Even though there’s been an increase in the awareness of consumer data and privacy this past year, business practices still persist that might turn the average consumer away if they aren’t carefully informed. CBS reports that there’s a trend some businesses have of emailing receipts to customers that could prove both convenient and potentially harmful.
Could this really be dangerous, though? Yes, because slinging information like email addresses around could give consumers that slinking feeling that they are no longer in control of their own contact info or the messages that they receive. I don’t like using the same word back-to-back. This can be especially damaging if a customer has no idea how they’ve agreed to let the company use their contact details for marketing.
Good e-mail management is about more than just making sure responses are always given out: the customer can be informed more concretely about what to expect when they sign up for certain services.
The source described how this trend has become increasingly popular, reportedly accounting for “about a third of all retailers.” This service may be voluntary, but it can also be deceptively simple and lead to consumer complaints far down the road.
Another report from KTVU based in San Francisco quoted director of the Consumer Federation of California, Richard Holober, on the ways this information might be seen as a betrayal by the consumer.
“Once they’ve got it, they use it for marketing, they can sell it to third parties, they can develop a dossier, [and] know exactly what your shopping habits are,” he said, with “they” meaning companies.
But it’s possible that a good online customer services menu can be arranged to tell these valued buyers what they need to know to stay loyal.