The rise of trust signals and their importance in business

Making a sizeable purchase is rarely a snap decision. Before parting with hard-earned money, you’ve probably researched potential products and retailers for hours online, asked friends or family for recommendations or even looked to industry specialists for advice, looking for trust signals can give you confidence in purchasing a product.

trust signalsChoosing the right company no longer needs to be a guessing game. Trust signals help you identify honest, reliable businesses and can be found on an ever-growing number of company websites – you just need to know what you’re looking for. To help you do this, here’s a list of the top trust signals displayed by trustworthy companies.

Effective guarantees

Guarantees are a key trust signal for anyone investing in a new product or service. An effective guarantee will afford you peace of mind in the long run, should you experience issues with your purchase. Look out for information about guarantees on company websites and don’t be afraid to ask them for clarification if the terms are unclear.

Something to think about: Guarantees come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to read up on company procedures. It may just clinch the deal if you’re struggling to choose between two retailers.

Customer feedback

Perhaps one of the most useful trust signals a company can offer is consumer insight. If you have a great experience with a business, you’re likely to recommended them to friends and family – the same is also true if you have a bad experience. Every customer’s experience matters and a respectable company is well aware of this.

Ten or so years ago, word of mouth was everything and getting a fully rounded feel for a company was much harder. Enter independent review platforms, which have changed the landscape completely. Trustpilot was founded in 2007 in a bid to provide a voice to consumers and help them make more informed choices when buying both online and offline.

Examples of other review sites include feefo and EKomi. Together, they help provide peace of mind before choosing which business to put your trust in. Here is a good example of why honest feedback is so important, this Trustpilot page features more than 3,700 entries from Everest customers, and shows that they are top of the class in their industry.

Trusted tip: If a company is a member of an independent review site, you will usually see a link to their feedback page in the footer or sidebar of their website.


Accreditations are a brilliant indication of a company’s standards. They show that an organisation fulfils the high standards set by leading bodies in their industry while helping to provide peace of mind for potential consumers.

In the home improvement sector, leading bodies include:

  • The British Standards Institute (BSI)
    • Made in Britain
    • Secured by Design
    • The Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme (FENSA)
    • The Institute of Customer Service
    • TrustMark

TrustMark is the only scheme for trades in and around the home endorsed by the UK Government. It provides quality assurance to customers and is a great accreditation to look out for when choosing a home improvement company to do business with.

Price promises

You’ve researched product guarantees, customer feedback and company accreditations. You’ve found a company you’re happy with and are keen to get the sales process started, but there’s a voice in the back of your head: “Are you sure you’ve found the best price? What if you find it cheaper somewhere else, once you’ve signed?”.

Over the years, a growing number of companies have committed themselves to offering price-match guarantees. A key trust signal to look out for before committing to a purchase, this is a reassurance that your chosen dealer will match a competitor’s prices if the products are like-for-like, but the price is merely cheaper.

Price promises vary from company to company, so make sure you’re clear on the terms and conditions before going ahead. For example, Everest’s Price Promise gives you seven days to double-check competitor pricing after you’ve signed. The price, if you find it cheaper, will be adjusted. Some companies may match competitor prices before you proceed with the sale.

By keeping these simple trust signals in mind before committing to buy, you’re significantly improving your chances of putting your faith in a reliable company working hard to deliver you a great service and excellent products.