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Facebook, cricket and the endless search to ‘know’ the customer

Over the last few weeks, those in the business of crisis management have been gifted more fodder for promoting their services than they could ever have hoped to get their hands on.

First there was the discovery that Facebook had shared information from up to 50 million profiles with political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, then the admission that they had been logging the mobile phone calls and text history of users of their Messenger app.

Despite calls for him to face inquiries in person on both sides of the Atlantic, Mark Zuckerburg went to ground, only this week surfacing to respond to the breach.

Then there was Australia’s cricket cheating scandal and the utter mismanagement of the fallout by those at the helm in the days that followed.

Between the two, it’s been a 101 in how not to manage a crisis.

But while much has been written about the way the crisis was handled by those on different sides of the globe, less has been said about the implications for businesses in their quest to understand the customer.

If handled in the right way, the realms of data that you collect – often without even meaning to – about your customers, can be used to create better customer experiences. But at the heart of this lies the concept of trust, which is becoming increasingly elusive in the wake of recent events.

In ? we trust

The need to maintain a reputation for strong data privacy and security practices within your business goes without saying, particularly in light of the new Notifiable Data Breaches scheme in Australia requiring companies to notify individuals whose personal information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm.

However, when it comes to using the data you collect on your customers, transparency is the key to ensuring a level of comfort that the data will be used to enhance their experience.

If you’re surveying your customers, it’s important to state the research objective clearly in any communications and provide assurance that any personal information provided for the purposes of entering a competition prize draw will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with your company’s privacy policy.  

If you’re working with a market research consultancy, there are ways to handle the passing over of customer data so that no personal identifiers ever change hands. Gone are the days when you’d send over a list of names and emails, with no password protection, to an unsecured server.

Personalised experiences

In our relentless pursuit of one-to-one marketing, many would argue that the advertising industry has gone too far.

But AI and machine learning have a key role to play in helping businesses to develop more intimate relationships with their customers by delivering truly personalised, individualised experiences.

Janus Analytics, a member of the CoreData Group of companies, provides bespoke customer end to end analytics solutions to develop and implement sophisticated data strategies, market segmentation models and marketing analytics to drive CRM.

There’s plenty of evidence to demonstrate the benefits for service-based companies of understanding the customer’s needs and developing tailored service offerings that are based on psychographics, rather than merely age, wealth or gender.

The challenge we face in a world that is increasingly reliant on data is how we can use this data responsibly to create positive touch points and customer experiences, at a time when consumer trust is at an all-time low.

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Follow Kristen on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/kristenturnbullcoredata

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