9 in 10 consumers worried about online privacy (but most want personalisation too)


While more consumers crave highly personalised and tailored customer service, they are also very sceptical of how businesses collect and store personal data, according to new research.


The international study from Verint Systems shows that concerns around data privacy and security remain at the top of the consumer agenda. Of more than 24,000 consumers surveyed across 12 countries by Opinium Research LLC, 89% think it is important to know how secure their personal information is, while 86% believe it’s important to know whether their data will be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes.

The report found that:

  • 80% consumers like service that is personalised to their needs – which necessitates the collection and use of customer data to deliver
  • Despite this customers are highly sceptical about how organisations store and use their data
  • Nine in 10 (89%) consumers want to know how companies keep their personal information secure
  • While 86% of respondents insist that they should know when their data is passed on to third parties for marketing purposes
The survey also highlights the continued importance of personalised customer service, with 80% of consumers liking service from their providers that is personalised to them and their needs.

This introduces a challenge for many organisations because to provide highly personalised offerings they must have a greater understanding of their customers’ needs, purchasing histories and preferences. That translates into collecting, analysing and holding customer data related to these preferences and behaviours. Together, this creates a dichotomy, as it’s very clear from the research that consumers have growing concern over their privacy and the use of the data.

Businesses seem to be on the same page as their customers, understanding the role that trust and transparency plays in building positive relationships with their base. A Verint business survey across 1,019 organisations in 12 countries found 94% agree that it is important to inform customers that their data is secure, and 96% understand the need to tell customers if their data will be passed on to third parties. As a result, they will have to ensure these high standards are maintained, as one misstep with a customer’s data can have disastrous effects.

Notes Ryan Hollenbeck—Verint SVP global marketing and customer experience program executive sponsor—“Companies have a difficult balancing act to negotiate between security, transparency and a personalised experience. It’s something that organisations across all sectors have to get right or risk losing valuable customers. Today’s brands must work to ensure greater transparency over the use of customer data and build trust and confidence in this increasingly challenging environment.”

Adds Marije Gould, Verint VP, EMEA marketing, “It comes down to getting the basics right, using technology and analytics to better understand what’s really on the minds of customers, and then working to help ensure the right resources are in place to address evolving needs and requirements.”


The research was commissioned by Verint from 23 June to 20 July 2016 in association with Opinium Research LLP, a UK-based research company. Interviews were conducted amongst 24,001 consumers in the following countries: Australia (2,000), Brazil (2,000), France (2,000), Germany (2,000), India (2,000), Japan (2,000), Mexico (2,000), the Netherlands (2,000), New Zealand (2,000), South Africa (2,000), the UK (2,001) and the US (2,000). The research was conducted online, in the local language for each country, and respondents were incentivised to participate.

Read the report here


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