Today, 55 percent of consumers do not complete their online purchases due to privacy concerns over their personal data. The language used to explain what happens to the information they provide is neither simple nor easily accessible. [KPMG study 2017]
Securing information technology has become a matter of survival for companies in the face of an increasing volume of data flow. The 1995 data protection directive could not foresee the IT revolution that, over the past 20 years, has seen the internet, social networking, mobile telephony, geo-tracking, the cloud and the Internet of Things. These result in a constant increase in the volume of data in circulation; or that within the next decade, the majority of this data will emanate from the connected devices that will have become so central and critical to the average person’s way of life that, according to IDC, will be accessed once every 18 seconds.
How this data is processed has become a “moment of truth” in the customer journey, a key factor that could turn a user into a loyal customer or have the opposite effect.
“By making it easy for your customers to find out and understand how you process data (and make your use of this data transparent), you facilitate their online journey and improve the user experience while re-establishing trust,” says Emmanuel Richard, Associate Director of Extens Consulting, a company of Sitel Group. And this trust will secure a competitive strategic position in the emerging Trust Economy.
Empower humans. Enhance brands.
People are at the core of customer experience and brands must be in full compliance with the data protection regulation, whose first priority is consumer protection and empowerment.
“Compliance with the law, covering not only citizen empowerment but also data security, presents an unprecedented opportunity to improve your brand image in the eyes of your customers,” add Richard.
Aware of the major issues surrounding company data protection practices, the consumer trust that hinges on these practices and the direct impact of this trust on business, the aim of the GDPR is not to revise the 1995 data protection directive, but rather to expand its scope of application, improve it and reinforce it.
Data processing – the cornerstone of a trust-based relationship
Two-thirds of consumers claim they’ll more likely trust a company who explains its data processing policy in very clear, simple terms, while 74 percent say they would show more loyalty to a brand that explicitly commits to protecting their data.
“There are all sorts of new communication formats to devise faced with this consumer demand to understand quickly and unequivocally what exactly happens to their personal information,” said Thibault Lancrenon, lawyer and associate at Triptyque a law firm specializing in intellectual property law. “Brands should also take advantage of the fact that customers are willing to be involved in designing the types of formats that suit them best, especially if they can see the results of their contribution effectively shape their customer experience.”
Digital commerce has driven a 20 percent growth in productivity throughout Europe and draws 40 percent of European investments. According to the Boston Consulting Group, the value of personal data could reach 1,000 billion euros by 2020. The level of transparency a company demonstrates by complying will boost the level of trust customers show them in return and invariably attract additional business.
“It will be compulsory to keep data collection to a strict and necessary minimum,” said Lancrenon. “This imperative implies having to question each element of information collected, and the purpose it has to legitimately serve. Brands need to make an ally of the consumer and get him to actively participate in this discernment process.”
Download TSC’s White Paper: Trust Economy
Download Extens Consulting’s White Papere: Forget Effort, Choose Ease
Read Emmanuel Richard’s editorial: Le RGPD, une contrainte ? Non, une opportunité !
Further Reading: How the GDPR will impact marketing and Customer Relations
Further Reading: Deciphering the acronym: What is the GDPR?
 Cabinet IDC, Data Age 2025, 2017
 Fiche technique, Commission Européenne, Janvier 2016
 Boston Consulting Group, The Value of our Digital Identity, 2012