Guest Blog by Shakira Joyner of HCHR
If you want people to trust you with their data, you need to earn it…stick with me..
Companies hold more personal data on their customers than ever before. Details about our social media habits or what kind of washing powder we prefer are collected, stored and then used to tailor our interactions with brands. Hence, why I’m followed all over the internet by Karen Millen dresses. But the relationship between businesses, their customers and personal data is far from straightforward.
Trust is a crucial component of success for businesses, but in recent years it hasn’t kept pace with the level of data brands want to collect.
So how did we get here, and, with new legislation like GDPR on the very near horizon, how can organisations make things better?
Even when a genuine benefit for customers, e.g. brands trading personal data for a better service, businesses have historically been poor at communicating this effectively. This creates a sense of public distrust regarding personal data. This attitude does define some brands’ data strategies but it’s counterproductive and won’t be tenable under the new GDPR regulations.
The discussion around GDPR has tended to focus on the problems and challenges it represents. While it’s certainly difficult for businesses in some ways, GDPR also provides brands with a golden opportunity to reset their data relationships with customers.
Make sure there is a genuine value exchange
On the whole consumers accept that brands need their information to provide better services; and when they can see the benefit, they are prepared to share more and more data.
The days of businesses taking consumers’ data for granted are over. Take a step back and consider why people would want to share their data with you, then create and communicate a compelling case. This may mean rethinking your strategy entirely to make it more customer-centric, but that is what both consumers, and the GDPR regulations, demand.
At its core, trust is inherently emotional. This is particularly true in the post-truth world of fake news and political turbulence, where doubting large organisations is becoming more commonplace.
While compliance is important, when people are deciding whether to trust a business they are looking for the same qualities they need in a person: transparency, visibility and the ability to deliver on promises. Consumers want to be treated as equals, rather than feeling undervalued or exploited. If businesses can keep this simple truth at the core of their dealings with personal data, they won’t go far wrong.