The trust and personalisation tug-of-war

Group of people sitting in a circle talking

The past two years have seen customer expectations for streamlined, engaging and personalised experiences skyrocket. Simultaneously, customers are increasingly scrutinous about who they share their data with and how it’s being used.

Many brands aren’t on the same page with their customers when it comes to balancing personalisation and privacy. And it has placed marketers in a customer experience dichotomy.

The data privacy tightrope

Real-time data is helping Tata Capital build more authentic and relevant experiences, ultimately creating emotional connections and long-lasting relationships with customers. In the world of finance, that is vital for brands.

But Kaushik Chakraborty, Senior Vice President Digital at Tata Capital, says brands can’t be complacent. Customer trust is earned or broken with every experience –which is even more critical for financial services.

“At the end of the day, the onus only lies with the brand to make the consumer comfortable in sharing the data in a transparent and mutually respectable way,” Kaushik says.

“If they have given us their data, we must not leverage that to bombard them with information or campaigns and unnecessarily push them towards a purchase decision.”

The brand’s philosophy is to only leverage data to improve the experiences of customers. Finance is a long-term relationship, and the purchasing journey can be long and complex.

Combatting broader trust challenges

Building trust goes beyond just the brand relationship, though. Kaushik says customer trust is increasingly being shaped by broader influences, whether at an industry, national or regional level.

He says while customers are more comfortable sharing data with healthcare or financial services companies, the level of comfort is still relatively low.

“The lack of trust isn’t necessarily for the brand of even the industry. We see various instances of data breaches from other brands which influences customers’ overall willingness to share data with any brand. It is a continuous battle,” he says.

It puts the onus even more intensely on brands to foster those personal connections with customers across channels. Kaushik says demonstrating value to customers is essential.

“Using data to better understand the customer’s pain points, and their unsaid and unmet needs, not only helps develop new products and services but also personalised offerings and experiences which ultimately provides real value for the customer,” he says.

Quote from Kaushik Chakraborty, Senior Vice President - Digital at Tata Capital: "More than a privacy-first approach to data, we have a trust-first approach to consumers."

Marketers must lead, not follow on data privacy

While governments across APAC have been introducing stricter policies around data privacy, consumers are demanding action now.

Brands that proactively address customers’ data expectations – above and beyond legislation – are reaping the rewards. Accenture research found nearly three-quarters of customers will share more personal information if brands are transparent about how it’s used. Adobe’s own research confirms that transparency, asking permission, providing customers with control over how their data is used, and keeping their data secure are core expectations of digital relationships.

“As customers become more careful about sharing data and regulators step up privacy requirements, leading companies are learning that data protection and privacy is actually creating a business advantage, rather than being a deterrent.”

Trust requires deliberate and consistent work to build and maintain, and it can be quickly lost. In the digital-first world, it is the foundation of business.