Seventy-one percent of B2C customers and 86% of B2B customers expect companies to be well-informed about their personal information during a service interaction, according to a new Gartner survey.
The survey of more than 5 800 customers conducted in December 2021 found that while customers want companies to be well-informed about their personal information, customers also expect their data to remain private and secure, and to be used solely for its intended purpose.
“There is inherent, growing tension between personalised experiences and personal privacy,” says Brad Fager, senior research director in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “This will only increase as data-driven interactions become necessary for effective customer service, and customers become more alarmed by how their data is used.”

A data-driven approach to designing personalised service experiences benefits the customer and the company, but it also risks violating customers’ trust if not done right.
High-profile data breaches and data ethics scandals are also elevating privacy concerns among customers and accelerating their desire to maintain control of their personal information. In addition, government regulations around the globe, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, have proliferated and redefined the standards by which data is collected, stored and used.
In fact, Gartner expects 75% of the world’s population will have its personal information covered by modern privacy regulations by 2025.
In order to provide an experience that accounts for the customers’ context, Gartner suggests customer service and support leaders take the following actions:
• Be explicit with consent management and preference settings in the service journey to give customers better control over how their data is used. Delineate these settings by functional area and use case to avoid conflating uses of data (eg. using data collected to improve the website for marketing purposes instead).
• Prioritise transparency in customer privacy settings so customers know what personal information is being used, why it’s being used, and how to manage it. For example, proactively communicate about preference and consent management.
• Make ethics a core component of your data management strategy by creating data use cases based on how they bring value and benefit to the customer, not just to the company.
• Limit data collection to what’s actually needed to deliver timely resolution and added value by defining each data use-case so it collects the minimum data required through the least invasive methods.