Harris Poll Survey Reveals the American Consumer’s Perspective on Big Data and the Customer Experience

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Last week we released the findings from a new survey that gauges American consumers’ perceptions around companies collecting and analyzing their personal data for marketing purposes. The survey was fielded by Harris Poll to query over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and up, and asked respondents to share their feelings on the consumer experience, as it pertains to the use of their data.

With so much focus on Big Data and data privacy lately, we wanted to see if consumers felt that they were directly benefiting from the increased collection and mining of customer data. What we found however was that while nearly all consumers are sharing more information, only 25 percent feel that their overall customer experience has improved in the past twelve months due to increased use of their personal data by the companies they typically buy goods and services from.

Below are some of our other key findings from the survey:

  • Consumers tend to see the most benefit from sharing their data in terms of receiving improved discounts and product recommendations. 44 percent of consumers feel that in the past 12 months they’ve received much / somewhat better relevant discounts, offers and special deals by sharing more personal data, and 35 percent say they’ve received better product recommendations. However, only 25 percent feel that they’re getting better online or phone customer support when buying a product or when they contact customer service and support.
  • 67 percent of consumers would be willing to give companies access to at least some aspect of their personal information in exchange for better service or products; however, that’s primarily limited to basic information. For example, 53 percent of consumers would be willing to provide their name, 35 percent would be willing to provide demographic information, and 34 percent are open to sharing contact information (phone number, address, email) in exchange for better, more personalized services/products.
  • While 49 percent of consumers believe that the businesses that market to them have access to their online habits (e.g., web history, social media activity), less than 16 percent of consumers are willing to trade online privacy (i.e., their online habits) for a better customer experience.
  • 50 percent of consumers called out social media as being the least trustworthy in terms of using data to the improve the customer experience.
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