One of the most challenging parts about starting a new rental business is getting your first customers. When someone discovers a company for the first time, they will generally look for reviews to determine if they are trustworthy. However, as a new business, you have no customers and, therefore, no social proof from previous bookings to earn trust.
So, how can you bridge this disconnect with potential customers and instill confidence that they are renting from someone they can trust? Well, there are several ways you can build trust as a new rental business. In this post, you will learn about five strategies you can use to build trust. These tips are helpful not only for starters but also for established businesses.
Five strategies for building trust with customers
When you don’t have reviews and social proof to show new customers that you are trustworthy, you need to get creative. You can show they can trust you by sharing your story, being available to answer questions, creating an FAQ page, writing detailed product descriptions, and checking the content of your website for mistakes to make sure everything is clear.
Let’s get into how these strategies can help you build trust!
1. Share your story
One of the easiest ways to build trust is by authentically telling your story to allow customers to connect with you and your business. You can start with background about who you are and why you started your business. Then, you can write about what your goals are for your business. Maybe you want to make products more affordable, or you have an environmentally-friendly mindset.
Telling stories is how people connect and get to know each other, and this extends to the businesses they interact with. An engaging story that represents a customer’s values can go a long way toward the start of an engagement based on trust. So dig deep and think about who you are, why you started your rental business, and what you want to achieve.
Woodbotherer Games, a wooden game rental business in New Zealand, has done an excellent job of creating an engaging story. A couple owns it, and they detail how they met, their experiences raising their children, and what led to starting their rental business. Immediately after reading it, you have a firm idea of who they are and if you identify with their values.
Here is a brief snippet:
2. Be available to answer questions
Online bookings are excellent because they automate many manual processes that go into phone or email bookings. However, as with anything, there will occasionally be people needing help. This is why being available to answer questions is vital, especially for a new business. It enables you to address any concerns customers may have about renting from you.
It is essential that you are available to answer questions quickly because there is usually a small window before customers move on. People want answers fast so they can decide and will start looking elsewhere if their inquiries aren’t replied to. You can make yourself available by providing a contact number, adding live chat, or encouraging people to message through social media.
Sup Hood River, a paddle board rental business in Oregon, USA, has integrated a free tool called tawk.to into their website. It allows customers to submit their questions and receive an answer from the owner within minutes. They have also been able to customize it to match their website design, so it feels like a part of their business and not an external service.
3. Create an FAQ/how it works page
Of course, many people’s questions can be answered by simple questions that do not warrant reaching out. These questions can be answered by simply adding an FAQ page to your website or a “how it works” page that explains the rental process. This will help you to inform customers, overcome objections, and alleviate any hesitations towards renting from your business.
FAQ pages also allow you to demonstrate your expertise, while “how it works” pages reassure customers that you run a professional rental operation. They also give you more space to tell your business story and demonstrate the kind of people who work with you. You can also add to them if you start receiving more questions from customers regularly.
Campers and Kit, a campervan rental business in the UK, does this well with their FAQ page featured in their main navigation. They have looked at the questions that are commonly associated with campervan rentals and offer clear and concise answers to these questions. As a new visitor, it is easy to quickly read through them and find answers to any concerns you may have.
4. Write detailed product descriptions
Many customers want to know as much information as possible before renting a product. Generally, they are not looking to rent a specific product, so they are unlikely to know about it when they find it on your website. This is why it’s important to share as much information as possible about the products you rent out. This can include information like dimensions and benefits.
In addition to giving customers as much information as possible, a detailed product description can benefit SEO. The more relevant information you have in your product descriptions, the better they will rank for associated search terms. This will help people to discover your website when they are searching on Google for companies that offer the products you rent out.
Sharegear, a camera rental business in Australia, provides detailed descriptions of the cameras and equipment they offer. Not only do they share specs, but they also tell a story with how they describe their products. This helps to connect with customers and build excitement while also ensuring they have all the information they need to make a decision.
5. Review your website content
Finally, you need to take an honest look at the content of your website and find any parts that could reduce trust. You can do this yourself, as well as ask your friends and family to point out anything that may be off-putting or unclear on your rental website. This will help you to get a sense of how new visitors will perceive your business and if you’ve done a good job.
It is also essential to identify any spelling or grammar mistakes, as these are subtle things that can put people off. People trust businesses that professionally present themselves, and one thing that screams unprofessional is mistakes like these. So be sure to review any content you’ve added to your website with a free tool like Grammarly to identify any issues.
It’s important to build trust from the beginning
People rent from businesses they trust, and the tips you’ve learned today will go a long way to creating that trust. Everyone starts with no social proof, so these strategies will help you to get your first customers. They will put you in a better position to get your first bookings alongside your marketing efforts.
In addition, they will help you create a higher quality website from the beginning, so there is less to change as your rental business develops.