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Data, trust, and customer experience

 
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As a digital data company, when we talk about experience, we’re usually talking about the interactions that customers have with digital products such as websites and apps. However, there are so many other factors that come into play when a business considers customer experience that are all having an impact on the data you’re collecting and the trust customers have in your brand.

Marketing, sales, customer service, retail environment, brand values, to name just a few, are all impacting how customers feel about your brand and their overall experience. Today, customers expect brands to provide an excellent experience across channels that’s inline with both their expectations and values, or else, simply, they will take their business elsewhere.

But, of course, to achieve this, businesses need to have a deep understanding of their customers. And to get to know your customers, you need data. To get that data, you need to build trust.

Offering a discount on your e-commerce store in exchange for an email address? Your customers can probably see straight through this tactic. Using cookies to track customers across devices? Post GDPR, your website visitors now have more of an idea why you’re doing this and how to block it.

For brands, trust is hard to win and really easy to lose. Customers are now beginning to better understand how important their data is to businesses. So, how can businesses build value and trust to ensure they’re in a position to continue collecting valuable customer data and provide an excellent customer experience?

Provide a personalised experience

In exchange for permission to collect customer data, promise a better, more personalised experience. A great example of where this works is financial planning websites and apps. By allowing them to track our spending habits, we are provided with a completely personalised experience which can help us save money and choose the best financial products for our unique needs.

Educational experiences

Use data to educate your customers. Provide value to them by helping them to understand how they interact with your products and services in a useful or entertaining way. Similar to the example in the previous point, financial planning services offer great educational experiences using user data. For example, ClearScore has a whole section of its website dedicated to financial coaching, with personalised, tailored advice on topics including buying a home and improving your credit score. Another example, more on the entertainment end of the spectrum is Spotify’s “Your 2018 Wrapped” campaign, which visualises usage data allowing users to explore how long they listened to music throughout the year as well as insights on popular genres and artists.

Give customers control

In the lead up to the enforcement of GDPR, technologies surrounding cookie control and consent developed rapidly. To build trust, you should let customers choose exactly what data they give you and which cookies they’re happy to consent to. More and more companies are now providing website visitors the option to select exactly what type of cookies (analytics cookies, advertising cookies, etc.) they consent to. Taking steps like this helps to improve customer experience and helps to make sure customers receive only the levels of communication they’re expecting.

Be clear upfront

If, by sharing their data, customers will receive personalised offers or exclusive content, make it clear to them at the point you’re expecting them to share data. These tactics really are the ones that stand out to customers, with nearly half saying that they have left a website and purchased elsewhere because the experience wasn’t tailored to them. Take Netflix as an example. Without granting Netflix access to certain data, customers wouldn’t be able to benefit from their popular recommendations engine. By being transparent about this, Netflix is able to build trust and customers receive highly relevant content recommendations.

Conclusion

Data is the most powerful tool a business has. When you collect it, it’s vital that you understand why you’re collecting it. How does it improve your business’s efficiency? How does it improve your customer’s experience? You need to ensure you have a clear strategy and a fair value exchange so customers feel comfortable sharing their personal data.