Return to: GROK Dot Com 7/15/2000

Will They Trust You With Their Privacy?
Sorry. The odds are stacked against you, and you probably didn't have a thing to say about it. Unfortunately, 64% of online customers surveyed don't think websites are trustworthy enough to follow even posted privacy practices, and that includes not passing along their user information to third parties1. So how are you going to sell to someone who doesn't trust you?

You can change the perception out there, and give your business a big edge. It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to inspire trust. Just some honesty and integrity and plain talk. So here's what you do: have a clear privacy policy, display a brief version it prominently on your home page, provide a link to a fuller disclosure if one is necessary (written in human-speak, not lawyer-speak), have great customer service both to explain the policy and to support the heck out of it, and stick to it as if your life depended on it (it does). And while you are at it, don't force your customers to fill in oodles of info about themselves in the first place. The more you ask for, the more they get nervous - wouldn’t you? Ask yourself if you really have to ask. How are you going to use the info? If you ask for my phone number, I can only guess you’re going to start calling me. Why else would you ask (except in an order form, of course)? Can you find out what you need to know by analyzing your site logs? And remember, the more you ask for, the more you not only raise their doubts and risk scaring them away, but the more you also delay them from doing what they want to do and what you want them to do. Buy. So if you have to ask for info, take a tip from Sergeant Friday, “Just the facts, ma'am.”

Oh … and do everything else right, too!

1 Jupiter Communications

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Return to: GROK Dot Com 7/15/2000

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