4 Best Practices To Build Customer Trust

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Customers demand trust from businesses they transact with for various reasons. A financial institution, for example, has access to confidential customer information that they should strictly protect. A retail store has access to contact information like phone number and email address that customers hope would not be misused. Even the mom and pop store your neighborhood may lose customers if they do not exhibit sufficient trustworthiness in handling credit card information. In this article, we will take a look at a few best practices that would help customers understand how your business deals with their information and consequently, how trustworthy you are as a business.

Be forthright about data use

Customers are hesitant about sharing personal information (including email address and mobile numbers) primarily because they are not sure how this is going to be used. Businesses that have nothing to hide and want to earn the customers’ trust may do well to be forthright about how this information shall be used. For instance, you could explicitly state in your communication that the customers’ details would be used for transactional purposes only. Being explicit about this (even if you are using it for marketing purposes) helps businesses earn the trust of customers.

Opt-In policy over Opt-Out

If you are a business that wants to use customer contact information for marketing purposes, permit your customers to opt-into the list rather than opt-out. In other words, your customers must explicitly choose to receive your marketing communication rather than you adding them to your list by default (and allowing them to opt-out if they are not interested). This tells the customer that you value their patronage and do not take them for granted. In addition to this, an opt-in policy may also be a legal requirement depending on your communication channel.

Demonstrate your security protocols

As a business, you may be required to share details about your customers with third parties like attorneys, investors or law enforcement agencies. There is no way to guarantee that these third parties may store information available to them as securely as you do. The onus is thus on you to ensure that precious customer data is not breached through one of these sources. One way to resolve this is by sharing and collaborating with the help of secure channels like Virtual Data Rooms and other enterprise data sharing services. In addition to this, make your customers known about your need to share such information with third parties and also what you are doing to protect their information.

Invest in security

Unlike your sales and marketing teams, security is not a profit center. Not surprisingly, businesses are often hesitant to invest more than the bare minimum on security. This is a recipe for potential disaster. As a number of recent security breaches have shown, no company is immune to hacks and data theft. Such attacks not only leave the company vulnerable and leads to loss of brand equity, it could also impact customers through subsequent financial and identity thefts. All of this can cripple a business over the short and medium term. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate threats of data theft, businesses must invest in security and also demonstrate their willingness to keep customer information on highly secure systems. This helps in assuring customers that they can trust the business and can transact with them.

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