What Data Will Your Customers Share for Better Service?

Your customers are willing to share their personal information with you – but only if they get something in return. Today’s consumers are eager for personalized services. And they understand that they must give up some of their personal info to get a customized experience. Understandably, consumers are most comfortable sharing with brands they know and trust, but they also have a certain comfort level sharing data with brands they don’t know.

What Types of Data Are Customers Comfortable Sharing?

According to a report by Econsultancy and IBM, customers are comfortable sharing the following data with brands, regardless of how well they know the company:

  • 80% – What I want – kinds of products I like, what I’m looking for
  • 79% – My history with the company – my past purchases, returns, issues, etc.
  • 73% – How I feel about the brand – from comments, past issues, loyalty info, etc.
  • 67% – Who I am in general – my age, gender, town, etc.

However, comfort level goes way down when it comes to more specific types of data:

  • 38% – Where I am – location and time data
  • 37% – Who I am specifically – my personally identifiable information

According to another study by SDL:

  • 72% of respondents rarely or never use “Do Not Track” Web privacy features. That finding could be a reflection of the low adoption rate of the technology overall.
  • Regarding in-store tracking, 76% of respondents with smartphones say they aren’t comfortable with retailers’ tracking their movements, mainly because they do not understand why they are being tracked.
  • 49% of consumers are willing to share personal information with brands in order to join a loyalty program.
  • 41% would share personal data in exchange for free products and services.

Transparency is Key

When consumers are willing to share their information, businesses can connect with consumers in new and exciting ways. However, businesses must be transparent about why and how they are collecting data, as well as offer a way for consumers to easily “opt-out” of sharing. Consumers want to be in charge of what information they are giving away and expect to be informed on how the information is used.

Younger demographics are also more willing to give away personal information than older generations. They grew up during a time of social networking, mobile phones, and on-line data. Companies have a huge opportunity to engage younger consumers in personalized ways as compared to older generations who are more cautious and want to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Consumers are of course willing to share more of their personal information for discounts and free products. In a survey by PWC, respondents were given the example of a movie theater and were willing to share more detailed information for discounts on items such as movie tickets or coupons for free food or beverages at a movie theater.

One of the most important attributes to remember when asking for your customer’s data is to always be transparent about how their personal information is being used. By coming across as a trustworthy brand, consumers will be more willing to share personal details, which in turn brings new opportunities to use their information for targeted offers and messages.
For more tips on improving customer experiences with data-driven practices, download our customer experience solutions guide.
Your thoughts: As a consumer are you comfortable with exchanging more data for better customer service?