Build consumer trust in your data

4 Ways You Can Build Consumer Trust In Your Brand's Use Of Data

04 Sep 2019
Build consumer trust in your data


Branding should do two things:

Lets take my blog for example, ResearchGeek. A personal brand within the market research industry. I use my ResearchGeek brand to share content with other like minded people like yourselves.

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The trust between a company and its customer base isn’t built overnight.  Consumers need proof of dependability before they commit to brand loyalty. As innovations in technology make private information increasingly public, the struggle to gain consumer trust has found a new battleground: personal data use. 

While customers seek out personalised commerce experiences. They are willing to share their data to that end. Therefore, growing concerns over who has personal data (and how they’re using it) has made the average consumer warier of revealing too much.

Once broken, trust is a trial to rebuild.  It only takes one bad experience for a consumer to want to drop your brand forever. 

So the question remains. In a market where they seek both a personalised shopping experience, as well as a real measure of privacy, how do you get customers to trust your data use?

 

Be transparent and flexible to gain consumer trust


Given the growing concerns about personal data use, just having a privacy policy page statement no longer enough.  It should the first thing they see when they go to your website.  From the moment they land on any of the web pages owned by your brand, they should have a clear idea of exactly what data you’re collecting through their use of your site. As well as the ability to consent (or not) to it.

Consumers should also have an option to adjust their privacy settings. HubSpot has a really useful article all about your privacy settings and what you can do about them here.

If your website has an option for e-commerce—and therefore an option to create an account—there’s no excuse to not have these options accessible under account settings. 

The good news is that, with the exception of social media sites, most consumers aren’t going to go out of their way to change those settings, and you should be free to collect all the data you need. 

Still, having the option available shows your commitment to protecting consumers’ data and being worthy of their trust.

 

Drive the message home to strengthen consumer trust in your data usage


You need to take it a step further.  If having a data use policy that protects your consumers is a priority for you, they should know the measures you’re taking to ensure they have a positive shopping experience with your brand!

Make a transparent privacy policy a cornerstone of every online communication you have with your customers.  In fact, Elegant Themes has a really useful article about setting up a privacy policy that is easily understood by your customers here.

Do you also send newsletters?  Include the policy statement.  Share a special deal on social media?  You know what to do. The more you emphasise how important it is to you that you use consumer data in an ethical way, the less reluctant your customers will be in sharing that information with you.

 

Focus on the pros when thinking about consumer trust and their data


The discourse surrounding collecting and using consumer data is so focused on the negative outcomes of when that data is misused. This means that many of your customers may not be aware of how sharing their information can enhance their shopping experience. 

Whether it’s to send them deals targeting their specific interests, or rewards based on their personal data (think: special gifts on birthdays, offers on Mothers and Fathers Day, etc.), focusing on the benefits of sharing more of their personal data will incentive your consumers to do so. 

If you ever have the chance to frame the narrative about how you use data into something positive, you can use those opportunities to build you brand’s reputation and the trust your customer base has in it.

 

Always ask for feedback to promote consumer trust in your data processes


Just as it takes time to build trust, maintaining that trust requires work and energy. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.  No one knows better what consumers want from a brand than the consumers themselves—and hey, seeking that feedback offers you yet another way of collecting consumer data in a way that is not only ethical, but also makes the customer feel good—and heard.

You can never be 100% sure that your customers trust you, but asking for their input is a pretty reliable way to get a good idea of how they view your brand.  In the meantime, getting customers to trust your data use should be a known priority in every element of your business, from the CEO down to the customer clicking “proceed to check out.”

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