Privacy = respect for the individual


October 5th, 2017

Honouring customer privacy is a key component of good customer service.

Any business seeking to use customers’ personal data must understand that good customer service means informing the customers about how their personal information will be used and for which purposes, and then treating the data accordingly. Simply caring about the costs, brand reputation and credibility is not enough as the overall risk is not only associated with the organisations themselves, but data subjects too. After all, respecting the customers’ privacy is a reflection on business ethics, procedures and privacy strategy.

The rising numbers of complaints to ICO show that nuisance calls are an increasing problem which generate more and more concerns about the security and handling of personal data. A customer reasonably wants his or her privacy respected and that’s one of the many requirements businesses need to be aware of. It’s noteworthy that in Deloitte’s survey on building consumer trust,

70% of respondents said that they avoid purchasing goods from brands that are not perceived to be protecting their personal information.

Adhering to the new regulation is thus important for both the transparency of customer data usage, as well as the documentation of data processes. GDPR’s transparency and accountability obligations, enable individuals to distinguish the organisations that can trust with their personal data so it is of utmost importance for businesses to take data privacy seriously and have it at the heart of what they do.

GDPR defines the context of a trust relationship and levels the power imbalance that may be inherent in existing digital relationships, but most importantly, if implemented correctly, it enables trust to be a business differentiator. In other terms, GDPR brings the opportunity to rethink customer data management and create trust, loyalty and stronger customer relationships. A customer-centric strategy is therefore the best way to respond to GDPR and offset this unease.

Organisations have a real opportunity to cultivate positive consumer perceptions, reduce consumer mistrust, and create a transparent relationship that aligns with the upcoming GDPR. When it comes to capturing, storing and sharing personal data, customer engagement and transparency must become the higher priority of businesses. Ultimately, data transparency over legitimate data usage is the key to improving business standards and developing a trustworthy relationship with customers. This over time will lead to enhanced value for brands and consumers alike, and potentially become a source of competitive advantage!