With our modern world turning to digital technologies rapidly, companies can sweep up great chunks of data about their consumers’ online and offline activities. Of course, some companies are honest about data practices, but some statements can be open for interpretation.
Many companies still prefer providing limited information about how they deal with consumers’ data. For instance, they might state that they share users’ information with third parties and partners. However, there is no way of identifying these data recipients.
Of course, the situation is much more transparent than it used to be. Privacy-focused laws differ in most countries. However, many of them oblige companies to share more information about their behind-the-scenes activities.
Thus, knowing how a company can build transparency and trust for its customers is essential.
Customer expectations and customer awareness about privacy
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, no more than 25% of people are entirely aware that their data includes information about their location. No more than 14% are aware that they share their browsing history when accessing some websites.
However, more than 90% of them expect that the government won’t misuse their data and express concern about their internet privacy. Therefore, it’s clear that consumers worry about the misuse of their data greatly, even when they don’t fully understand how they’re revealing that data.
Let’s see what companies can do to offer transparency to their customers and build trust to keep their users from feeling scared and anxious that some of their personal info will end up in the wrong hands.
Building trust and transparency
Upon finding a brand online, customers are more likely to share their personal data if the company that sells it offers great transparency and instills trust. To give you an example of what customers deem as trustworthy, we’ll lay out a survey that questioned customers using 46 different companies.
The questions involved the options like “very trustworthy,” where customers were likely to share their personal and sensitive data without worrying about misuse. The next is “trustworthy,” where customers wouldn’t mind sharing their personal data for the service.
Then the option “untrustworthy,” where customers would share personal data only when they get a special service in return, and “very untrustworthy,” where they wouldn’t share their personal data under any circumstances.
The results of the survey showed that customers greatly trust companies such as Alipay in China and PayPal. Next in line were the e-commerce companies, insurance companies, and banks. Surprising as it may seem, Yahoo and Google came in third, along with the government.
And the last place on the list was filled by entertainment companies and retailers, followed by social platforms such as Facebook. As a Facebook user, you surely know that Facebook follows you around daily. How do you think they do it if not going through your browsing history?
Teaching your customers
As a client, you can invest in educating your customers on protecting their sensitive personal data online. First, you should present them with information on how exposure of their personal data to a potential cybercriminal can directly harm them.
Misuse of data, stolen identities, stolen financial information, or stolen addresses and passwords can lead to hazardous consequences that can sometimes be impossible to get out of. Building a trustworthy relationship with customers and helping them feel safe is essential for every company.
You can also regularly share tips on how they can become safer overall. For instance, recommend them some privacy-focused tools. One option is to download a VPN, which preserves users’ online activities and IP addresses. For users worried about their privacy, a VPN is the straightest path to more anonymity and privacy online. Of course, it is not enough to use a tool. It is incredibly important to change certain online habits we have. For one, we should resist the temptation to agree to accept all cookies when visiting websites. Also, we should share less information, especially on social media.
Building trust with customers should be the top priority of every company and client. As you can see, clients can achieve that by offering great transparency to their customers and investing in educating them about the protection of sensitive data.
We hope that you now have a better insight into what makes a company trustworthy and transparent. If you are transparent about your practices, your clients will appreciate it.