Meeting customer demands for personalization requires a data-driven, 360-degree view — but more than half of the “State of the Connected Customer” respondents are uncomfortable with how their data is used. Not all companies are earning their customers’ trust to do the right thing with these technologies and data.
In fact, 62% of customers say they’re more afraid of their data being compromised now than they were two years ago. The issue, however, goes deeper than a fear of malicious hackers. Fundamentally, customers have lost trust in companies to do the right thing when it comes to their data. Fifty-seven percent of customers are uncomfortable with how companies use their personal information. Part of this discomfort may stem from the simple fact that so many customers — half of consumers, for instance — feel confused about how companies use their data in the first place.
Customers say companies can earn their trust by taking certain steps, such as giving them control over how their data is applied and being transparent with how it’s used. Eighty-six percent of customers are more likely to trust companies with their relevant information if they explain how it provides a better experience. [Click to tweet]

The challenge for companies seeking to differentiate using data-driven experiences isn’t that customers don’t want their information applied for such purposes, but that they don’t trust that their data will be used for such purposes alone. Forty-eight percent of customers believe companies do a bad job at protecting their personal information.

Companies must develop strong privacy policies and demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding data to show that they have customers’ best interests at heart. What’s more, companies earn trust by being transparent about how customer information is used, and explaining how it provides a better experience.

But while sound policies and transparency are critical, companies earn the most trust by putting customers in the driver’s seat of data use. Ninety-two percent of customers are more likely to trust companies that give them control over what information is collected about them.
For more research and charts about the impact of customer trust, get the complete “State of the Connected Customer” research.