Keeping Customer Trust in the Age of Data Sharing


In this post-GDPR world that we live in no one can deny that we’ve become more aware of our data, how it’s being used, who needs it and our control over all of that. Have GDPR’s data subject rights helped in increasing or decreasing consumer anxiety over how their information is used? It’s tough to say. One hand GDPR has caused many to think twice about whether to give businesses access to their personal data and to research and reevaluate the reasons they need those data. In light of the recent events, data breaches seem to be the main cause of concern for most people with 67% stating that they would likely stop doing business with a company that has suffered a data breach (According to a report by Gemalto). On the other hand, even though consumers are more aware than ever and have concerns about their online privacy, 51% of UK consumers will continue to share personal information in exchange of benefits in doing so.

So what can you do to keep your customers happy?

Build a trusted relationship and increase transparency

Brand trust is one of the main factors that affect a consumer’s willingness to share data. Over 75% of consumers are more willing to share personal data with a brand they trust. Trust is a two-way street, so be transparent about the data you’re collecting and explain the benefits of them sharing data with you.  Ask for consent and don’t use overly obtuse or legal language when presenting data subjects with this information if you want their trust. Admit when you’ve made mistakes and take swift action in resolving issues.

Give back

Why collect all this data when you can’t offer a good customer experience. Look for ways to create value with data you’re collecting. The best way persuade customers to give their data is to design customer experiences in a way that the consumers themselves choose to share it as part of a value-adding experience. As we mentioned before most consumers are practical and would share data if they receive something in return. For example, 80% of consumers say they share a non-required piece of data for rewards points. And some also share data for more experiential benefits, like product recommendations or a tool to help them with complex decisions, looking at you marketers.

Speaking of marketers

As one myself I know how easy it was to pester customers relentlessly with promotional emails, but times have changed and in my opinion – for the better. Use data only for the purposes you’ve collected it for! This should be easy enough to understand, don’t hide additional subscriptions, don’t use consent as a precondition to a service or contact and most importantly – deliver on your promises. Here’s a handy- dandy article to help you with email marketing – Email Marketing and GDPR – How to Do It Right! [Examples]

Most importantly of all is to not look at GDPR as a costly or burdensome obstacle, take it as an opportunity to be upfront with your customers and use it to build a trusted relationship with them.

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