Customer experience (CX) is quickly becoming the key differentiator for brands looking to stand out in an increasingly noisy marketplace; especially in our current environment, as brands are sharing their response to the COVID-19 pandemic – and digital communications are more critical than ever. But while 71% of people agree that personalized digital experiences are important to them, most (74%) also value privacy over experience. This is according to a recent consumer study that polled 5,000 global consumers on issues related to privacy concerns, brand trust, customer experience expectations, and emerging channels. What’s clear from the data is that consumers have a willingness to provide personal details, but they don’t give much lenience to a brand if they misuse information or abuse trust.
What we’re seeing as marketers today is that privacy and CX are dictating the future of how consumers behave. With data breaches seemingly happening daily – from games to health to social media – and privacy-based regulations still in their infancy, individuals are taking it upon themselves to protect their identities and data by adjusting their behaviors based on how much (or how little) they entrust to brands.
Any consumer-provided data is meant to improve their experiences – nothing more, nothing less. This creates new challenges for brands, however, as consumers are sparingly offering personal data that can be used to tailor their CX. Yet, their expectations for unique and seamless omnichannel CX continues to rise. Brands are under pressure to deliver value and experience, all the while streamlining data practices, remaining transparent with customers on how their data is being tracked and used, and doing away with asking customers for information they have no intention of using.
The balancing act this requires for marketers can be daunting.
There’s good news, too, as the data shows consumers are generally accepting of the data value exchange: 64% are aware their online activity is being tracked and half of those surveyed (51%) are willing to share some personal details if that means getting a more personalized experience.
And there are plenty of opportunities for brands to deepen relationships and better understand their customers through the data they provide. Some of those opportunities come in the form of customer service, others in smart segmentation, and others by matching consumers’ embrace of emerging channels like voice-activated marketing. A few examples:
Every facet of a customer’s experience is either driving loyalty or driving them away – no brand can afford to have amazing products or services without the accompanying excellence in customer service, omnichannel approaches, or brand communication. Brands that can prioritize delivering experiences that are consistent and driven by data-powered personal preferences will be the brands that will most successfully stand out.
Marigold: where relationships take root.