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Privacy PR Dilemma: 9 of 10 Consumers Worry About Their Data—Yet 80% Demand Personalized Service

Female hands using mobile banking on white smartphoneBrands Must Strike the Right Balance Between Personalization & Privacy

Consumers are caught in a PR Catch-22 regarding their personal-data privacy and security protection from brands—they certainly want their data protected, yet they want brands to cater to their individual wants and needs based on that data. New research reveals that 89% think it is important to know how secure their personal information is, and 86% believe it’s important to know whether their data will be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes. But 80% of consumers said they like service that is personalized to them and their needs.

The study from Verint Systems, for which 24,000 consumers were surveyed across 12 countries by Opinium Research, shows that concerns around data privacy and security remain at the top of the consumer agenda, but also highlights the continued importance of personalized customer service. This conundrum introduces a challenge for many companies because to provide highly personalized offerings they must have a greater understanding of their customers’ needs, purchasing histories and preferences—which translates into collecting, analyzing and holding customer data related to these preferences and behaviors.

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. Another Verint business survey across 1,019 organizations in 12 countries found 94% agree that it is important to inform customers that their data is secure, and 96% understand the need to tell customers if their data will be passed on to third parties. As a result, they must ensure these high standards are maintained, as one misstep with a customer’s data can have disastrous effects.

These findings are part of a wider report, The Digital Tipping Point: How Do Organizations Balance the Demands for Digital and Human Customer Service? from Verint in conjunction with research and advisory firm IDC. This report shares insights, practices and advice for organizations on which channels and methods of contact matter most to consumers today; how these differ across service query types, industries, territories and demographics; and the desire for personalization combined with data privacy and transparency.

“Companies have a difficult balancing act to negotiate between security, transparency and a personalized experience. It’s something that organizations across all sectors have to get right or risk losing valuable customers,” said Ryan Hollenbeck, Verint SVP of global marketing and customer experience program executive sponsor, in a news release. “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.”

“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,” added Marije Gould, Verint VP of EMEA marketing, in the release.

The research was commissioned by Verint from June 23 to July 20, 2016 in association with Opinium Research LLP, a UK-based research company. Interviews were conducted amongst 24,001 consumers in the following countries: Australia (2,000), Brazil (2,000), France (2,000), Germany (2,000), India (2,000), Japan (2,000), Mexico (2,000), the Netherlands (2,000), New Zealand (2,000), South Africa (2,000), the UK (2,001) and the US (2,000). The research was conducted online, in the local language for each country, and respondents were incentivized to participate.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

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