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When it comes to setting up up your own private auction software, part of the challenge is to anticipate how it will be perceived. Some things are difficult to figure out about your customer. Some are impossible. You may not be a mind reader, but there’s one issue you can count on being top of mind for your customer when they visit your online auction site: trust. The opposite side of the coin is that the things they fear most about doing business with you provide the most significant opportunity for winning their business. Your customers need to know they can trust you for two things:

  1. A great deal
  2. And a secure deal

The first is pretty simple, right? They choose an auction rather than a retailer or Amazon because they enjoy the thrill of the chase. Your job is to give them confidence that your items are legit and your service is reliable.  And when it comes to the security of your private auction software, users assume the big companies have superior technology and security in place. Still, the truth is websites and software like Maxanet offer highly secure payment processing and security. So, make it a point to let your customers know this. The items below will help you build trust and security.

Here are seven ways to minimize trust issues:

  1. Be explicit about your terms. Not so much the number of details, but the quality. Focus on the elements that are most important to your client. Ask yourself what you would care about most if you were considering the specific item.
  2. Address item-specific concerns. For example, the most common worry about a used cell phone is whether it will power on, so turn it on for the photo. Don’t overlook the obvious. 
  3. Make Contact. Be sure they can easily find essential information about you and your company like your address and an accessible way to connect with you. Maxanet auction websites include a contact form so your email address doesn’t get harvested by bots that put you on spam email lists.
  4. Consider explaining now and then how you’re able to offer such a great deal. Maybe you’ve had a particular item on hand for too long, or you’re clearing out some inventory.
  5. Offer credit card payment options. By using MaxanetPay, you can offer credit card processing. Credit cards offer a level of protection for online purchases, giving bidders extra reassurance. 
  6. Make it easy for them to print a copy of the transaction. Your more ‘seasoned’ patrons may be more likely to prefer a paper trail. You know, the ones who still print important emails! 🙂
  7. Customer reviews. Kill two birds with this one: gain trust and win a sale or two.

That last item may be the best place to start

Customer reviews are one of the most used and most dependable resources for gaining trust. But they have to be done the right way. Too often, they seem canned or too flowery. You will gain precious insight if you ask the right questions. The best one to start with is, “Initially, what concerned you most about doing business with us?” Follow that question up with, “What did you learn once you decided to do business with us?” Be sure the final version of the review – the one you post on your website – is believable. On that point, did you know that products with a 4.2 to 4.5 average rating on Amazon are the ones that sell the most?

When it comes right down to it, empathy builds trust

It’s not just a matter of guessing what your customer wants to know when it comes to getting a great deal and a secure transaction. It’s a skill that takes practice. One way is to think about your behavior when shopping online. What spooks you? How do you decide whether you’re getting a good deal? Take a little time to exercise your empathy by looking at other private auction software sites and noticing which ones you’re wary of and which make you feel most comfortable. The question then becomes how to implement what you learn updating your site.

Spend some time trust-building

Look over the seven points above and pick one you can address this week. Knock that out, pat yourself on the back, and start working on the next improvement. It would be nice to read minds and know precisely what the trust issues are, but until we have that technology, it’s best we get to work! 

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