Trustworthiness is a critical marketing quality
If consumers see that a company is using their data to provide good products, relevant communications and efficient service, they are more likely to trust that firm to hold their data and continue using it to ensure their satisfaction, according to a report from customer insight specialist Transactis.
In an age when consumers really have to take a 'leap of faith' and trust companies with their personal data if they want to make transactions over the internet, most need to feel comfortable that those companies are handling their details responsibly.
The survey found that almost all consumers (90%) assume that a company is looking after their personal data carefully and intelligently if they are receiving a good service and the customer communications are sensible and relevant.
At the same time, more than 80% said they are happy to hand over further personal data if they see that it is being used to provide relevant perks such as special offers, discounts and loyalty bonuses.
The majority of consumers (more than 92%) also believe that the companies that have the most satisfied customers are the ones doing the best job of looking after customer data and using it to add value.
However, only one in five consumers said they had noticed any of the firms they currently buy from making specific use of their personal data to make more attractive offers or deliver better customer service.
The survey concluded that, when marketers show they are not using data effectively, they risk losing the trust of their customers. Some 78% of consumers in the UK said they begin to doubt the ability of a firm to look after their personal information if the company continually asks for the same details when they have already provided them.
According to Peter Thompson, Transactis' commercial director, "Data security and the proper handling of personal information is not something most consumers think about - or are particularly concerned about - until there is a problem. But their confidence can disappear completely if the wrong order arrives, if a delivery goes to the wrong place, or if they start to receive unexpected and badly targeted marketing communications."