Treating Customer Data like Royalty

Opt in or opt out? When customers willingly hand over their data, it’s the ultimate sign of trust in your company and your intentions — a true reflection of the belief that you have their best interests at heart. Customer data collection expert and founder and CEO at Umbrel, a data rights management company, H.O. Maycotte, discusses the importance of how to treat your customers’ data like the valuable asset that it is in a recent Forbes article.

There are three principles Maycotte says that you can follow that will ensure customers feel good about sharing more and more data with you, which will enable both your customers and your business to benefit.

Be open and transparent. Simply asking for permission can more than double the number of consumers willing to share their data, according to survey results by consulting firm Bain & Company. The survey focused on consumers and their willingness to share data and found collecting data openly and transparently builds trust and loyalty.

“When you believe in your customers’ rights to know what data you’re collecting and how you’re using it, and when you make that belief a fundamental principle for how you do business, you show the customer that you can be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to their data, “ said Maycotte.

Never violate the trust. Maycotte encourages doing everything you can to gain customers’ trust about data collection and sharing — and then do everything you can to keep from violating that trust.

Reward customer trust generously. A global consumer survey last year by marketing and loyalty analytics company Aimia showed that more than half of participants were willing to share personal information with companies in exchange for relevant rewards despite high-profile data breaches and consumer concerns over data collection.

Relevant rewards are key, “What you do to reward customers needs to be grounded in what they value and desire, and can vary from industry to industry and country to country,“ said Maycotte. For example, the survey showed that for customers of supermarkets or banks, getting cash back was the most preferred way to be rewarded. But for airlines, it was getting loyalty points or discounts.

Consumers are increasingly required to trust companies to handle their personal details,” said David Johnston, Group Chief Operating Officer, Aimia Inc. “Transparency about how data is being collected and used will become a key differentiator for businesses going forward. Those that are clear and offer a better customer experience by how they use that information will build greater trust and loyalty.”

Moral of the story: treat that trust with care and it will benefit both you and your customer.