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How privacy, trust, and personalisation can thrive together in perfect harmony

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Personalisation and privacy are two of the biggest buzzwords in conversations around customer experience right now. Personalisation allows brands to deliver differentiated and more meaningful experiences, but growing concerns over data privacy have made consumers wary of sharing the information that enables personalised customer care.

According to Five9 CMO Genefa Murphy, to bridge this gap, organizations must strive to be more transparent about their data policies and practices, while taking steps to ensure customers are truly reaping the benefits of sharing their personal information.

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A balancing act

The topic of personalisation versus privacy has created uncertainty among both brands and consumers. Recent research by Adobe on this topic found that “92 percent of senior marketing executives recognise privacy as fundamental to the customer experience.

But two in five consumers are frustrated by a lack of relevant, personalised experiences - even though half of them are concerned about data privacy when they subscribe to personalised services, and the majority believe that companies are selling their personal data.

Customers are understandably conflicted. They want frictionless and personalised experiences but only if they can be assured their data is not being mishandled. And, though brands understand the gravity of data privacy concerns, one in three marketers say data quality and accuracy are the areas they most want to improve, according to a 2021 study by the Harris Poll.

Going above and beyond

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The concerns over data privacy have led to an explosion of regulations in recent years, and big tech companies at the centre of the privacy debate have been forced to respond. Apple, Google and Facebook, for example, have all rid their services of third-party cookies, while legal rulings against organisations in breach of privacy rules are ramping up.

Compliance of these regulations must come above all else for organisations. But to truly build consumer trust, businesses must go above and beyond the letter of the law. Government regulations need to be seen as the bare minimum for corporate responsibility, not the other way around.

However, companies shouldn’t shy away from opportunities to collect and utilise customer data to deliver superior experiences. Above all, earning customer trust comes down to proving the payoff for access to data by delivering fantastic service, alongside next-level accountability.

For example, measuring customer satisfaction is a critical step in optimising the customer experience. Gathering and analysing customer feedback using post-interaction surveys provides the basis on which to innovate and improve services for the benefit of customers.

However, a recent Five9 and Metrigy study shows that only a quarter of businesses are both gathering and acting upon customer feedback. More than a third of organizations gather this data and do nothing with it.

If brands don’t take clear steps to continuously update and improve their CX, customers may be less likely to participate in post-interaction surveys. Brands need to be clear why they want data, what they will do with it, and then actually do what they say they will.

Technology that uses data for an advantage

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This flawless equilibrium between personalisation and privacy shows up as seamlessly connected experiences in the contact centre, where agents feel empowered to drive better conversations.

Using real-time data and actionable insights, agents can respond enthusiastically to each customer. Using customer data effectively enables agents to pick up cross-channel conversations smoothly, offer personalised responses and meet customers with greater understanding and empathy.

Robust data analytics is also essential to delivering next-generation customer service experiences using technologies such as IVAs (Intelligent Virtual Agents), which give swift, personalised, and secure responses with self-service options that many customers often prefer. Like any personalised service, innovative IVAs based on machine learning and AI require data. The need for data to drive these experiences is vital.

Human agents are still essential to achieve great CX and build trust, and to achieve this they must be trained and supported to follow security best practices. Similarly, any technology employed by the contact centre must adhere to the most robust security protocols, while also supporting policies such as permission controls and certified caller authentication.

These tools can also provide coaching on compliance to ensure the upmost security measures are being kept, while also allowing agents to focus of serving the customer in the best way.

Trust is the new buzzword

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Throughout each interaction, customers must be able to easily understand that their data is being accessed, analysed, stored, and used for a purpose. Once brands achieve this transparency, they can begin to build trust with their customers while providing the personalised experiences that drive loyalty.

Doing this well requires organisations to understand where the boundaries lie when it comes to privacy and personalisation, and which technologies they can use to their advantage to ensure every level of the customer experience is safe, secure and personalised.

Header image by Billy Bogiatzoglou

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