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Winning Customer Loyalty Hinges on Data Privacy and Trust

[@SEAN LOCKE/Stocksy United]

In an age where direct-to-consumer ecommerce and fierce digital competition are the norms, winning customer loyalty is a growing challenge.

As companies race to win customer loyalty, they rely heavily on accurate customer data to personalize every experience. To gain loyalty, companies need to use customer data to provide seamless experiences and meet customer expectations — all while they build trust. Collecting and using customer data, however, comes with its own set of challenges, including keeping that data secure. That’s a big responsibility for brands. 

Customers will provide personal data for contextualized experiences

Contextualized experiences deliver the right offers at the right time to the right person. Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report found that 79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for contextualized interactions in which they’re immediately known and understood.

Brands should use this data to personalize every touchpoint in a way that resonates with the customer at a specific moment. For example, a shopper might provide location data to a company. That company, in turn, could send the shopper push notifications while they browse a retail location.

By doing this, companies can indirectly reassure customers that they are using personal data to create highly relevant experiences — therefore building trust.

Customers want companies to meet their expectations

While customers are ready for companies to meet their expectations, many companies aren’t hitting the mark quite yet. While 76% of customers expect companies to now understand their needs, 51% of customers also say companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences.

To win customer loyalty, then, companies need to treat customers as individuals, not as numbers. That means giving customer data the respect it deserves, including getting proper consent to capture, unify, and activate it.

But before companies use data to deepen customer relationships, they need to abide by data privacy regulations, such as GDPR. Companies can then follow marketing and data use best practices to reach customers on the channels where they prefer to engage.

For example, a company can interact more effectively with a customer who has purchased shoes on its ecommerce site. When the returning customer browses the site, the company can meet their expectations by curating a browsing experience with recommendations based on past purchases. Steps like these help ensure customers receive relevant communications that match their expectations for personalization.

Customers prefer to control their own data

While customers are willing to let companies use their personal information, they still want to maintain control over exactly what data those companies use. Because 92% of customers will more readily trust brands that give them this control, companies have a golden opportunity to gain that trust — and build loyalty.

Think of it this way: If you ask a customer to provide a phone number, you should give a specific reason for them to provide it. For example, you could say that customers who provide phone numbers will receive exclusive offers via SMS. That type of incentive to provide additional personal information puts the ball squarely in the customer’s court.

So, how do you start to win customer loyalty?

To win loyal customers, it’s important for marketers to have the right tools at their disposal. Solutions such as Interaction Studio can help you to visualize, track, and manage real-time consumer experiences and use consumer data in a way that resonates contextually across every touchpoint.

Interaction Studio can give marketers the boost they need to win and retain loyal customers. Watch the Interaction Studio demo to learn more.

Vlad Lemez Principal Solution Engineer

An experienced marketing technologist with 10+ years of experience, Vlad Lemez has worked with some of the biggest customers in North America and around the globe. He helps companies align their marketing initiatives and goals with digital transformation.

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