Secure your business

With big data comes great responsibility

Highlights
  • Get the basics right – make terms and conditions clear.
  • Be transparent – explain how data collection benefits customers.
  • Establish a connection – build a sustained relationship.

As customers grasp just how much organisations value their data, trust becomes key to retaining their loyalty.

Big companies are capturing ever more user data – petabytes of the stuff that end up stowed in the cloud. The question now is how leaders can cultivate trust amid widespread concern about prying and data loss.

With big data comes great responsibility

First, get the basics right – ensure your terms-and-conditions are clear. “Most people never read them unless they are in plain English,” the chief executive of feedback-sharing platform Pay Compliment, David Perks, says.

Also ensure that your application architecture meets industry standards. This means having strong security and data encryption at every layer, from the user interface to the storage system.

Besides, you need responsible backup-and-recovery measures in place to prevent data loss. You might even want to empower clients with the ability to obtain and re-home their data, should they wish, Perks suggests.

According to the director of analytics and insights at digital agency Deepend, Dan Taylor, the key to reassuring your clients is transparency and being totally open about capturing data.

“Explain to your customers how data collection benefits them – your customers are smart, and many accept that contributing data generates a more streamlined experience,” he says.

The final tip comes from thought leader Rachel Botsman, an expert on trust and the collaborative economy, who advises avoiding cosmetic solutions. Establish a deep, close connection, Botsman says, because focusing on the efficiency of apps only gets you so far.

People want the human essence – I’m much more forgiving of someone I actually know and trust.

Rachel Botsman, Global Thought Leader

What people want is “human essence”, she says. “I’m more forgiving of someone I actually know and trust.” Botsman urges leaders to view dealings with clients not so much as a transaction but as a relationship or “emotional journey”.

In line, be open and positive – spell out your data capture methods, citing the advantages that disclosure brings, so clients buy into the bargain. Strive to connect with them personally, on a first-name basis, aiming at a sustained relationship.

This sort of effort is vital because, according to Botsman, today’s clued-in consumers have no time for sloppy service. If your organisation disappoints, be ready to make amends, she says, showing that leadership takes both guts and humility.

Ask your Telstra Account Eexecutive about how to use security and privacy strategies to protect customers and improve your business.

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