More than two thirds of British consumers (69%) have terminated their relationship with a company within the last three years due to mishandled personal data, new research has shown.
Over 1,000 UK consumers surveyed by customer insight firm Transactis cited firms handling their private details irresponsibly, getting them wrong, passing them to third parties, failing to keep them secure and or otherwise abusing trust as reasons for ceasing business with a firm.
An even higher majority said they would likely take stern action against a company if confronted with similar circumstances and 95% said they would be ‘very inclined’ to switch to a competitor if a company was irresponsible with their data.
However, the study also showed that companies that properly handle consumers’ personal data are rewarded with customer loyalty. Over 80% of respondents said that if a business is seen to deal responsibly with personal data and, in doing so, provide a good service, would keep buying from that firm.
Similar, 76% of consumers claimed to be even more likely to continue buying from a firm if the company uses their personal details to tailor services and offers to the customer.
Michael Green, Insight director at Transactis, said: “The results clearly demonstrate that consumers will not hesitate to take their business elsewhere if they see any negligent or improper handling of their personal data – in other words, if they no longer trust a firm. By the same token it is also evident that if consumers see a company using their personal data responsibly and effectively, they are far more likely to remain loyal.”