The GDPR caused huge change for the business world when it came into effect in May of this year. As steps have been taken to try and accommodate the requirements of the GDPR we have seen many organisations forced to completely rethink the way that they handle individual data. The GDPR is designed to cover personal data – and, by default, any data that ends up in your CRM will be personal data. So, what has this meant for CRM since the GDPR arrived and what changes have we seen in response to the new regulation?
What is the GDPR designed to do?
It is an EU regulation intended to give individuals more control over their own data. It requires businesses to take a “privacy by design” approach and improve security in place to protect data that is collected and held. It also introduced a number of key rights for consumers, including the right to be forgotten and have data deleted, the right to data portability and the right to fully and accurately consent before data is obtained.
What changes has the GDPR introduced for CRM?
92% of companies use a database to store customer information so the impact of the GDPR is far reaching. Legal consequences for not complying with the GDPR can be financially costly and there is no get out for smaller or newer businesses. So, GDPR compliance has been an essential step for virtually every organisation – and there are some ways in which changes to CRM now make this much simpler.
The GDPR necessitated a total rethink of the way that consent can be obtained, requiring it to be more much proactive and specific. Consent can also be withdrawn by consumers and may expire after a certain period of time – all of which make it crucial for consent management to be a business priority. A CRM can now digitally record consent – providing the date on which consent was given, the specific reason for which it was given and the source of the consent. It can be used to create an electronic trail of consent that enables both proof that it was obtained and also management of it should anything change.
Giving consumers the tools to opt-in to marketing is crucial for the GDPR compliance. It can also create a much more engaged customer base, as those who receive your communications are actively choosing to do so. A CRM is crucial for managing opting-in – it can now provide evidence that the opt-in exists and create preferences in terms of the type of communication customers want to receive, as well as tools for updating any changes to those preferences.
Perspective on existing contacts
The GDPR is designed to prevent a situation where businesses are simply sitting on hundreds of old contacts and databases are full and not secure. Changes to CRM mean systems can now give businesses the tools to organise databases, to evaluate the information that is there and to delete or update it where necessary. The result is databases that are not only GDPR compliant but better optimised and organised too.
If your business is still struggling with GDPR compliance – or the organisational challenges the regulation has introduced – the right CRM could be the key. Contact us to find out how a comprehensive CRM solution can help better support your business.