How your tech company can build trust to increase conversions

Jun 2019

7
min read

Trust should be at the forefront of any tech product. Learn how to ensure your approach sets you up for the future by considering your audience’s needs.

By Simon McCade

How tech scaleups can build trust to drive conversions

Trust is a huge consideration for anyone who is determined to scale and grow a tech product for their target audience.

It’s the topic of many a conversation with tech scaleups and it’s one that’s never likely to go away. And rightly so. 

Knowing how to design a product that builds confidence and trust is a significant step towards giving people what they want from the outset

It requires the ultimate in reliability and suitability, especially insofar as new users are concerned. If you can demonstrate that you can solve the problem they are facing quickly and efficiently, you will be one step closer to securing loyal users - perhaps even power users - of your product. Obviously, the benefits of this for engagement and word-of-mouth growth can be invaluable. 

If you’re asking yourself how you can build a product that instils trust in your target audience, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how your tech company can appeal to people’s needs, grow an engaged audience and ultimately drive more conversions: 

Make the right first impression

During the design phase of the UX behind your tech product, it is crucial to keep one thing front-of-mind at all times: the relationship you want to build with your customers. 

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so design is inextricably linked to customer acquisition and retention. Quite simply, you won’t keep customers and, therefore, you won’t make money if the first impression they get of your product is that it is unable to fulfil their needs.

They will just go elsewhere - and they often do; an analysis of worldwide app uninstalls by Adjust revealed that people delete apps from their phones just six days after they last used them, which can sometimes be the only time they used them. Moreover, business-specific apps only last up to seven days on average, according to the data. 

Build trust via live product demos
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so design is inextricably linked to customer acquisition and retention

This means that great percentages of marketing budgets are wasted if they simply aren’t converting free trials into engaged customers.

As designers, we have to bear in mind that people come at new products, products and experiences with a new degree of cynicism these days, so the stakes are even higher than ever when it comes to gaining trust.

Optimise your onboarding process

Bombarding users with a million questions the second they have started using a product is not the way to go. Ultimately, giving away personal information requires a certain level of trust to have been developed, even if that is within a matter of a few seconds during your onboarding process

Design a great product experience that's almost self-explanatory

Education of the true benefits of your product is essential before asking someone to sign up or register or, more importantly, upgrade. If your product doesn’t incorporate this into its onboarding process, it will do nothing more than breed confusion, scepticism and mistrust. 

A user’s openness to sharing their own information will increase over time if the product’s experience is a pleasant one that’s not too overbearing and not too demanding. 

Allow them to get used to the experience, allow them to have a look around if they so wish, allow them to see the value in your product before asking them for the valuable information you need from them. These incremental steps, one task at a time, can really help to build trust slowly but surely in your users.  

Avoid overwhelming users

There’s no getting away from the fact that tech products are complicated by their very nature. There is often a lot of information to present in a very short amount of time and, indeed, a small amount of screen space, so it’s a common headache for designers and developers. 

Don't give your customers too much to think about. Tesla model 3's approach to their cabin design.

It’s crucial to remember, then, that simplicity is key. There are already many tried and tested ways of encouraging users to do what you want them to do in your product, so it’s futile trying to reinvent the wheel. Provide value by giving people what they want to see and don’t overcomplicate the experience. 

Give the right amount of content at the right time to avoid scaring your customers away

Present small and manageable steps to your first-time users so they can get used to the product and its UX and UI. User testing is always a great way to get a feel for when your prospective customers might become comfortable enough to give away their personal information, so be sure to use these opportunities to design a better product.

Be honest and transparent

We live in a world of savvy users and stringent data policies, so it is very important to be as open and honest as possible when it comes to customer information. 

It pays to be upfront and transparent about your company, the features of your product and the reasons you want someone’s personal information. Make space to tell them how their data will be used and don’t cut corners on this point - the trust your audience has in your product can be improved for the long-term as a result (just look at Monzo and how honesty is clearly their best policy).

Monzo - Honesty is its best policy

If the extra data will help to improve the experience, such as in the Headspace app, tell them that’s the case and that’s why you need it - after all, everybody wants digital experiences to be as user-friendly as possible, so here’s your chance to build trust from the beginning by giving people more of what’s relevant to them. 

Delight users with high quality visual design

We are all guilty, whether we like it or not, of judging books by their covers when it comes to tech products. If something is beautiful, it is generally perceived to be easier to use and an overall better experience than something that is offensive to the eye. If something is poorly designed, it is generally perceived to be a less useful product that won’t meet requirements.

Make life easier for people and they will love your product

Every aspect of a digital experience has an impact on its usability - the design, the colour palette, the tone of voice in the copy. To earn the respect and trust of your customers, you need to communicate that you are professional and reliable from the earliest point possible.

It’s easier said than done, of course, especially when the likes of CSS frameworks are involved and everything and everyone begins to look the same. There’s no competitive advantage to be gained from this approach. 

A new user always wants to know where they are and whether or not their needs will be looked after. If your product makes this difficult to achieve, they will become frustrated and will probably cancel their subscription. 

Be sure to promote credibility and trust through a clear navigation, great communication and a visually attractive UI design to give yourself the best chance of success. 

A new user always wants to know where they are and whether or not their needs will be looked after

Bringing trust to the fore

No matter the stage of production you find yourself in, trust must always be at the forefront of your design. The advantages of this can last your product its lifetime if you use the added engagement to understand their behaviours and continually adapt and improve your product for the better. 

As long as you know that any such changes can be mutually beneficial, you’ll stand yourself in good stead for appealing to tomorrow’s tech users.

Build trust into your product for long-term customer relationships

Future-proof your tech product

Trust runs through the veins of every digital experience for first-time users. It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in; you just can’t afford for it to be an afterthought. This is especially true in the fintech space.

It’s not an easy thing to achieve, but building trust into your product design can mean the difference between a user converting from a trial to a full subscription and a user leaving it behind for good. 

Do you need help building trust and confidence into the experience you are offering your users? Get in touch today to arrange a consultation and we’ll see how we can work together to future-proof your tech product.

The good stuff

The not-so-good stuff

This article represents the opinion of experienced designer, Simon McCade, who has no association or affiliation with the company or the app in question.

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About Simon McCade

I help early-stage SaaS companies turn more trial users into customers through better UX and design.
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