Privacy promise: How businesses can build trust in the digital age

Privacy promise: How businesses can build trust in the digital age

It’s no secret that trust is in short supply these days, especially when it comes to transacting with businesses over the internet. Fortunately, if you can build trust with your consumer base in the digital space, you can set yourself apart from the competition as a safer and more reliable alternative, encouraging potential customers to do business with you. Demonstrating trustworthiness can be difficult, however, as there is no standard way to go about it.

How do you prove your commitment to privacy?

Here are a few ways your business can build trust in the digital age and create loyal customers who won’t hesitate to engage with your company.

Minimize risk of data breaches

Invest in training your employees in proper handling of data, good cybersecurity practices, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA), data hygiene, proper security controls, and other proactive measures can help minimize the risk of your customer’s data being stolen or otherwise being misused.

Only storing data that is necessary for serving your clients can also help minimize the risk of unnecessary data being breached or misused for identity theft or illegal purposes. It is also important to implement practices to retain only the data that you need for legal or operational purposes. If you continue to store sensitive data that is no longer necessary, it increases your risk that this data will be misused.

Create a strong data privacy policy

One of the biggest sources of consumer anxiety online is the thought of companies harvesting private data and using it in ways the consumers did not agree to. To ensure that data is not sold or disclosed to unauthorized parties, data privacy regulations are being enacted across the globe, with one of the most prominent being the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

By crafting a detailed privacy policy for your website and online services, you strengthen customer trust. If the GDPR doesn't apply to your business, it doesn’t mean you can’t model your privacy policy after it. In fact, going the extra mile in this way for your customer’s privacy when you aren’t required to is a great way to demonstrate your trustworthiness.

Leverage social proof

Consumers often do not trust what businesses tell them. Instead, they are much more likely to believe the word of other consumers who have already interacted with your business and had a good experience. Take advantage of this by showcasing testimonials and reviews of past customers’ positive experiences, as they demonstrate that your business is worthy of trust.

Direct testimonials and reviews are good, but to build even more credibility, you can utilize trusted third-party platforms like Google or Yelp as unbiased sources. Display this social proof of the quality of your goods and services across as many channels as possible, including your website and social media. Even if these authentic customer experiences are not related to data privacy, customer trust often carries over into other business interactions.

Utilize a secure payment gateway

Consumers are more wary than ever when giving out financial information over the internet, so using a recognizable and proven pay portal to conduct online transactions is vital. Some of the most trusted secure financial gateway providers on the internet include Stripe, Paypal, and Shopify, but there are many more on the market. The best one for your e-commerce site depends on your business model.

Raise awareness

Let your customers know that you're working hard to protect their data privacy. Make sure visitors to your website can easily view your privacy policy, and mention your commitment to data safety on your About us page. Also, don’t forget to prominently display security badges, logos of secure portals and data security tools you use, and social proof of trust on your website and other platforms. If possible, explain the steps you are taking for the sake of customer data privacy and how these can protect consumers.

To further demonstrate your commitment to data privacy, try educating consumers on the topic and what they can do to secure their data. Not everyone is aware of privacy best practices on the internet, so by sharing information on data security and helping people protect themselves from being exploited, you can show them that you are on their side. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, including by posting content related to data privacy on your website and social media channels.

Trust between customers and service providers is the cornerstone of business. Fidelis can help you earn and keep that trust. Call us today to learn more.


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