The Importance of Building and Maintaining Trust During Times of Crisis

By Greg Hanson VP EMEA and LATAM, Informatica

At a time when there is a lot of discussion around the use and implementation of Covid-19 contact tracing applications, consumers are beginning to question what this means for their privacy. Despite the power of regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is imperative for businesses to go further to demonstrate to customers and employees that they can be trusted to safeguard personal data.

Right now, the Chief Data Officer (CDO) needs to step up, become a ‘consumer champion’ and listen to the views and feelings of consumers to shape corporate policy around data. It’s transparent, ethical and builds trust in the brand – particularly at a time when trust is low. To achieve these goals, there are three necessary steps that a CDO must take.

1. Know where your customer data is stored: It is impossible for organisations to claim to be a responsible custodian of data, if they don’t know where data relating to customers is stored – and replicated – across all of their cloud and on-premise systems. This is why they need a data-discovery process which can reveal the extent of the problem and identify disparate repositories of customers’ personal information, automatically. Using AI as part of the data discovery tool supports in more than just finding the data. It helps to build a complete catalogue of where data resides in the organisation, including mapping it to identities. The net result is you’ll be able to operationalise capabilities that give you the data transparency needed to efficiently respond to enquiries – including Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) – that if left up to manual processes and procedures, incur tremendous costs and possible privacy mandate compliance violations that comprise business and customer trust.

2. Take care of customer data: Once a data catalogue is established this becomes the information source from which you can build out a data strategy. The strategy encapsulates managing data quality, how data is used and the establishment of data governance rules and best practice. It’s also important to engage the people within the organisation to effectively execute the strategy. By doing these things based upon a centralised catalogue of data assets, businesses can ensure that they are making data and insights gleaned from this part of the organisations overall culture of custodianship. 

3. Consistently maintain your data governance: As new customer data and insights are collected, they should be catalogued and the highest quality assets stored to provide an accurate view of a customer, their interactions with the company, products they’ve bought and the channels they’ve used. AI can help with this to automatically spot changes to the data landscape that may require human attention, ensuring data is not duplicated or incorrect. If all these rules are adhered to, the customer will see that they can trust the company to use their data to understand and know them better.

Maintaining Trust

Ultimately, even the most data-conscious consumers are happy to share data in return for more personalised customer experiences as long as they trust the brand. Companies that fail to understand this will walk the precarious tightrope between privacy and personalisation and run the risk of losing even their most devoted customers to competitors that adopt a more conscientious, respectful policy towards data privacy. Ultimately, consumers are always going to remember how they were treated during their last engagement with a business, and both during the Covid-19 crisis and as we emerge out of it, it is important to show that you support them.

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