94% of C-level executives agree that the GDPR legislation presents an opportunity to refine their data management strategies.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to protect EU citizens by imposing strict requirements on the way businesses collect, store and manage personal data. This regulation provides EU citizens with more control over their personal data and assures the safety of their information across Europe, regardless of whether the processing of their data took place in the EU or not.
There are different aspects of the GDPR that have big impacts on the way companies handle personal data.
- The right to be forgotten – Organizations are required to permit EU residents the right to revoke their consent at any point.
- Rules on new consent – It is imperative that companies ask for consent before they process or store any customer data.
- Increased transparency – There’s a requirement for increased transparency, which includes interpreting data, complying with it, and balancing the level of disclosure that is required.
- Handling user preferences – There is a need to manage the changing preferences of customers between ‘forget-me’ to opting in, which is an important aspect of personal data management.
- Company awareness of customer data usage – Companies need to take a closer look at where and how data is stored and maintained, which will result in a better customer experience and more data security.
Customer Data Management
Customer data can include a name, email, address, and date of birth, personal interests, unique identifiers, digital footprints and more. Businesses can keep track of this kind of customer information and even survey their customer base through a customer data management system. Customer Data Management is a solution mechanism that is geared toward resolving customer requirements and issues while simultaneously enhancing customer retention and satisfaction. This allows an organization to convert customer data into Customer Intelligence (CI).
In order to better understand your customer and fill your Data Management systems with relevant data, it is important that a thoughtful analysis is conducted around where and how the right data is collected. Customer information can be collected in the following ways
- Website forms
- Purchase orders
Importance of Customer Data Management
Customer data is considered the most vital asset of any enterprise. Those organizations that do not give customer data management its due importance have less probability of surviving in this modern economy. Below are the important aspects that need to be understood about customer data management.
1. Decide which data is critical
When deciding your critical data, keep in mind the ways in which you identify and segment your customers. During the customer journey, marketers collect different data at different stages during their interaction with the customer. Data integrity dashboards and reports need to be set up that will allow for the monitoring of data completeness by staff members.
2. Avoid compartmentalizing internal structures
Siloes occur when one department or management group fails to share information, goals, tools, priorities, and processes with other departments. These obstacles suppress collaborative learning and prevent organizations from gaining a better understanding of the customer journey.
3. Data is monetizeable
Companies need to deploy Data Loss/Leakage Prevention (DLP) steps in order to manage, maintain and protect customer data. Through DLP steps, a company can even monitor the movements of different documents; what gets downloaded, shared, copied, etc.
4. Focus on centralization
When it comes to enhancing your data management strategy it is important to centralize your cross-channel customer data. Doing this improves the visibility of your customers’ actions and preferences, and even allows you to identify your Most Valuable Customers (MVCs), which is not something marketers find easy to accomplish.
5. Maintenance of customer interactions
Companies need to know and understand how to ease the purchase process for their customers. This can be done through easy-to-use CRM systems that all the customer-facing staff can use to consistently chronicle every customer interaction.
6. Ease of access to customer data
While on the field, salespersons need to be able to access customer information with ease. CRMs are more often designed to assist marketers and build backend data but not accessible to salespeople who require it more often.
7. Audit activities surrounding customer data
Create and maintain a log that helps in monitoring and auditing all activity performed around customer’s sensitive data. Complete visibility into the IT infrastructure needs to be endured so that malicious activity and unauthorized changes can be audited. This will strengthen security and protect against misuse by insiders.
8. Collect ‘how you heard about us’ data
If your intake staff fails to collect the data of how your customer found you then it is imperative that a strategy is implemented soon. This data can be collected through a call tracking system, or even by filling a call sheet while speaking to the customer.
9. Keep your data secure
It is a huge responsibility to ensure that the collected customer data is managed in a secure manner and in this GDPR age, it should be a company’s top priority. Mismanagement data could lead to a complete lack of trust between you and the customer.
10. Audit customer data trail
In order to reassure customers that their data is being responsibly handled, it is vital that the customer data trail that is within the customer data system be audited systematically.
11. Connect online and offline data
Omni-channel strategies that are considered successful are now using call tracking software in order to understand on and offline experiences of customers that are spread across all channels and at all stages of engagement.
12. Avoid duplicate data
Duplicate data like company and contact information is a waste of space and causes unnecessary frustration among employees that use this data. This duplicity occurs when companies change business names, move addresses or even transfer phone numbers. It is pertinent that all the data that is stored in your CRM system is clean and unique.
13. Create and make use of a Universal Customer ID (UCID)
With the help of a UCID, customer data can be mapped across different marketing channels and internal systems and enables the generation of a holistic 360-degree view of every customer. This eventually provides companies the ability to respond to each customer’s unique needs.
14. Track each website visitor individually
It is vital that every user is tracked when they come to the website so as to get a better understanding of them on an individual level and tailor marketing initiatives to their specific needs.
15. Accuracy surpasses all
So as to capture more specific and quality customer data, incentive programs need to be built for customers.
16. Thorough understanding of data handling
The best way to come up with a data management strategy is to first conduct a damage assessment and only then pick the processes that will help fix it.
17. Put into effect a data governance process and strategy
Too often proper safeguards are not put in place to prevent data corruption which results in a limited ability to effectively communicate and engage with the customers. Bad data also results in a loss of money during up-selling or cross-selling opportunities that are missed.
18. Identify, justify and segregate data
Identify the data type you want to store, justify the reason you need it and segregate the data into divisions of gender, age, geo-location, etc. This data can be about your current customers or even your potential ones.
19. Move data to a database system
People still use Excel spreadsheets to save customer data which needs to stop as there is no way to control access to it. The database will help centralize data, assign different access rights to particular individuals in the company and aid in finding the data that you need as soon as it is needed.
20. Segment customers across different categories
Over categorize your customer data in order to empower marketing, sales and service teams to make smarter and more impactful actions.
The top way to leverage customer data is by turning it into value for customers. When the ideal customer is understood, they can be enticed with an offer that suits their needs and wants – which in turn gives your sales a boost. Through active customer data management, your company will be able to attract new customers, identify trends, build customer loyalty, and increase the value of each customer.