Most people by now will be aware of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is due to come into force on 25th May 2018. The GDPR addresses how personal data is obtained, stored and secured by businesses.
There is an abundance of information circulating about the impending GDPR, and lots of scaremongering about heavy fines for non-compliance. However, if you keep in mind the general ethos of these new rules; transparency and control – there are considerable benefits for customers and business alike.
The GDPR was published last year and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) are due to make some clarifications in December. However, there are a couple of simple steps that you can take now to make sure you’re on the right foot for May 2018:
1. Review and refine your data
Carry out an audit of your current customer databases. Under the GDPR you must be able to show how you got consent from individuals to send them information.
If you don’t have a record of this information you may need to gain their consent again.
This is an opportunity for you to cleanse your current database and only connect with individuals that are fully engaged - resulting in higher engagement overall.
2. Ask for permission
Review how you currently build your customer database. If you:
- Ask people's permission to send them information
- Tell them what you are going to do with their data
- Use language that is easy to understand
- No pre-ticked boxes
- Give people the option to ‘opt-out’
...then you are on track.
Being open and transparent about what you are doing with people's data will reinstall confidence and trust that you will use their information fairly.
3. Allow granular consent
Consider splitting your newsletter sign-ups into different sections. For example, to allow people to sign up only to certain topics or to be contacted in a certain way; by phone, email, etc.
This allows you to understand your customers more - allowing for more targeted marketing that they can relate to.
Following these simple steps will allow people to feel that they are taking back control over their personal information. By being clear about what you are doing with their personal data will help to instil trust in you as an organisation.
So, there’s no need to be put off by the scaremongering and by embracing the new GDPR rules, you can actually use them to your business’ advantage.