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Personalization vs. Privacy

Oct 25, 2020
2 min.
How can you best create a personalized experience? Learn about what information your customers want and what they’re willing to share to get it.
Sonja Spaccarotella

There is a fine line between offering a great personalized customer experience and being creepy. The line is a little less fine than many brands would think, however. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and extensive media coverage of data breach and personal data abuse incidents, many companies looking to strike the right tone with their customer base have been hesitant to depend too heavily on personal data. However, personal information used right can significantly enhance the customer experience. So how can you determine the right balance?

 

What kind of personalization do customers really want?

Every day, we are flooded with an infinite amount of information: news, photos, videos, chats blare at us from our mobile devices, televisions, radios, and even analog sources like newspapers, magazines, and billboards. That’s why it is so important that any added information has real value. Customers want relevant insight. They want to learn about things they don’t already know about. Anything more is just additional noise in an already very noisy digital landscape.

Information that helps customers save is always welcome. Be it time, effort, or money. With the right tools, you can use customers’ personal data to direct them to the products and information they are looking for more quickly. You can use customer purchase history data to cross-sell new products, and add-ons or upsell upgrades. You can suggest discounts and deals that reflect customers’ interests and needs. So long as your focus is on improving the customer experience, you’re on the right track to creating a great personalized experience.

 

What data is safe data?

Ultimately, the best way to ensure you’re sharing pertinent information is to use customers’ personal data. However, not all data is created equally. The best data to use when personalizing your offers is data the customers have deliberately provided you with themselves. If you look at past orders, searches on your website, personal information like age, location, and gender, you can create a reliable customer profile, or digital ID. Based on this user identity, you can tailor your offers and provide customized product recommendations.

By contrast, relying on data gleaned without explicit consent simply to sell more products can feel invasive. For example, combining location data with push notifications to alert customers when they are near your stores definitely feels like stalking. Even though customers want a uniquely personalized experience when engaging with your brand, they do not want to feel like you know more about them than they know about themselves!

The most transparent solution is to empower customers by giving them complete control over their own data. And the best way to do that is with Customer Identity and Access Management.  When customers create a user profile on your website or app, they can opt in and out of specific settings. With a detailed description about what data your company collects and how it is used, customers can make important data decisions for themselves. They can choose what information they share. They can decide what types of products they’re interested in learning more about. They can determine what notifications and news are relevant to them. Most importantly, they can see that your company is more focused on building a long-term trusting relationship than on making a quick sale.

 

The Win-Win Situation

Customers are willing to pay for a great personalized experience with their data. But it’s up to you to provide the transparency and clarity that makes them feel safe about sharing personal information. At the end of the day, everyone wins. Customers gain a unique experience catered specifically to their tastes and preferences. And your company has an opportunity to increase revenues, strengthen the B2C relationship, and create more products and offers in line with your customers’ wants and needs to drive your current and future growth.

If your business is juggling multiple identities and access roles and rights, IAM is an efficient and consolidated approach to managing them all. Its simplified login process and data security measures also ensure that you are in compliance with the latest regulations and directives on privacy and data protection. If you’re looking to bolster data security, streamline the granting of privileges and data access rights, or simplify the user login experience, it might be time to invest in IAM.