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Published October 25, 2019

Customer benefits greatly from fair data-driven innovation

Frictionless digital customer experience is the key to the customer's heart. A smart company builds its business on a fair data economy model and earns the trust of its customers.
Writer
Tiina Härkönen
Author's profile page: Tiina Härkönen LEADING SPECIALIST, IHAN - HUMAN-DRIVEN DATA ECONOMY, SITRA

Purchasing a ticket online requires you to create an account and accept confusing instructions for use because the company concerned wants to collect as much data about you as possible. The user experience is poor. A smart company builds its business on a fair data economy model and earns the trust of its customers.

In the corporate world, there has been talk about the importance of customer experience for the last five years. Those involved in developing business, customer relations and marketing have continuously been repeating its importance to management and business functions. I am one of those people.

The message has been heard in many companies because it is something that clearly improves competitiveness. One can only guess how many process and system development projects have been launched in organisations around the world. However, to what extent are all the development measures taken ultimately visible to the outside?

It’s a part of business that the ability to create added value is developed all the time, and that’s why things should also be happening around the customer experience continuously. A good customer experience still makes it possible to stand out from competitors and gain an astonishing advantage.

The fair data economy enables friction-free service with data-driven innovation

Data is often at the core of the customer experience. The world around us has made it clear that it is not only an enormous opportunity but also a serious problem

We are living in a time when the balance between the collection and use of data is nervously being pursued. Many people ask: Is more really better? After all, this is what we have been thinking with regard to data so far. A new question, which has arisen from the needs of customers is: What is reasonable and sensible? The idea of data minimalism has emerged.

The most customer-oriented European companies aim for friction-free service and collect data appropriately with moderation.

Let’s take an example. To purchase a ticket for an event, I must log in to the system using my data, in other words, either create an account or log in to an existing account. You could easily purchase a ticket without logging in, so the only need for the requirement to log in is the company’s desire to collect data. That is, data with which it has not done anything visible as the customer relationship with its services is sporadic and customer encounters are few and far between. Therefore, the account I have created is rarely used and one of the dozens of “customer accounts” all of us have, and that more often do more harm than benefit us.

I have been really delighted to hear about European companies that aim for a friction-free customer journey and the appropriate collection of data in moderation. To them, the main point seems to be that the customer is delighted about the ease of using the service, and that business is booming. What are those companies missing out on? At the very least, incorrect and poor-quality data. My own “Mickey Mouse” accounts created as required by old-guard companies certainly do not benefit anyone, especially since my online behaviour in some services is intentionally illogical or based on all of my family members using the same account.

Trust is created gradually with the right actions and with respect for privacy. When forced logging in is proven to be an impediment and an obstacle to sales, there might also be other unnecessary loops that irritate the customer. Trust is an absolute requirement for acquiring trade and loyalty in the consumer business but, in addition, studies have shown it is an obstacle to using digital services.

In fact, companies should ask themselves whether it creates trust when every small act online is recorded and a cookie has to be swallowed at all times and everywhere. Does it increase trust if the terms of use are in Klingon and as long as an Olympic pool? Does it increase trust if the privacy policy does not actually explain anything? No, no and no.

Let’s adjust the services to be more friction-free as soon as tomorrow. And let’s take the first step by adding an option at the bottom of the website: “browse without cookies”.

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