Consumers concerned about data security and privacy

New study indicates need for organisations to strike the right balance between personalised service, data security and transparency.

Results of an international study from Verint Systems Inc have shown that concerns around data privacy and security remain at the top of the consumer agenda.

Of more than 24,000 consumers surveyed across 12 countries by Opinium Research LLC, 89 per cent think it is important to know how secure their personal information is, while 86 per cent believe it’s important to know whether their data will be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes.

The survey also highlights the continued importance of personalised customer service, with 80 per cent of consumers liking service from their providers that is personalised to them and their needs.

This introduces a challenge for many organisations because to provide highly personalised offerings they must have a greater understanding of their customers’ needs, purchasing histories and preferences.

That translates into collecting, analysing and holding customer data related to these preferences and behaviours. Together, this creates a dichotomy, as it’s very clear from the research that consumers have growing concern over their privacy and the use of the data.

Businesses seem to be on the same page as their customers, understanding the role that trust and transparency plays in building positive relationships with their base.

A Verint business survey across 1,019 organisations in 12 countries finds 94 per cent agree that it is important to inform customers that their data is secure, and 96 per cent understand the need to tell customers if their data will be passed on to third parties.

As a result, they will have to ensure these high standards are maintained, as one misstep with a customer’s data can have disastrous effects.

Ryan Hollenbeck, Verint senior vice president of global marketing and customer experience program executive sponsor, notes, ‘Companies have a difficult balancing act to negotiate between security, transparency and a personalised experience. It’s something that organisations across all sectors have to get right or risk losing valuable customers. Today’s brands must work to ensure greater transparency over the use of customer data and build trust and confidence in this increasingly challenging environment.’

Marije Gould, Verint vice president, EMEA marketing, adds, ‘It comes down to getting the basics right, using technology and analytics to better understand what’s really on the minds of customers, and then working to help ensure the right resources are in place to address evolving needs and requirements.’

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