If you are going to build a business rather than simply do business, this requires you to work on earning the trust and respect of your customers, so that you become a brand that they can put their faith in and know what they are going to get each time they place an order.
One of the fundamental ways of ensuring that you are giving consistently high customer service is to achieve SOC Compliance, which provides an enhanced level of confidence in your business to look after its customers and suppliers.
The changing face of commerce
If you are still of the mindset that you can post a couple of glowing customer testimonials on your website and that will suffice in convincing people that you are a good business to deal with, you will have to update your thinking if your business is going to prosper.
An extremely high percentage of customers now say that their decision to buy is now predominantly influenced by customer reviews, and a good number of them too.
Independent third-party reviews are always helpful in building trust and some market research would suggest that if you can build a business that has achieved over 1,000 reviews, you are likely to generate as much as a six-fold increase in the number of leads you get, compared to another business with a lower number of comparable reviews.
Another important aspect to consider regarding this volume of reviews, is that most savvy shoppers tend to accept that there are going to be a few bad reviews in amongst that sort of volume of feedback.
If you have nothing but genuine five-star reviews, you are doing something spectacularly right in your business, but ironically, you are considered more likely to generate more new customer leads, if there a few negative comments posted, as this is considered more realistic and therefore more trustworthy as a guide to how your business looks after its customers.
Your website needs to reflect your professionalism
Your online presence and how you present yourself to new and existing customers, is now of paramount importance, when you consider the volume of customers who now complete their transaction on the web rather than in person.
Building trust in your business and your brand involves a multitude of different initiatives and actions, and your website definitely needs to reflect your level of professionalism, if it is going to convince consumers that you are trustworthy and reliable.
You will need to ensure that your website incorporates a clean, modern and easily-navigable design that works for every different type of browser. A growing percentage of online shoppers are likely to use their smartphone to search for products and suitable suppliers. This means that if you invest in technology to ensure that your website is compatible with any browser, you are demonstrating that you care about your customers, and this will help to build trust.
Plenty of information about your products, clear customer support details and ease of use are also key requirements and will all contribute towards building confidence in your business for anyone contacting you online.
Trust in your eCommerce systems
If you have not already heard of Service Organization Control reports (SOC) it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the concept and work out how to to use an SOC report to build a layer of trust in your business.
SOC reports are mainly used by service providers as a way of auditing and validating your business’s operational controls, like Managed IT services through to cloud security and audit controls, are all in order.
One of the main purposes of an SOC report is to demonstrate that your business complies with certain required standards. SOC 3 for example, is mainly based on the existing SysTrust and WebTrust principles, with one noticeable difference, which is that the scope of the report means that the details of the testing performed are not revealed, and there is more emphasis on reassuring customers when it is used as part of your marketing initiatives.
There are three SOC reports, so you should take some advice on which type of report is most suitable to your business and what scope of auditing and reporting will be useful to you.
Building customer confidence in your business involves a whole range of different initiatives and components all coming together in perfect alignment. Even if you have a good business model and offer great customer service already, the rules of engagement these days, are that you have to prove it.