Consent Management: A Surprising Element of Customer Experience

Last Published: Aug 05, 2021 |
Monica Mullen
Monica Mullen

Director, Product Marketing 

Customers who trust a company will allow them to use their data

I opted out of an email subscription last month. Weeks later, I’m still getting emails from the company. So now, I’m not just tuning out any message from this company. I’m getting downright annoyed—not only have they ignored my original request, they’re continuing to fill up my email inbox with content I don’t want or need. It’s not a great experience.

If it’s this difficult to capture and execute on a request that’s as simple as removing my email address from a subscription list, how challenging will it be for some companies to comply with the new data protection and privacy laws emerging around the globe?

The web of regulations includes not only the GDPR in the EU and the CCPA in California: there’s also PIPEDA in Canada, LGPD in Brazil, along with 100+ other countries with some type of privacy regulations, according to the United Nations. In many of these jurisdictions, failure to comply can translate into significant fines and other penalties.

But the impact to your business and customer loyalty extends beyond fines and penalties. And while great customer experience is built on many things, the two most important elements are respect and trust. Respect for customers’ and prospects’ consents, rights, and preferences; and trust that companies will follow through on those requests and that they’ll safeguard your data. Lose that trust, and it’s likely you’ve lost the customer forever.

Can you afford to lose one third of your customers?

A recent PWC survey found that one third of customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience. It has become easier for customers to switch loyalties, which makes privacy responsibility an important differentiator over price.

It’s a virtuous cycle: the more that a company can demonstrate that they respect and trust customer data, the more data they will be allowed to access, whether it’s to create relevant offers, develop meaningful conversations, or simply improve the overall customer experience. The impact is not trivial: one PWC study revealed that 88% of U.S. consumers say that how much they trust a company determines how much they’re willing to share personal information.

That’s significant. And it moves consents, privacy and protection from being a compliance cost to a customer experience gain.

Put another way, when customers trust a company, their willingness to allow that company to use data in new ways is roughly five to ten times higher than it would be with a company they did not trust, according to BCG. Additionally, consider this prediction: Gartner predicts that in 2023, brands that put in place user-level control of marketing data will reduce customer churn by 40% and increase lifetime value by 25%. (Note 1)

A consent is an attribute of a customer and a channel

To reap these benefits and improve responsiveness to customers and regulatory bodies alike, manage consents as you would any other customer attribute by using master data management. MDM fuels insights and processes with trusted data to transform marketing, grow sales, streamline service, and deliver great customer experiences.

When you use MDM to link customers, channels, and consents together with the policies documented in your centralized data privacy governance workstreams, you enable your teams with an enterprise-level view of:

  • what your customers have expressly allowed you to do with their data
  • which jurisdiction(s) they belong to
  • the policy that supports each customer’s consent or right

This enterprise-level view also increases efficiency and precision when you need to comply with regulatory timelines and to report on the consents or rights which have been exercised.

You also gain the opportunity of helping your customers understand the consents they’ve provided. Remember, it’s not necessarily any easier for customers to navigate the consents they’ve given to or withdrawn from the companies they do business with. If you remember my example above, did I really opt-out of that email, or am I confusing that opt-out with a different company?

Put your customers in control of how you use their data, and—if the research is right—you’ll not only have the data you need for compliance and customer engagement; and you’ll be closer to earning the kind of trust from customers that leads to continued, long-term relationships.

The message couldn’t be clearer: get a handle on how your customers allow you to use their data; be respectful of it; and be responsible with it. Your customers will thank you for it.

Fall Launch: Consent Management for your 360 Engagement Journey


Consent Management


Join our Fall Launch and visit the 360 Engagement track to hear Suresh Menon, SVP and GM, Master Data Management at Informatica, review how great customer experiences are delivered by mastering consents as an essential part of Informatica’s Data Privacy Governance Framework. Then Chris Martin, a Senior Solutions Architect with Informatica, will walk us through a brief demo of Informatica’s Consent Management Accelerator (which can be used out of the box with Customer 360).

Choose the best region and time and register to be part of our launch event. We’ll have our product experts live during the chat to answer any questions you may have.

North America – September 24, 2019

EMEA – September 25, 2019

APJ – September 26, 2019

(Note 1) Source: Gartner, Inc., Gartner Predicts 2019: In Search of Balance in Marketing, January 21, 2019

First Published: Sep 18, 2019