There are many business verification and validation services that offer certified seal/mark programs that help to establish your online credibility. In some cases, these validation services also double as PCI compliance scan providers. In almost all cases, a secondary benefit of the programs is an increase in trust and credibility with customers that can help increase online bookings for your business.
Here are some helpful tips on increasing and maintaining trust with your customers:
Display your association seal or certification mark – Unlike travel agents or tour operators that must be certified or belong to an industry association, small destination based operators are not generally required to be part of a large certification body like IATA, ACTA (in Canada) or ABTA (in the U.K.). These organizations, by virtue of their industry brand, are comforting to the consumer because they know that they are protected, to some degree. Belonging to these organization is an expensive proposition however and requires, in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars in bonds. Destination operators can build trust by making it known that they belong to a business organization like their local Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Association, or the Better Business Bureau. Many of these organizations will have a badge that you can place on your site that links back to your listing on their website. Obtaining this badge may take time because it will involve a verification process, but it is worthwhile to consider. Here are a few sites that provide Business Verification seals:
- Better Business Bureau On-line Seal Program
- Trust Guard Verified Business Seal
- GeoTrust TrueBusinessID SSL Certificate
- Comodo Hacker Proof
- Control Scan – Verified Secure Seal
- Norton Safe Site – Secure Seal Program
Too many seals can seem disingenuous to the consumer. Choose the ones that you think will add the most value given the cost and stick with them. Part of the effectiveness of the seal is the length of time you have been validated.