Building consumer trust

by | Jun 9, 2016

I’ve made a good living managing data, analysing it and advising on how to get that data working harder. But I’m also a consumer. You’d think this would cause conflict, but I don’t feel it does. All of my clients know that the scientific matter-of-fact approach to selecting data – targeting individuals – is always delivered with a clear well defined idea of how I would like to be treated as a consumer.

I feel the conflict lies in the hearts of most consumers. They believe that the work I do is a way of making unethical, shady, underhand practices more morally acceptable; how I justify the ethics to my inner demons. It’s not the case.

It’s been a while, but Channel 4 and Alan Carr released an inspirational piece outlining their viewer charter. It’s inspirational because it clearly states that by making this a two way street, viewers will benefit.

Hang on – that can’t be right?

But it is. And this is the bit that consumers are missing.

When a consumer takes the trouble to talk – emphasis on talk rather than shout/rant/threaten – to an organisation, discussing what they do and don’t want, the outcome will always be beneficial. For both parties. If you tell us what you like or don’t like, or what you very specifically want, we can make sure you get the information or product offers that interest and entertain you.

It really is a no brainer, but we’re still stuck in this no-mans land of immoral decisions and the shady underbelly of business. Is that what you think when Tesco sends you vouchers for exactly the products that you buy? It seems that when there’s a way of using consumer data to target products without consumers needing to make any effort, we’re happy to go along with it. If we have to make the effort of saying what we want, we take umbrage.

The Channel 4 viewer charter clearly lays out what it needs from us. Whether we’re prepared to interact with them is another matter – only time will tell. I can’t allow myself to think the need to make no effort is the difference between consumers who are content and those that are stirred to make shouted threats. Surely it must be possible for consumers and their data to co-exist peacefully with organisations. After all, we really do want the same thing.

Do your customers have enough choice? If you need help with your data call Julie or Charlie on 01462 713444 to chat about this and any of the other great services PtG Business provide.

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