Twitter Outrage Exposes Consumers’ Desire for Privacy

Posted: 2015.09.25

If you're a business owner, you might know that the best way to grow your business is by encouraging customer loyalty. This means doing whatever you can to learn about what they desire and to provide them a better service. The development of new technologies has brought unprecedented capabilities for business and socializing, but has also created challenges in the realm of consumer privacy.

With most companies and social media sites knowing who you are, where you're from, and what you've been browsing, a line needs to be drawn where customer service meets privacy invasion. As social media giant Twitter found out recently, cyber snooping isn't the best way to gain customer loyalty; in fact, it's the worst.

Why the outrage?

Twitter exploded onto the scene in the last decade as the go-to place for up-to-the-minute news and updates from people's favorite organizations, celebrities, athletes, and friends. Each user has the ability to "tweet" a short snippet, hashtag it with a category or even "tweet at" and mention someone. All updates are shown in reverse chronological order, meaning you get the newest first.

Twitter, like Facebook, toyed with an update that used Twitter-user data to give them a series of tweets they might be interested in based on their preferences. Instead of endearing users to the platform, it drove them away. Not only did Twitter users not like their news feed being out of order, they didn't like Twitter using their data. Privacy had been breached.

What should we do to gain loyalty, then?

Now that you know what not to do, it is easy to see what the best practice is - be open and honest about everything you do. In a world rife with companies trying to misuse data and turn customers into dollar signs, being honest with them puts you a cut above.

Nothing beats the power of meeting face-to-face and shaking hands. That's why every online profile should have a photo, and why video chat is more productive than messaging. We want to see the person we are speaking with. Connecting in person with your customers is infinitely better than using their data for research without permission or running tests on them without their notice.

Custom Intercept Solutions

Connecting in person might not be possible for social media giants, but for the vast majority of companies it is the only way to truly build customer loyalty. Our custom-made intercept surveys are just one of the many ways we help build a connection with your customer. We connect with them right in the moment so that the experience is as genuine as it can be. The results aren't marred by the passage of time, and consumers don't feel like their privacy is being invaded. By meeting face-to-face, shaking hands, and making a genuine connection, you both will feel more appreciated and connected.

The lesson here is that even if you are a giant social media company with millions of loyal users, loyalty is a fragile thing. Major users are abandoning Twitter for violating their privacy. This shows us that you shouldn't use consumer data against their will to try and improve your product or service. Real, in-person intercept surveys are a great way to build real customer loyalty.