In a sea of competitors, this tactic is a small but mighty way to set your business apart from the rest.

While many customers may choose to share their experiences on their own, it doesn’t hurt to encourage reviews as well. There’s no shame in encouraging customer feedback, and you can do so with an incentive for customers, such as a discount offer in return for a review.

At the end of the day, a happy customer is a loyal customer. It’s essential that marketers adapt their business models to ensure they’re providing a satisfactory client experience in order to successfully develop and maintain a trust-filled customer relationship. To place your brand on the right path to achieving customer loyalty, prioritize a navigable mobile experience, display a reputable badge of trust and take the necessary steps to boost your ratings and reviews. While these strategies may require a little extra legwork and time, a positive customer experience will shape and maintain a brand’s reputation with consumers for years to come.

Cindy Mannes is executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance and senior vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. Learn about PPMA at www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.