New research from Experian QAS highlights consumer attitudes to sharing data

New research from Experian QAS highlights consumer attitudes to sharing data


London, 4 July 2013 – Research commissioned by Experian QAS to explore the attitudes of UK consumers and their experiences of sharing data with organisations shows that many customers are being let down by current data management practices as businesses struggle to keep up with the sheer scale and frequency of change in consumer information.

Key findings show that:-

  • The average adult has lived or worked at eight addresses for more than three months
  • UK adults have, on average, four functioning email addresses, and two mobile phones registered to them
  •  84 per cent of people think customers are the most important thing for a business to look after
  • 73 per cent of people recall errors in communications from organisations in the past 12 months – 36 per cent of consumers have received duplicate communications
  • 47 per cent of consumers get annoyed by inaccurate data; 37 per cent worry what else may have been recorded incorrectly.

“The findings show that consumers are willing to share their data with organisations if they see a benefit in doing so. Consequently organisations that secure consumers’ trust by showing that they care about their customers’ data are best placed to secure up-to-date details in the first place,” commented Joel Curry, Managing Director of Experian QAS. “It is therefore crucial that businesses capture, manage and use data to effectively service their customers. However, the research also shows the importance of investment in data quality in order to improve customer relations, retain them, improve brand experience and ultimately increase customer base.”

The research highlights that a key challenge for organisations is the frequency that customers change their contact details. With findings highlighting that on average, UK adults have four functioning email addresses, two registered mobile phones and have lived or worked at an average eight addresses for more than three months in their lifetime, maintaining such data can be a challenge. Aware that they are critical to an organisation’s livelihood, especially in a continuing harsh economic climate, customers’ expectations are high. This means that the stakes for businesses have increased, with the slightest error in contact data serving to irritate and alienate customers with 84 per cent agreeing that ‘customers are the most important thing for a company to look after’.

Nearly three-quarters of people (73 per cent) recall errors in communications received from organisations over the past 12 months. With companies struggling to keep up with customer contact details, the impact of poor data management is extremely damaging. Incorrect personal information irritates nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents. Trust is also eroded – over a third worry about what other details have been recorded inaccurately (37 per cent) or have less faith in the organisation to do a good job (35 per cent). Indeed, 30 per cent  think less of an organisation as a result of their personal details being wrong, and 22 per cent say they feel less valued by the business.

As digitalbox CEO, Alex Attinger confirms:  “We live and die by our reputation, with accuracy essential to our clients, their customers and email ISPs. It’s therefore important that we work to protect and add value to our data, which we see as a precious asset. As this research demonstrates creating and maintaining the highest level of quality data is at the heart of every successful business. Where customers are concerned there is no room for compromise.”

Three steps to getting it right:-
  • Demonstrate the value to customers of sharing their personal data. If customers can see a clear and relevant benefit from sharing their data, they will be more inclined to share more of their data more regularly. The benefit must be both relevant and worthwhile to each consumer from their perspective, and consist of a simple exchange to redeem the incentive. ·        
  • Ensure the accuracy of the data that consumers trust you with. Poor data management annoys customers, and undermines faith in an organisation, eroding brand trust and reputation. Ensure that consumer information is captured right first time and every time. Front-office capture software can help ensure that this is done effectively and efficiently. ·        
  • Check for duplicate communications. They cost dearly, both financially and by turning off customers. Ensure that databases are de-duped and up-to-date by implementing a process of regular database cleaning.