How Customer Participation Builds Trust in the Age of GDPR

The term ‘customer engagement’ is sometimes confused with ‘customer engagement’, but he doesn’t understand why the former is so much more than the latter.

After all, what is customer participation?

The best way to understand customer engagement is to think of it as a higher level of customer engagement.

Customer engagement is a comprehensive term for any type of communication between a company and its customer, and there are varying degrees of engagement. Some tactics, such as reaching brand followers on social media or via e-newsletter, fall to the lowest level of engagement, as they tend to be episodic and superficial.

Customer participation is at the top of the spectrum because it promotes collaboration and continuous communication between the customer and the brand.

What does GDPR have to do with it?

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 increased awareness of privacy issues, including what brands do with customer data and how it protects consumer rights.

To comply with the GDPR, many companies will simply revise a privacy policy and obtain consumer consent through a dual acceptance process, improve their email marketing practices and allow a customer to withdraw their consent.

But that is not enough – it is the least important way for brands to respect and engage with consumers. Brands need to start thinking about privacy and participation.

The value of co-creation

Co-creation has been commented on for years by academics and economics professors who recognize it as the future of innovation. But effectively providing a platform for innovation, creativity, and collaboration…

  • Create a relevant community that customers want to be a part of.
  • It is possible to generate ideas based on research explored by a small army of brand fans.
  • These fans are willing to apply their unique passions, perceptions, and experiences with your brand to help you.

Co-creation is a natural evolution of Crowdsourcing, the practice of soliciting ideas from an interested group. But crowdsourcing has its limits and that is where customer participation comes in.

Client participation enhances our love for continuous access and mobile and social connectivity, as well as proven methods of innovation and creativity, such as design thinking and creative problem-solving.

Protect what’s important

What brands really need to protect is not just customer data or their own authenticity, but also the collective intellectual capital of their customers. It is about seeing customers less as passive consumers of products and advertising and more as valuable participants in the innovation processes that help achieve the purpose and promise of the global brand.

Co-creation creates more value for both parties than a social party or 10 seconds of video can watch. It brings together a community of fans who want to be there to see their ideas come to life and collaborate with organizations that share common values   and purposes.

Customer participation protects the relationship between brands and their customers. Show customers that you want to hear and think about their ideas in areas such as product innovation and marketing.

How customer engagement builds trust

If true engagement means being attentive, being part of it, and being part of something, then customer participation through co-creation fills all of these boxes. Customers will want to share more about themselves because they want to be there – open and share their ideas, insights, and experiences – and they want to be part of the community and the creative co-creation experience.

Not to mention that they can lead marketing campaigns that take these new products to the masses – campaigns and content developed with real customers and fans alike.

How to begin

In today’s competitive business landscape, it is time to invest in customer engagement. Customer participation exceeds customer involvement. Building a community of passionate customers who can create a better future with their favorite brands makes the following GDPR-like alarm a little uncomfortable.