The customer is always right—and they’re always the top priority at a successful business.

Sure, a well-rounded business will take care of its employees and keep its shareholders happy. But if they can’t ensure customers get a good experience, they’re in trouble.

Businesses can do a lot in terms of offering great products for affordable prices. But there’s also the experience to think of. And security is as important to the customer’s experience as anything.

Customer security isn’t just important for the mega chains and enterprise businesses. It’s also critical for small businesses, too. Some may argue it is even more important, since smaller businesses have fewer customers they can stand to lose.

When customers feel secure, they’re more likely to come back. Here are five ways small businesses can improve customer security.

How Can Businesses Make Their Customers Feel Secure?

Security in terms of customer experience means data is protected, privacy is respected, and all concerns a customer may have are thoroughly addressed.

What are the most effective ways to enhance customer security at small businesses? Here’s our picks for the top five.

Utilize Encryption for Safe Data Processing

When we think about customer security, the topic of cyberattacks often surfaces. And when this topic does arise, we often think about the largescale organizations getting targeted.

It makes sense—think of it in terms of physical breaches as opposed to digital ones. The big banks and big budget companies are usually the first ones targeted. Likewise, companies with millions of records on file are usually the target of more cyber-attacks.

But Macy’s, Adidas, and Yahoo aren’t the only companies vulnerable to security issues when it comes to managing customer records. Small businesses can be targets, too.

An encrypted connection means customers can enter their contact and/or payment information into a web portal and feel secure knowing only the intended recipient will get it.

By transforming data to different format, encryption services make it much harder for data thieves to obtain information in processing.

Brief Customers on the Importance of Data Security

Just because customers want their data to be protected doesn’t mean they know all the dos and don’ts regarding safe practices.

For companies that handle a lot of digital data, there’s an incentive to brief customers on good habits when it comes to exchanging data with the company virtually.

Simple emails or even brochures containing tips can be helpful. This can include ways to choose secure passwords, clues on how to spot potential data tampering, and advice on what to do if they believe a breach has happened.

This is a forward-thinking approach on the company’s part, and can help out a lot in terms of stopping security problems before they happen.

Use Photos So Customers Know Who’s Coming to Help Them

Customer security for small businesses goes beyond just digital data management. What about in-person appointments from companies that make house calls?

If a customer is expecting a worker to come to their place of residence, they will feel more comfortable knowing exactly who is coming. What if the customer could receive a picture and bio of the worker before they arrive?

More and more service-based businesses are taking a customer service first approach to their business. After all, they are a “service” business.

Technology is making this much easier and more efficient. For example, let’s say an HVAC company dispatches a team of ten HVAC service reps over a 50 mile range every day. Dispatch software can now send the customer a picture and bio of the worker before they arrive giving the customer all the information they need to feel comfortable with a stranger coming into their home.

Use Proper Security Technology Onsite

Moving from the customer’s location to the actual business’s location, there are many ways to enhance security and make sure customers have a better experience. A lot of it depends on the type of technology a business uses. Security cameras, motion lights, and alarms are all great choices to keep a business secure.

When customers know a business is equipped with technology to keep it secure, they will feel more comfortable showing up whether it’s to browse or make a transaction.

Even when it comes to the basics, like closing the blinds afterhours to deter wandering eyes can have a big impact on a facility’s security. And when a facility is more secure, customers’ information and property will be more secure along with it.

Outsource Security Tasks to a Third-Party

While some people may think small businesses wouldn’t have the resources to bring in a security expert, doing so can actually be more affordable.

The amount of hours and money spent trying to make a small business secure independently can add up very quickly. Outsourcing the tasks can free up a lot of these resources while providing a better result overall.

Think about the things a small business may need to do in order to improve their security. This could include changes to the facility, changes to the digital infrastructure, and more.

It can also be about doing simple things on a regular basis like changing passwords or monitoring the perimeter.

Small businesses can learn a lot about security tips and find out what areas need improving when they turn to a trusted third-party security expert.

Security is Critical for Small Business Growth

Even if a business doesn’t aim to turn into a chain store, they want to grow. They don’t want to stay small forever. But this means they will have to embrace the challenges that come with the opportunities.

Small businesses must understand how to make their customers feel secure if they hope to expand. A secure business is easier to work with. They provide less hassle, give customers fewer reservations about exchanging information, and offer more in terms of a holistic experience.

Customers want great products at fair prices—this is a given.

But they also want a great experience, and this means staying safe both physically and digitally. Customer security is a priority for any business. But for small businesses that hope to grow, it is of the utmost importance.

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Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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