The study reports that when it comes to data protection, organisations fall short of expectations by up to 50%. More than four in five (84%) consumers want transparency into how their personal data is being used, but only 34% have been shown accountability.
The study adds that the expectation among Australians is higher than the APAC average expectations of three quarters (74%).
“COVID-19 accelerated the rate at which businesses implemented digital infrastructure to continue meeting customer demands for a seamless online experience,” explains SAP customer experience Australia and New Zealand executive general manager Scott Treller.
“While it’s positive that brands have adapted quickly to the pandemic by embracing digital tools, the findings highlight the concerns that Australians have around how brands are collecting and using their data,” Treller explains. “As a result, they expect assurance that their data is secure. Brands need to ensure that they protect customer information and offer the ability to control how it’s used, if they are to gain trust, and ultimately business, from consumers.”
A matter of trust
The research says brands need to know their customers in order to deliver experiences to differentiate them from competition and retain customer loyalty. On the other side of the spectrum, they need to collect and process customer data, which is complicated.
There is a mismatch between customer expectations around data privacy and how businesses are performing—and this will have a significant impact if not addressed.
The majority (84%) of Australians expect that organisations will not share their data with a third party. However, only just over a third (37%) believe that the information they shared with a business has kept it secure.
In order to live up to customer expectations, brands must build trust by putting customer needs first and providing them with the freedom on how they want to be engaged.
“Start by offering customers transparency and control of their own personal data. Not only will this give customers a better understanding of your data practices, but it can also let them define their own experiences, to build trust. For businesses, there’s no better partner than an informed, empowered and data-driven customer,” suggests Treller.
Understanding expectations vs experiences
The Heart Matters study also indicated a gap versus customer expectations and actual experiences in areas such as:
- Responding to a customer query within 24 hours (82% vs 41%)
- Resolving customer issues in less than three interactions (83% vs 43%)
- Treating suppliers ethically (78% vs 44%)
- Actively working to reduce gender and racial inequality (73% and 43%)
- Respecting the rights and welfare of their workers (81% vs 58%)
- Implementing specific policies in place to reduce and report their carbon emissions and carbon footprint (57% vs 36%)
The full report of the Heart Matters study is available for download here.