With a host of high-profile data breaches in recent times (think Facebook, Equifax and the like), consumer confidence in the ability of companies to protect data is failing. And, as this confidence fades, so too will your customer base and overall profitability.
Let’s take a look at the moves customers are making and how you can convince them to trust in your data use policy.
How are consumers reacting to recent data breaches?
Social media sites have become the de facto front line in the battle surrounding data privacy.
Some social media sites and companies operating via these channels have taken their patrons’ privacy for granted, but account holders are now marching off in droves.
40% of people have deleted a social media account in the last year, often due to data privacy concerns. One third of Millennials – among our most tech-savvy people – have closed an account, while a massive 65% of Gen Z have decided to take a break from Facebook.
This channel’s recent troubles are a great example of how costly a data breach can be. Cambridge Analytica had to shut up shop altogether due to negative PR. Meanwhile, the world’s largest social media platform is still fighting a rear-guard action to keep as many users engaged as possible, involving:
- Contacting 87m individual users to let them know their data had been misused
- Reviewing their data use policy and how it’s policed for the company’s 2.19bn users
- Spending an absolute packet on prime-time adverts aired during the World Cup (and, for months beforehand)
How can small businesses increase customer trust in their data use policy?
Facing up to this reality and shouting about how much you value their data privacy is the only way to keep customers onside in today’s climate.
Here are some of the steps you can take to help customers trust your data use policy:
- Simplify it: Comb it through and ditch the jargon. Put together a policy that’s short, direct and written in a way your customers will understand.
- Explain it: Describe how your policy stops customer data getting into the wrong hands, and explain the ‘value exchange’ (what your customers get in return for giving up their data).
- Make it visible: Post it in as many highly visible locations as you can find; your website, all your social media channels – even in your offline promo documents.
- Talk about it: Don’t just leave it sitting there, get out and shout about it. Talk about your data use policy via your company blog, social media channels etc.
- Report it: Failing to report data breaches will mean a costly fine under new GDPR terms. Plus, the situation is only likely to get worse and affect more customers.
Data is among the most valuable things companies can acquire today. Now is the time to hone your data use policy and show customers how much you value their willingness to share.
Help customers regain trust in your data use policy to enhance profitability; get in touch with NS Design today!