Security & Customer Trust

In my role as a security professional, I have pondered the various dimensions of trust and have some thoughts on the subject.  After all, information security is all about protecting the information entrusted to a business.

Every business transaction requires a measure of trust.  If I pay you for a product, I trust that your product has the value that warrants the price you expect and you are trusting that I will pay you what I have promised.  Some transactions require more trust than others.  For example, a visit to the emergency room versus buying some gum at a convenience store.

Companies use branding to distinguish their products and services and thereby charge a premium.  So, in the most basic sense, a brand is a promise of consistency and value.  The power of a brand is a measure of the consistency and value in the perceptions of its customers.  Brand power has a direct impact on profitability.

Trust requires vulnerability.  If I am not in some way vulnerable to you, then I do not have to trust you.  Trust also requires predictability.  I know that I can trust you because you have been trustworthy before.  There is also an element of risk involved.  If there is no possible way that you can “rip me off” then I am not vulnerable to you, and do not need to trust you.

Note that the more significant the transactional relationship, the more personal information that is exchanged---requiring more trust as a result.  Growing a brand is a not just about acquiring more customers, it’s about creating more and more trust with the customers that we already have, a deeper and more significant relationship with the brand---Customer Obsession.

 “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” --Sam Walton

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.