SAS study reveals that despite privacy concerns, consumers want to be understood
Six in ten reports seeing an improvement in personal communications from businesses
Public consternation over government access to personal data has once again thrown the spotlight on consumers' concerns over data privacy. But when organizations use personal data responsibly are consumers happy with the results?
A new study from SAS, the leader in analytics, says they are. While 71 percent of the 1,260 respondents surveyed said that recent news increased their privacy concerns, a hefty 60 percent still expect businesses to know their preferences and understand their needs. And a whopping 59 percent indicate seeing an improvement in personalized communications by businesses over the past five years.
"When businesses use analytics wisely, and with sensitivity to customers' personally identifiable information, it's a win-win," said Wilson Raj, Global Customer Intelligence Director at SAS. "It's a win for brands that nurture profitable relationships based on a deep understanding of their customers. And consumers win when they receive relevant offers and communications from vendors they prefer." But, he points out, technology can help companies adhere to a strict code of ethics for protecting customer information. "Data privacy policies require a thoughtful data management and integration strategy to ensure not only effective marketing, but also authentic and welcome customer contacts."
Higher salaried and younger consumers expect more, see more improvement
Respondents with incomes over $100,000 were more likely to expect businesses to understand them (67 percent), as were those under age 30 (66 percent). Those with higher salaries also reported improved personalization (69 percent) and fewer irrelevant messages (44 percent). Again, numbers for those under age 30 were similar.
Hospitality and airlines can do better
Trailing behind other industries with just 3.3 and 3.0 stars out of 5 respectively were airlines and hospitality. "It's disappointing that the airline and hospitality industries get such mediocre scores from the public," said Kelly McGuire, PhD, Executive Director of the Hospitality and Travel Global Practice for SAS. "With the amount of data they collect – from loyalty cards, review sites, online browsing and bookings – they have a treasure trove of customer insights available to them. Clearly there is a huge opportunity here. Based on these results, those that effectively turn data into customer insights will be the ones that win."
Customers rank banks over mobile providers and national retailers
When asked to score companies with which they do business, two of three bank customers said their bank understands them. Only 57 percent of national retailer customers and 51 percent of mobile phone provider customers said the same.
Banks outperformed national retailers and mobile providers in having relevant information at hand during customer interactions and for making transactions easy through all channels. Men are more likely than women to say their bank understands them (69 percent vs. 62 percent). And respondents with incomes over $100,000 gave banks higher marks on personalization than other customers, citing that the banks only send them relevant offers and recommendations.
Customer analytics from SAS helps provide customer insights to organizations so they can deliver marketing offers that are anticipated, relevant and timely. As the backbone for all marketing and customer-centered activities, SAS customer analytics comprises techniques such as predictive modeling, data visualization, information management and segmentation.
Today's announcement came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Orlando, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 600 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.