For any online business collecting customer data is essential.
It is a crucial part of any business’s growth strategy in today’s world of digital marketing, branding, remarketing, lead generation and customer acquisition.
However, with the advent of the General Data Privacy Rights GDPR, things have gotten a little complicated.
Now the company’s cannot collect unnecessary data and need to follow strict rules to respect user privacy.
When a customer shares their information with a company, knowingly or unknowingly, they expect that it will not be tampered, abused, or messed with in any way.
Now that the GDPR is official, precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that your company or online business is violating any data protection and privacy laws or standards.
If you are not familiar with the policy, here is a short and straightforward explanation for you.
GDPR is a new set of rules and regulations designed and created to give citizens of the European Union control over their data. Its goal is to simplify the regulatory environment for companies and businesses; this way both the citizens and companies in the EU can fully benefit from the sizeable digital economy.
Dealing with customer data needs proper planning and execution. When done in the right way, it can help grow your business by increasing sales, marketing, promoting customer loyalty, and optimizing your sales processes.
Here, we are discussing some essential ways of collecting customer data for online businesses.
Furthermore, the points listed below will help you monitor and improve your data collection process and allow you to be more cautious when storing, selling, and utilizing customer data.
Here are some of the most important Dos and Don’ts of handling customer data:
1. Draft a Data Collection Plan
Creating a customer data collection plan and implementing it from day one should be your top priority. The sooner you collect data from your customers, the sooner you can use it for marketing and optimization. However, collecting data without proper planning, and knowledge of GDPR and other rules and regulation will cause you problems.
You should think carefully about how you will use that customer data, how you will deal with the data privacy as well as security concerns of your clients and customers. First Analyze the risks involved when dealing with user data and devise a strategy accordingly.
2. Thoroughly Understand Personal Data Rights
Understand the personal data and information rights of your customers and ensure that none of the rights is being violated. Please provide information about data usage. What user data is kept, how it is stored, and, who it is shared with. These are some of the main things that are required from your side as a business.
A user or a customer can also ask you to provide, remove, or delete their data or fix it as and when required by them. Personal data rights are descriptive and may vary area-wise. Similarly, it would be best if you made sure that the data you collect is in adherence to GDPR, as GDPR compliance is not a hindrance, instead it is a chance to better your data handling processes.
3. Work on Improving your Data Collection Processes
Consider data protection as an essential part of your business and invest in continually improving your data handling operations and processes as these data are the cornerstone of your marketing, strategizing, and customer acquisition strategies. Also, do educate your employees, data handlers, and stakeholders on data protection, privacy, and GDPR. It is integral to keep data protection and privacy a primary consideration in all business aspects.
4. Always Use your Customer’s Data Wisely
The customer data can be utilized to give a boost to your business. Collecting data just for the sake of obtaining it is useless. Analyze, the data, use it for, acquiring customers, generating marketing strategies, formulation of business plans, figuring out target markets, etc. Putting customer data to good use can give you an edge over your competitors. However, be sure to use the data in adherence to GDPR and data protection and privacy laws, be transparent on how you utilize it and also be sure to keep data security a significant concern.
5. Track Data Only with a Purpose
Don’t start collecting user data without a proper plan and purpose. Pre-plan your objectives for data usage, protection and privacy. Collecting user data and information is all well and good, but it will be useless to you if it is not utilized, strategized and planned. Diving blindly into data collection and acquisition without proper planning can do more harm than good.
6. Take Customer Requests into Account
If your customer makes a request or complaint regarding the data that you have kept, don’t ignore them and address them on top priority. Fulfil any data deletion, modification, and usage information requests that you may get from your customers and make sure you communicate well and erase their concerns.
7. Follow GDPR Rules & Regulations
8. Give Importance to Data Security
One of the most valuable assets of your business is user data, and protecting it is essential. Your user data should be one of your main priorities. Implement data safety, security, and backup protocols safeguards against data breaches, data theft, and make contingency plans against data loss. It is also an excellent idea to put a data security plan in place as it will help you to be vigilant and protect your asset.
To Sum It Up
These were some of the essential points on the right ways of handling customer data. Similarly, many data privacy and protection things need to be taken into account while strategizing for GDPR compliance.
This article’s main takeaway should be that before you start collecting data, take customer privacy into account, devise a proper plan, analyze the risks and benefits, don’t dive in headfirst. Managing, utilizing, and storing data correctly will lead you to endless possibilities for your business to improve and grow.