Any business, whether operating in the eCommerce or service sector or trading in B2B or B2C will have to store customer data.
This guide will highlight the role General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has to play in maintaining your CRM system, how it impacts UK brands and other vital information you need to be aware of to ensure you’re doing the right thing by your customers or clients when processing personal data.
What is GDPR in Simple Terms?
GDPR compliance became a legal requirement for all UK businesses (and any other company serving a European audience) in May 2018.
This legislation acts as a data protection law safeguarding consumers and employees. Brands with access to anyone’s personal data have to comply with the following consumer rights:
1) The Right to be Informed
When you are processing data about consumers interacting with your brand, you must inform them of how their information is being processed and how it will be used.
2) The Right to Access
Access rights refer to the consumers’ legal right to see the data management process, what personal data of theirs is being held and any additional relevant information.
3) The Right to Rectification
If you are informed by a consumer that the information you have stored about them is either incomplete or inaccurate, you must update your systems and notify any third parties that you have disclosed the information to accordingly.
4) The Right to Restrict
Once consumers know what personal data your brand has on file about them, they have the right to ask you to suppress or stop processing specific information.
5) The Right to Erasure
Also referred to as the ‘right to be forgotten,’ if requested, you must remove and destroy all personal information connected to the requestee.
This includes any data that can lead to the identified or identifiable natural person. It would be impossible to remove anonymised information connected to the person submitting the data removal request.
6) The Right to Portability
If requested, you must provide access to personal data for the consumer to use themselves.
7) The Right to Object
All consumers have the right to object to the processing and management of their personal information. You must provide this option before processing and benefitting from their data.
8) The Right Not to be Subject to Automated Decision-Making
All brands making use of data under GDPR protection must have security processes in place to prevent potentially dangerous automated decision making occurring.
How Does GDPR Affect Businesses in the UK?
The legislation affects all employee and customer data processing and ensures data security remains top of mind for all businesses.
If you collect the following sensitive data from your customers or potential customers, you will be subject to data protection laws and will have to abide by the eight principles mentioned above:
- Email address
- Full name
- IP address
- Phone number
- Other contact details that make a consumer personally identifiable.
What Kind of Data is Used in CRM?But where do CRM systems factor into all of this? The right CRM system will compile information on every touch point of your customers’ journey. This sensitive data can be used by the sales team, marketing department, customer services and more (depending on the way it was obtained, of course).
What is the Relationship Between GDPR and CRM?Data like those mentioned earlier is vital for consumer communication and positive experiences for your customers, not to mention saving your employees valuable time in their daily activities. GDPR compliance means you need to ensure that your CRM system keeps this information safe and secure.
What is CRM Information Security?A GDPR-compliant CRM system will provide the benefit of the following multilevel security features:
Attack DefencesAccording to the BBC, concerns over cyber security have intensified with the rise in remote working. Hacks and other cyber threats are a real concern and challenge for any brand, particularly those that store consumer data. Most CRM systems are programmed with secure walls to help protect your system, and most importantly any data subject to GDPR regulations.
Authentication (Including Two-Factor Authentication)One way to enhance the protection of your customer data is to implement authentication processes such as two-factor authentication via your CRM software. While a little fiddly, it is a relatively simple way for your staff to access your CRM system while making it difficult for hackers to enter. User access includes logging into the system and then inputting a code sent directly to your phone or email. It’s kind of like a double opt-in. While no system is ever 100% secure, two-factor authentication makes the lives of hackers much more challenging.
EncryptionEncryption is vital, particularly for brands operating a remote working policy. Remote working means that your CRM system will need to be compatible with being accessed from numerous locations. Data encryption performed by a CRM translates all of the information into code and it is only translated back into legible data with the correct password.
Offline ModeSome CRM solutions can have limited access to information in offline mode. That means that if your employee should have their machinery stolen from them, hackers can’t get their hands on valuable customer data.
Strong Password PolicyPerhaps the most secure way to effectively manage customer data is by implementing a strong password policy for anyone actively using your CRM database. A GDPR-compliant CRM system will identify if a password chosen by an employee would be easy for a hacker to figure out and nudge them to think of something stronger. Some simple rules to include in your password policy are:
- Requiring a minimum of six characters,
- Preventing the same password being used twice, and
- Requiring the use of digits, symbols and letters.
Benefits of GDPR-Compliant CRM SystemsCRM helps ensure greater control over who has what access to your customers’ information. Some of the benefits of opting for a CRM solution that is GDPR-compliant include:
- Better customer relationships: Trust is a major factor when it comes to not only convincing a consumer to invest in your products or service but also when it comes to enticing them to return to your store to reinvest. Shoppers need to believe that their information is safe with you.
- Clear boundaries: If a consumer provides their email address for email marketing use, it would be inappropriate for you to send direct mail to their doorstep. The best CRM solutions make it clear what methods of communication your customers have opted in and, more importantly, out of.
- Updates across the board: If a consumer initiates their right to be forgotten, a CRM system is a simple and straightforward way to ensure that all of their personal information is removed.
- Access restrictions: There will be specific employee and customer data that only certain members of your personnel should have access to. With a CRM system, you can easily manage who does and doesn’t have access to sensitive information.
CRM Solutions From NoBlue
If you are planning to upgrade your Customer Relationship Management system, opting for a solution that can ensure compliance with GDPR regulations will be vital.
At NoBlue, we take customer data consent management seriously. As NetSuite Partners, we can help ensure you invest in the right system for your company’s needs.
While we can assist any industry, we specialise in providing CRM solutions for the:
- Fashion and apparel,
- Software and IT,
- Professional services,
- Wholesale distribution,
- Media and publishing, and
- Food and beverage sectors.
Why not drop us a line to see how we can help you to improve efficiencies in line with GDPR regulations?