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Data privacy & digital experience: Building trust while exceeding expectations

We’ve all come to understand that our calls to customer service will be recorded, and we understand the benefits—customer satisfaction, training staff and detecting fraud. Yet consumers have grown increasingly uncomfortable with their activity being captured on websites and mobile apps. According to a GDMA study of consumer attitudes toward data privacy, 74% indicate a high degree of concern over online privacy.

Yet, while customers are less enthusiastic about having their data collected, they’re still demanding great customer experiences and even personalized digital journeys and product recommendations. As consumers become more and more accustomed to easy, personalized digital experiences from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, they expect your business to know where they are, what they like and what they want next. Indeed, Gartner states that “not only is it in your best interests to personalize your customer’s experience…it is a requirement of doing business.”

So how can you give your customers the unique personalized digital journeys they want while respecting their data privacy? Ultimately, it’s about balance—capturing the minimum amount of data to achieve the maximum benefit for all parties—especially the customer.

Here are three ways to balance data privacy with excellent digital experiences.

Provide clear benefits to the customer

If you’re going to secure your customers’ explicit consent before accessing their data, you must clearly communicate exactly what type of data and purpose for which that data is collected and explain the value you offer in exchange. Last year, Glassbox partnered with Ernst and Young to better understand customer attitudes about privacy and the trust gap we see when it comes to online brand relationships.

Of the survey respondents, 80% were willing to provide personal data to a business they interact with in order to receive more relevant products, services and offers. In fact, customers have truly embraced this with 77% saying they’ve chosen, recommended and even paid more for a brand that offers personalized experiences. These experiences must add real value for the customer by introducing them to new products of interest or creating more efficiency and convenience in their day-to-day lives.

So, when your customers see the benefits and understand the scope and purpose of the data collected, they’re more likely to provide data willingly—but they still want to know how the data is being used and what they should expect.

Be transparent about what you’re capturing and why

Transparency is crucial for establishing customer trust. Your privacy policy is a great tool to help your customers understand what data you’re collecting, how you’re collecting it, who it’s shared with and how it’s being used overall.

The key is to keep it up-to-date and keep it as simple as possible. We’re all guilty of skipping through the legal jargon, so making an effort to keep the information concise and easy to understand will go a long way in building customer confidence.

The privacy policy is another opportunity to provide context around what’s in it for the customer. For example, if you’re capturing the customer’s purchase history, letting them know that they’ll get product recommendations based on past purchases would be a value-add that most consumers would welcome.

In addition to an external privacy policy, create an internal usage policy and guidelines for data collection tools that document what data you’re gathering and how it should be used and treated. Pairing this with regular employee training will help your staff understand their responsibilities when it comes to keeping customer data private.

Choose tech built for data privacy

Leveraging digital experience analytics to fuel personalization may sound problematic in the current privacy climate but it is still critical for your business. Amazon’s approach to personalization using digital experience analytics has grown to generating $543 in revenue per user, the highest among online retailers. But to get the benefit while keeping compliant you need the right technology with built-in privacy controls to help you improve your digital experience, and in order to achieve your objectives while respecting your customers’ privacy.

At Glassbox, we handle this with specific data privacy features:


Omitting means that with Glassbox you are able to completely avoid capturing any personal data to match your compliance use case. We do not capture any customer inputs at all by default, meaning out-of-the-box, we do not record any customer input field which may contain personal data. This way sensitive data can’t be accessed through session recordings – because it’s not there. It also helps you meet the data minimization principle for GDPR.


You may choose to record personal data due to your industry regulations and legitimate business needs, so we also offer masking. This means that you can configure any or all personal data and customer input fields to be obscured upon capture. This, along with built in access controls, lets you restrict who within your organization can see this information based on their role or job function.

For example, your customer experience analysts probably don’t need to see individual customer data. They’ll look at aggregated data with all personal information masked. But your fraud detection team may need to look at some individual personal customer data to investigate an issue. Masking gives each team only the data they need to accomplish their goals while you maintain a high level of privacy for your customers.

Personalization is a powerful way to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. But it comes with a huge amount of responsibility to your customers’ privacy. By making your intentions transparent, proving the benefits and putting the right technology in place, your customers are more likely to share information and spend more when their digital journeys are personalized.

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