Cyber hacks: the customer’s view

10th Jun 2016

Research by the Institute of Customer Service conducted among 1,000 consumers suggests that UK organisations have a hard task persuading customers to trust them in the wake of recent hacks.

“Acceptance of the inevitability of cyber attacks may be a reality, but British consumers have become increasingly concerned about the way organisations use customer data and protect it, once a breach has happened,” says Jo Causon, the Institute’s chief executive. 

Increasingly, customers want to know how brands will respond if they are hacked. For that reason, Causon advises that organisations should deliver a reassuring and detailed outline of their cyber defences. This can help brands set themselves apart from the competition and secure customers long-term.

If a hack occurs, research found that customers’ top demand is for clarification that a new security programme has been installed (27%), while 9% want notification of an updated security policy and 6% want personal phone calls updating them about the situation.

Because 81% of respondents believe that any employee in an organisation should be able to inform them about data security policy and 76% admit they should, personally, be better informed about how to protect their personal information, Causon argues that all employees who may come into contact with a consumer need to be fully prepared.

“We have already seen how a company’s share price can be affected by an attack, but the way it is handled from a customer service perspective is what will have the biggest impact on the long-term financial health of a business,” she explains. “Transparency, speed of notification and consistent communication will be crucial if businesses are to regain the trust that will be lost from having customer data compromised.”

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