Australian businesses are not keeping up with the data privacy expectations of their customers when digitising their offering, according to a new Heart Matters study released by SAP. While 84 per cent of Australians expect brands to provide transparency into how their personal data is being used, only one third of brands (34 per cent) are meeting this expectation.
Australians feel that, when it comes to data protection, organisations fall short of expectations by up to 50 per cent. More than four in five (84 per cent) consumers want full transparency into how their personal data is being used, but only 34 per cent have experienced this from a business. This expectation among Australians is higher than the APAC average expectation of three quarters (74 per cent).
“COVID-19 accelerated the rate at which businesses implemented digital infrastructure to continue meeting customer demands for a seamless online experience,” said Scott Treller, Executive General Manager, SAP Customer Experience, Australia and New Zealand.
“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. Today’s consumers are digitally-savvy and intentional about the information they share. 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 shows that on one hand, brands need to truly know their customers in order to deliver the hyper-personalised experiences necessary to separate from the competition and strengthen loyalty. On the other hand, collecting and processing customer data is increasingly complicated.
There is a mismatch between customer expectations around data privacy and how businesses are delivering, which will have a significant impact if left unaddressed. The majority (84 per cent) of Australians expect that organisations will not share their data with a third party. However, only just over a third (37 per cent) believe that a business they shared their data with has kept it secure.
To stay ahead of 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,” said Treller.
Understanding Expectations vs. Experiences
The Heart Matters study also indicated a gap between customer expectations and actual experiences in areas such as:
- Responding to a customer query within 24 hours (82 per cent vs 41 per cent)
- Resolving customer issues in less than three interactions (83 per cent vs 43 per cent)
- Treating suppliers ethically (78 per cent vs 44 per cent)
- Actively working to reduce gender and racial inequality (73 per cent and 43 per cent)
- Respecting the rights and welfare of their workers (81 per cent vs 58 per cent)
- Implementing specific policies in place to reduce and report their carbon emissions and carbon footprint (57 per cent vs. 36 per cent)
The full report of the Heart Matters study is available for download here: www.sap.com/asia/heartmatters.