The repercussions of breaking someone’s trust could be catastrophic; it’s no different in the case of companies and their customers. But while it’s quite the task to keep clients’ confidence, it could prove rewarding for businesses especially when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect this year.
“Ultimately, companies should strive to be in a position where customers actively share additional information with them because they are trusted to use it well,” said Daniel Golding, director at business and technology consultancy Baringa Partners. “Get there and a whole world of opportunity opens up, in creating truly bespoke products and services, anticipating and responding to changes in behaviour and trends, and rewarding and retaining customers. GDPR can set a new path for growth.”
According to Baringa’s report GDPR: The new frontline in corporate reputation, many customers would take serious action in the event of a significant personal data breach, with as much as 55% at risk of ditching the likes of banks and phone companies. Nearly a third of affected clients would immediately switch providers.
With GDPR in place from May, firms would have to be on their toes as, according to Baringa’s research, customers are likely to do more about their data privacy moving forward. It noted that, under GDPR, individuals will have the right to find out whether or not their personal data is being processed, where, and for what purpose.
“Companies will be obliged to return a free electronic copy of the individual’s personal data within 30 days, a service up to 70% of customers say they are likely to take advantage of,” explained the consultancy. “No company knows exactly how many customers will submit such a request, but firms with millions of customers are likely to face serious operational challenges.”
Golding added that preventing the loss of confidential data is paramount as much as preparing to act during a breach is critical.
“Consumer behaviour is changing and companies will not only have to respond quickly and fully to customer queries about how their data is stored and used, they will need to be in a position to engage them in all sorts of other conversations,” he said.
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