By Mark Cameron
The average person knows that companies want his or her data. After all, they are asked to provide it all the time. But for many people this is starting to get scary. So how can a brand get what they need but leave individuals feeling “safe”?
It’s not that difficult. Just follow these four simple rules:
Only ask for what you need
Imagine a world where, as you walked into a supermarket, you were greeted at the door by a bouncer who asked you to hand over your wallet and passport. Nobody would go there. This is how people see forms that ask for lots of information at once. It’s an invasion. They may give you that information, but only if they trust you.
So only ask for the minimum information you require.
Describe how the data will be used
Be open and honest. If you are going to email the customer later, tell them. When people know they have a choice, the sense of empowerment can build trust.
Think of it as a trade—offer something of real value
If the data is valuable to you, then find a way to reward people for sharing it. And reward every additional piece of information they supply. You are engaging in a trade. They are giving you something and you should reciprocate. It may just be through access to a bit more information or functionality, but it is still a reward for the behavior you are seeking.
Don’t go back on your word
If you have earned an individual’s trust, don’t undo all of your good work by doing something stupid. Treat each person like a partner and you will build goodwill.
The data from social media can be an extremely powerful tool to help drive sales and change the way you think about your customers. But always remember it’s a record of your customers’ life. Treat it with respect.