Being a customer is a risky proposition in the modern world.
Uber are just the latest in a long line of prolific companies who have been hacked and suffered data breaches. Equifax; Sony; Yahoo; Home Depot and many more have fallen victim to hacking, guaranteeing that customers are more worried than ever about the safety of their data while online.
As a business owner, you can be tarred with the same brush as the big companies who have fallen victim to leaks. When customers begin to distrust online transactions or submitting information to businesses — which they cannot be blamed for in the current climate — they will distrust all companies, including yours. It’s up to you to ensure that you have the strategies in place that can assure your customers and clients that their personal data and payment information is safe with you.
Here are a few ideas that can help you with this aim.
#1 – Obtain Service Organization Control Reporting
If your business storage systems can pass the independent testing needed to acquire a positive SOC 3 report, then this will reassure customers who are understandably wary in the current climate. It’s one thing for you to be able to claim that your business has invested in excellent systems and data storage, but a positive report helps to prove to your customers that your business is reliable in these areas.
With SOC reporting, you can display your credentials as a trustworthy business on your website. SOC 3 reports offer you an extra layer of credibility; they also help to demonstrate you have been proactive in the face of increased threats and have taken steps to keep your customers and your business safe.
#2 – HTTPS Protocol
If your business website is not currently utilizing HTTPS — a secure protocol that helps to bolster cybersecurity measures, and the usage of which is encouraged by Google — then you need to upgrade as soon as possible. Some packaged websites come with HTTPS included, so check your domain URL to see if you have this advanced protocol installed:
- https://www.yourwebsite.com = good
- http://www.yourwebsite.com = bad, upgrade to HTTPS as soon as possible.
Your potential customers will expect your site to be using HTTPS and, without it, you could lose business. There’s a great guide on how to migrate a website from HTTP to HTTPS here.
#3 – Improve Your Customer Service
Businesses cannot afford to be anonymous or distant from their customers in the modern world. In the day-to-day running of your business, you can reassure customers that you are authentic and trustworthy by maintaining excellent customer service. For example:
- Keeping your social media updated and monitored. It is more common nowadays for customers (and potential customers) to turn to social media for assistance rather than emailing or calling.
- All enquiries the business receives should be responded to within 24 hours. If you need more time to respond to a query, send a message to the customer explaining this, assuring them that the matter is being investigated. You should aim to follow up on this within three working days.
- Being polite and courteous at all times, with good spelling and grammar in written communications.
If you combine high levels of accessibility and general customer service along with your tech security measures as described above, no customer should ever have reason to doubt your company is one that they can trust.