How businesses can appear legitimate to customers
Posted: Oct 25, 2018
Internet scams are becoming more and more common. In fact, industry group UK Finance has found that over £500 million has been stolen from customers of banks across Britain in the first half of 2018 alone. £145 million of that sum was also because of authorised push payment scams, whereby people are tricked into sending money to another account.
These internet scams shouldn’t just be a concern for customers though, as businesses are often targeted too. In a fiercely competitive online market, companies should be doing all they can to get members of the public to trust them. With this in mind, join caravan park WiFi provider Infinium, which also offers IT security solutions, as they advise businesses on the steps they should be taking to ensure everyone knows that a firm’s online interactions are legitimate…1. Ensure your site has the SSL security protocol in place
Standing for Secure Sockets Layer, SSL is a security protocol whereby the channel of information between a customer and a business’ website is encrypted. Therefore, credit card details will be ‘scrambled’ and hackers will not have the opportunity to intercept the information that consumers ae sending to retailers.
Customers will know if your website has an SSL in place, as the site’s URL will alter from ‘http://’ to the more secure ‘https://’. What’s more, on the left-hand side of the address bar will either be an unbroken key or a closed padlock — if these icons look to be broken or open, it could well indicate that there’s something wrong with the site’s SSL.2. If necessary, direct customers to a trusted payment gateway
If you would rather refrain from setting up your own payment service on your website, make sure you opt for a trusted payment gateway which can conduct online transactions on your behalf. PayPal and WorldPay are two firms which instantly come to mind, with both helping to make consumers feel secure.3. Include a registered address and landline phone number on your site
As a legitimate online business, you should have both a registered address and a phone number that can easily be found on your website. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind here too.
For example, a potential customer may call round to the registered address of a company to ensure everything is genuine. Therefore, ensure there’s either a sign or some indication of your business’ presence within the office or building where the address is linked to.
When it comes to the phone number you associate with your business, it’s wise to choose a landline number. While a mobile number doesn’t mean that a firm isn’t legitimate, its presence will instantly see potential customers put their guard up. Of course, people may call the number to check that it’s genuine as well, so make sure it’s always a member of staff who answers the call and that they introduce themselves with a professional greeting and mention of the company name.4. Allow customers to check your ISO certification
It is a very wise move to display the logo of the certification body which issued your business with an ISO certification on your website. This is because customers can then search for the certification body in question and get in touch with them to verify that your company is in fact legitimate.5. Make sure customers can read your privacy statement
Legal privacy statements will feature on the websites of all major retailers. It’s important that your legal privacy statement is filled with details about how you work to protect the information that consumers give about themselves — such as their personal details and credit card information.6. Have your company on the FCA register (if you deal with financial services & products)
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register is an in-depth database which contains the details of every financial company which is registered and regulated by the FCA. It stands to reason then that your company should be on this register if you deal in financial services or products, as consumers can then easily check your firm’s credentials by just searching for your brand’s name and/or the postcode associated with your business.
Follow these six steps and you should be able to showcase that your online business is genuine to anyone interested in buying your products or investing in your services.
James is an Outreach Executive at Mediaworks Online Marketing and covers a number of clients across a wide range of business sectors, helping them to grow their online portfolios through engaging content.