Securing customer loyalty, with data security

Pre706 Securing customer loyalty with data security

Any company worth its salt that holds customer data electronically takes the security of that data seriously, but to what extent does it factor in customer attitudes to security of their personal data in its overall efforts to keep customers happy, or simply to keep them?

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A survey by digital security company, Gemalto, offers some interesting insights into those questions, and certainly shows why customer data security should be of concern to anyone striving for a good customer experience – not just the IT department charged with keeping that data safe.

It’s clear from the results of the Gemalto survey – of 9000 consumers across 11 countries – that organisations face some challenges. For example the consensus from respondents was that 70 percent of responsibility for protecting and securing customer data lies with companies and only 30 percent with consumers.

Yet 53 percent of surveyed consumers use the same password across some or all of their accounts, and 13 percent admit to using the same password across all of their online accounts.This means that, absent any additional security measures, a company could find customer data compromised through no fault of its own: all it needs is for the hackers to get a customer’s password from another site.

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Two-factor authentication is one solution to this issue, but its application is far from widespread: only 43 percent of respondents reported Two-factor authentication being used for their online banking, and 42 percent for mobile banking.

But two-factor authentication as with any security measure, is incompatible with one of the main aims of any organisation dealing with consumers online: delivering an experience that as streamlined and easy to use as possible. As the report says: “The modern-day consumer is all about convenience and they expect businesses to provide this, while also keeping their data safe.”

Not surprisingly, any organisation that does lose customer data stands a good chance of losing customers as well: 60 percent of respondents said they would cease doing business with a retailer that suffered a data breach, and the figure for banking was similar.

Also, the survey found little faith in organisations’ ability to keep customer data safe. “Most consumers (58 percent) believe they will be a victim of a security breach and they intend to punish the organisation they trusted to store their personal data, if it were to happen,” the report said.

And despite widespread use of techniques to gain customer feedback, the report suggests that attitudes to security do not get much of a look in. “Organisations may think that they have adequate security in place and that their customers are happy with the measures, but most consumers will not be informing them either way – potentially leaving companies unaware of dissatisfaction,” the report concludes.

Premier Technologies

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