Oftentimes, our default mindset around compliance and regulations is defensive. You maintain compliance because you have to, so you don’t get hit with penalties and fees.
There are many reasons it’s helpful to shift your mindset around compliance. For example, once you begin to think of compliance differently—as beneficial even—you can better engage your employees’ active participation and engagement in hitting compliance standards.
Employees aren’t the only people critically impacted by compliance either. Your customers, partners, and vendors are too.
In this blog, we’’ll explore how considering your customers’ perception of your business’s compliance with IT security regulations can actually help you build trust and improve your relationships with them.
Your Customers Want to Know Their Data is Safe with You
A helpful exercise with compliance is to think about your own data and information, both personally and professionally. When you buy something online, for example, you do so when you know you can trust that the shop—to the best of their ability—is protecting your sensitive financial information. When you submit medical records or engage in a telehealth appointment, you trust that your information is going to be protected and remain confidential. And when you form a business partnership with someone, you take steps to ensure your business’s IP and other important data is kept secure.
Your customers naturally expect the same from you. Whether those conversations were explicitly held or not, your relationships are built on mutual trust—which includes trusting that your business is at a minimum, doing everything that is legally required of you to keep their information secure.
Breaches and cybersecurity incidents happen, as there will always be bad actors. But it’s your business’s responsibility to be prepared with a strong security defense—and your customers are trusting that you are. Which is exactly why IT regulations and compliance standards exist: they’re created with information protection in mind. In this way, you can also view them as a helpful guide that lays out exactly what systems and software you need to have in place for your specific industry and business.
Turn Compliance into an Opportunity
Because compliance is a requirement, it's easily left unspoken. You might assume your customers know you’re keeping up with compliance standards, or perhaps they’re already being communicated in a more formal, legal manner.
Yet while you might assume they’re a given, it’s still beneficial to communicate the steps you’re taking to stay compliant. Every type of business has different standards they have to meet. Your customers may be familiar with what they must adhere to but are less familiar with your industry’s regulations. Not to mention, compliance standards are ever evolving, and your business must regularly maintain compliance as requirements change.
Each deadline and status renewal presents you with an opportunity to remind your customers how dedicated you are to maintaining compliance precisely because you value your relationship with them and with it, their sensitive and confidential data. This is also an opportunity to remind your customers of the other security measures you take, outside of compliance, as another piece of evidence pointing to your dedication.
It’s true what they say, that out of sight means out of mind. Yes, compliance is required of you. But by simply communicating your positive mindset towards it—the one that shows you understand its benefits and how it impacts and protects your customers—you can turn compliance into an opportunity to build and maintain trust with your customers.