AI privacy and customer experience: avoiding the creep factor


Avoiding the creep factor should be easy. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

Too often, we hear stories about businesses straying into creepytown. For an extreme example, look no further than Target. They’d been tracking a teen woman’s online shopping habits. Based on her browsing, they determined she was pregnant. So, they thought it would be a good idea to send coupons for baby-related products to her home address. Only she hadn’t broken the news to her family.

Obviously, this isn’t a good look. It’s straight up creepy, plain and simple.

The creep factor explained

The creep factor happens when companies get too personal with their customers. So personal, in fact, that it feels like a breach of privacy. Chances are, you’ve experienced this at one point or another, so you can understand just how unsettling it is. To avoid it, businesses can be more transparent about how they’re using customer data. Better yet, they can deliver experiences without using any of their customers’ personally identifiable information.

If your business is spending a lot of time in creepytown, you’re eroding customer trust. Not only is it damaging relationships you’ve spent resources building, it’s also hurting your bottom line.

Building trust, the right way

All businesses want to cultivate valuable, long-term relationships with their customers. If you’re playing the long game (and you should be), you want your customers to get as much value out of every interaction as you do. Building these kinds of relationships is contingent on trust. When customers trust you, they want to continue doing business with you, and in the era of data breaches and cybersecurity threats this is especially critical.

So, what are the foundational elements of a business relationship built on trust?

Simple, it’s composed of three things.

It’s reliable. In other words, customers can expect to get what they want, when they want it, over whatever channel’s most convenient to them.

It’s safe. The customer can rely on you to keep them safe throughout the customer journey. In a digital context, this means you’re doing everything you can to preserve privacy and protect customer data.

It’s relevant. By this we mean that you’re only providing customers with content that’s relevant to them. That means no noise.

Trust isn’t a constraint, it’s the ultimate goal of every customer experience. Think about how your local mom-and-pop shop does it. They’re reliable, safe, and as they get to know you over time, experiences become more relevant to you. This should be the ultimate goal.

A new way forward: machine learning

Machine learning and the responsible use of big data can offer a new way forward for businesses that want to cultivate long-term relationships built on trust.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t universally true. Not all machine learning can do this. That said, machine learning unlocks entirely new ways of relating with customers, where relevance and privacy aren’t mutually exclusive.

For example, our software doesn’t rely on personally identifiable information to deliver relevant experiences to customers. Instead, using machine learning, we help businesses identify meaningful behavioral patterns that are predictive of what customers want at a specific point in time. That way, when they show up on your channels, they get an experience that’s reliable, safe, and relevant.

Businesses today don’t have to compromise on privacy to deliver compelling experiences to their customers. If you want to learn more or have any questions, let us know.

For even more information on avoiding the creep factor, don’t miss our webinar. is an AI-powered customer intelligence platform that helps consumer businesses make precise predictions about customers needs so they can deliver more meaningful and relevant digital interactions that drive better business outcomes. Our SaaS platform integrates with existing systems and then uses privacy-preserving AI techniques to enrich customer data sources with insights from other industries. This paints a richer, more complete picture of the customer—without sacrificing consumer privacy or security.


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