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Building customer trust with digitization is a necessary practice for today's businesses.

How to digitise your business and build customer trust

While businesses are going through digital transformations, consumers are becoming more concerned with data privacy. Implementing digital processes is necessary for a modern business, but you need to be cautious to not scare away your customers.

This is where building trust becomes a key practice.

The range for digital changes is wide – from traditional web technologies to mobile solutions, and from cloud-services to artificial intelligence – and it's up to each business to decide which processes are beneficial for them.

The advantages of digitisation are more detailed and sophisticated data collection on the one hand, and more targeted and personalised customer experiences on the other.

The question is, then, how to find balance between digitisation and consumer trust.

Introducing: The digitally conscious customer

According to the Global Consumer Insights Survey 2020 by PwC, modern customers have two main expectations regarding their shopping experience: safety and accessibility.

In other words, customers want great customer experiences both online and in the traditional store format. They want to be able to make purchases wherever and whenever (increased amount of people shop in so-called micro-moments, i.e. while doing something else). As a business, you want to ensure your customers have easy access to your sales platforms whether it means stopping by your physical store, comparing options online or seeing a product in social media and following the link to complete a purchase.

Additionally, today's consumers are more aware – and careful – with sharing their personal data, but at the same time crave personalised experiences.

Indeed, digitisation is an opportunity to provide these more personalised user experiences while simultaneously being a responsibility to protect customer data.

Here are some ideas to start building customer trust with digitisation.

1. Find balance between security and user experience

Secure and convenient user experience should not mean two different things. Customers can be offered a seamless journey without compromising on the safety of their data.

Finding that balance starts with transparency. Customers should know when and why their data is collected. Companies are increasingly adding customer privacy into their value propositions, as well as communicating their privacy policies and cookie notices in line with their tone of voice.

Additionally, you should stick to only asking for relevant information. According to a survey by McKinsey, customers value companies that treat their personal data with extra care. Showing that your company takes data privacy seriously can therefore turn into a business advantage.

When it comes to customer experience, there are a few things to check with security in mind:

  • How does your company use features like automatically timed logouts or asking for re-authentication? The more these are used, the safer, but having customers go through these too often might cause friction and result in them voting with their feet, so to say, and leaving your site.
  • How flexible is your multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA)? If you allow your customers to fully customise the authentication, they might choose the less secure options like email-based links or text-message codes. The safest option would be to combine these with, for example, personal security questions and fingerprints – again, though, with customer experience in mind. Consider how sensitive is the information customers are allowing access to, and decide how often a stronger authentication is needed.

To get the most out of this practice, you need to identify and isolate your customer's pain points so that easing them can be prioritised. This is easiest done through buyer personas, as the next chapter will illustrate.

2. Integrate security into your buyer's journeys

Creating (and revising!) buyer personas should be a self-evident practice for every business. When mapping out the usual attributes of characteristics, behavior patterns, attitudes, goals, challenges and pain points, a modern business should also consider adding a layer of security into buyers' journeys. This way, you ensure your efforts match the needs of your customers – further ensuring as seamless an experience as possible.

So let's say your customers are usually quite tech-savvy but also very busy, and they favor automated processes. Their security pain point would then probably be having to go through re-authentication and 2FA's or MFA's. You might then look for convenient authentication options like fingerprints or facial recognition, as well as consider how often re-authentication would be asked for on different devices.

Going through your buyer personas and buyer journeys with security in mind helps you spot moments where additional controls might be needed, and further to build trust by showing that you are not only aware of them but also working to resolve them.

3. Build trust by personalisation

As said, consumers today are not oblivious about the fact that their personal information is constantly collected by different actors. Instead, they are increasingly expecting to receive something in exchange.

In retail, this is often achieved through personalisation. But what does that mean, exactly?

Well, for example, consumers suffering from email fatigue would probably rather receive relevant, even hyper-personalised offers that align with their specific interests. This way, they would feel seen and understood, thus increasing the chance of following the offer and later returning back to your business instead of your competitors.

This being said, when your customers feel like they are also benefiting from the collection of their data, and see that it is being used contextually and meaningfully, personalisation can actually contribute in building trust.

New solutions like ClowID can help by providing more individual data from all of your customers, while they get to remain completely anonymous. Gathering omnichannel customer data from a variety of sources helps you understand their purchasing behavior better and thus provide a better, smoother experience.

Learn more about digitisation and personalisation with the free E-Book:

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