The risks of hyper-relevance

Accenture research suggests trust precedes personalized customer experiences, and trust is hard to earn.
Locking A Virtual Lock In A Lineup Of Open Locks

Canadian companies hurt their bottom lines to the tune of $88 billion last year thanks to poor customer experiences and lack of trust, according to recent research by Accenture Strategy.

Brands are investing heavily in data-gathering to create more personalized experiences for customers. But Accenture’s research suggests the balance between that personalization and maintaining a customer’s trust remains delicate among Canadian consumers.

The consulting firm’s data shows that $88-billion loss is the result of having 43% of consumers switch companies over poor personalization and lack of  trust.

The firm’s latest global report notes that while 73% of CEOs recognize the importance of enhancing customer experiences through “hyper-relevance” (often attained through “intelligent” tech such as AI, predictive analytics and digital assistants), trust remains a tripping point.

The report found that 70% of Canadians believe it’s important for businesses to protect their privacy and personal information, with 44% saying they are concerned about how their information is used by the intelligent services that companies are starting to adopt.

Compared to the average global consumer, Canadians are half as likely to use Amazon, Google, Samsung or Facebook virtual assistants, according to the report.

According to the research, consumers are far more likely to share their personal information – the key to a personalized experience – if they get something in return and if they can trust companies to safeguard their data.

A total of 41% of Canadians said they would be more likely to shop with companies that personalize their experience, as long as they haven’t compromised their trust.

The report surveyed 25,000 consumers globally, of which 1,330 were Canadian.