Do Your Customers Love You—Or Trust You? (Part Two)
By Marije Gould
Posted in Customer Engagement
In my previous blog I discussed the importance of your customers trusting you with their information. While they do want you to tailor your service to their preferences—as we all know—they also want you to keep their personal data secure in the process.
This isn’t an easy road to walk, so let’s explore what that looks like in reality.
Transparency is paramount to winning over skeptical customers
We asked more than 24,000 consumers in 12 countries about their attitudes toward customer service, which revealed that trust and transparency are the keys to building a good customer experience. While the vast majority (80 percent) of consumers demand service that is personalized to them and their needs, skepticism about how their data is used is widespread.
An overwhelming 89 percent said they want to know how secure their personal information is when dealing with an organization. Additionally, 86 percent said it is important for companies to let customers know if their data will be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes.
Organizations only have a very short amount of time to win over customers’ trust, particularly online. Transparency is the key to building trust and therefore winning over customers. If organizations don’t get this right, they could face a customer exodus.
And no one wants that. So, when requesting information from customers, let them know exactly how their data will be used and stored, as well as publicize the benefits such as improved customer service, more relevant offers or discounts.
Customers also want the ability to opt in to initiatives that use their data, particularly when third parties are involved. A clear and well publicized privacy and data policy also helps to build trust in these situations.
We recommend you be vigilant in your efforts to keeping customer data secure. Waiting until you think you have been breached is too long. Not only will you have a security breach on your hands—you’ll also have a public relations nightmare.
In today’s day and age, organizations must have a proactive threat detection mechanism to best detect if a data breach has taken place. This should include robust security systems and infrastructure which is constantly reviewed and updated.
Not surprisingly, having these systems alone will not help build customer trust—they must be supported by a clear communications strategy. Customers want to know what steps organizations are taking to keep their data safe, and they want constant updates in the event that a breach takes place. Getting these communications right can be the difference between building and keeping customers’ trust, or losing it forever.
The stakes are high
The demand for personalized service across all channels increased by more than 54 percent compared with when we asked consumers in 2015. Consumers now better understand the benefits of organizations having their personal data and the more personalized offerings they receive as a result.
Therefore, customers are becoming more aware of the value of their personal data and are willing to provide it to organizations, for the right price.
So, organizations need to help ensure these high standards are maintained, as one misstep with a customer’s data can have disastrous effects. If businesses continue to build upon a foundation of trust, and invest in systems to protect customer data safety, they are likely on the path to success.
By doing so, they can help provide a customer experience that is seamless, engaging and—perhaps most importantly—helps them to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace.
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