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Online data breaches: How can companies win back customers’ trust?

In light of recent customer data breaches, companies face a battle to retain customers’ trust. Here are 4 best practice tips for senior managers to consider, from Oyku Isik, Assistant Professor from the Digital Transformation domain at Vlerick Business School:
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In light of recent customer data breaches, companies face a battle to retain customers’ trust. Here are 4 best practice tips for senior managers to consider, from Oyku Isik, Assistant Professor from the Digital Transformation domain at Vlerick Business School:

Do your homework – It is critical that companies get to know their customer-base and understand their attitudes towards privacy. Use focus groups and online surveys to find out what customers think about your data gathering.

Take responsibility – It has been reported that the majority of consumers are not aware of the amount of data companies are collecting about them. Companies should take responsibility for raising awareness and should also clarify what data is being collected and how it is being used. With transparency comes trust.

Make information easily accessible – Nobody reads the long, boring texts of privacy policies. Be creative in you methods to get the information across, using multiple outlets and methods.

Ask ‘What’s in this for the customer?’ – Look at it from the customer’s point of view. What benefits are you offering them in return for their personal information? Make sure there is something in it for them and make it visible by communicating well!

Oyku Isik, says, “Data-driven advertising is booming worldwide, but it is not without its challenges. The changing regulatory environment and increasingly sceptical consumers is making life more difficult for managers. Companies such as Yahoo, Google and Facebook are global internet giants – and it appears that even when they suffer data breaches, it does not seem to result in a significant loss for these companies. However, the effects of badly managed data issues could be much more serious for smaller companies and managers should pay more attention as to how they deal with customer’s data.

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