Creating Trust

Christoph Löffler

ONEtoONE.de: Big Data. Christoph Loeffler, managing director Germany for the innovation consultancy Fjord, gives recommendations on how companies should deal with Big Data security and trust.

In a digital services world, trust is now a key factor for a customer to choose one service or brand over another. Data privacy protection and data security are thus becoming an important differentiator, as well as an essential part of corporate social responsibilities.  But how can companies ensure data security? And what are the added values they provide to their customers in return of sharing their data? Christoph Loeffler, from the design consultancy and Accenture lnteractive affiliate Fjord, recommends companies to build themselves an etiquette around Big Data and data security.

“We believe that digital services and experiences should fundamentally be designed from an end-customer perspective”, he says.  Data protection should, therefore, not only be considered through a technical lens, for example on the basis of the EU Data Protection Regulation. Rather and more importantly, data protection should be fundamental to the user experience design.  

“Along with the development of data-driven services, we will have to think about how to best communicate with the customer about their data and how to design experiences that imply trust”.  Only when consumers understand in their own language and words what their data is used for, trust can be created.

“Companies must provide their consumers with a choice to decide what their data can be used for and include them into this interaction,” says Loeffler. A successful example can be seen with the “Underground” service from Amazon. The Internet merchant rewards consumers who openly share their usage date with free apps, games and promotions.

“It’s totally up to the users to decide how they want to handle their data,” says Loeffler.

He has four concrete tips for companies to implement a Big Data etiquette:

  1. Play it trough. Reenact what you would do with your customer like a theatre play. Imagine you were to ask a stranger on the street for their private data. How can you ensure that he or she shares this information voluntarily and with a good feeling? Empathic design helps to change perspectives and allows to design the interaction in a more human way.
  2. Keep an eye on the interfaces. The goal is to of course design the most seamless experience possible for customers. Still, make sure to be transparent about transitions within your offering.  People want to know at what points of interaction they commit to sharing data.
  3. Make security a top matter. Prioritize data protection and security, and invest in information technology and people. The responsible use of data must be guaranteed throughout the entire production and supply chain. And users should know that their trust is being ensured by not only technology, but real people with responsibilities towards the customer
  4. Be authentic, clear and friendly. Consumers judge brands and companies with the same principles and values they use to judge their peers. Companies that need data for their business model must clearly communicate that to their customers in a transparent and friendly manner.

This article was originally published in ONEtoONE.

Christoph Löffler

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