Do you store customer data? Then acquaint yourself with the GDPR
The GDPR is a law regarding the collection, storage and use of personal data. Every organization is facing new requirements intended to better safeguard the privacy of its customers and employees. That means more rules. But does that pose a problem? No, because this new law simply ensures that you treat your customers and their data faithfully — which is exactly what relationship management and CRM are all about!
What is the GDPR
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This law prescribes a number of rules which organizations are required to observe, which give people a greater say over what happens with their personal data. The GDPR has been law for some time, but it will be enforced starting May 25th, 2018.
What does this new law really mean for me?
It means that you have to be able to show that your organization properly handles its customers’ data. That is, that you are in compliance with the law. The way you do that must be set out on paper. You'll have to think very carefully about e.g. what customer details you will be storing, whether you need permission to do so, and how you will be storing those details. The GDPR means that you need to be able to justify why you are storing data, and explain that you are doing so in a secure way.
Of course that's nothing new if you're already active in relationship management
If you work with a CRM system, you've already thought about what customer data you're storing. What do you require in order to do your work? What information do you use to assist your customers? Under the new law, you are still allowed to store data that you need in order to do a good job helping your customers. As long as it doesn't enable you to impact your customers’ private lives.
So, no need to panic?
None. At first glance, it might seem like this new law will make it all but impossible to perform sales and marketing activities, and like you'll need to request permission for everything. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The law says that you're perfectly entitled to process data that is needed for the proper functioning of your company. You simply need to have a legitimate interest, i.e. a good reason, to store that data. If you can show on paper that that's the case, there shouldn't be a problem.
Get acquainted with the GDPR. Because many things about the new law are still unclear. Make sure you are as well-informed as possible. And be sure to make a start on thinking about what data you're storing, why, and how.