How will GDPR affect your CRM?

Most sales and marketing companies in Europe and the U.K. have been affected by the GDPR. The GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, strengthens data protection for citizens of the EU.

When companies collect data on EU citizens, there has to be transparency in regard to what data is being collected and for what purpose.

This regulation will definitely affect marketers and specifically those who work on a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) platform. While protection is vital in the digital age, you need to know how to work the GDPR into your CRM structure.

Here are the effects of GDPR CRM.

gdpr crm

The Core Principles

Here are the core principles concerning individual’s rights with the GDPR. This is a good place to start so you can easily become familiar with the GDPR:

  • The right to be informed – when disclosure is needed on how you’re using personal data.
  • The right of access – individuals have the sole right to their personal data.
  • The right to rectification – If data is incomplete or incorrect, an individual can have their data removed or amended.
  • The right to erasure – you may be restricted from processing personal data if the individual requires the deletion of their data.
  • The right to restrict processing – you may not process the individual’s data after it’s stored should the individual request it.
  • The right to data portability – individuals can re-use their own data across different services.
  • The right to object – the right of individuals to decline their data being used for profiling, marketing or processing.
  • Rights for automated decision-making and profiling – when processing is automated, individuals aren’t subject to an unchecked, automated decision that might be potentially damaging.

The GDPR is Technically Not New

You can look at the GDPR as a subset of the DPD (Data Protection Directive) which was established in 1995. This law protected the processing of personal data.

Since the mass adoption of consumer marketing in the digital age, there has been a somewhat grey area regarding data protection.

Since the GDPR is established to cover personal data processing in a digital format, and since digital has been replacing all technology, the GDPR will ultimately replace the DPD.

GDPR and Marketing Practices

While you respect the personal data of your customers, the GDPR will require you to re-visit the channels of collecting customer information. You’ll have to go and make sure the methods of collecting data and what you do with the data corresponds to the GDPR.

GDPR CRM will be heavily be impacted. But this regulation covers even the simplest forms of data management such as website contact forms and email marketing tools.

GDPR Doesn’t Only Pertain to Europe

When making sure your marketing practices comply with the GDPR, you’re probably thinking this only applies to European and British customers. You might think you’re off the hook with American and other international customers.

However, the international market is also affected by the GDPR. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, the GDPR monitors how you process data, not where your clients live.

To comply with GDPR CRM guidelines and maintain provable records when working with international clients, ensure contact and privacy statements state how you are using their information and where it is being stored.

GDPR CRM and the Effects

The GDPR will affect how you handle, collect, and process data from your customers. This will impact your CRM and CRM tools, and you need to be sure your current CRM will comply with all GDPR regulations.

What needs to be considered:

  • Storing data – you need to be sure encrypted data is authorized and processed with the correct authorization.
  • The kind of data you’re storing and collecting – you have to justify that the data you’re collecting is necessary to run your business.
  • Processing data – processing of data should be conducted so the data can no longer be attributed to a subject without additional information.
  • Data transfer – if data requires transferring, it’s required to be encrypted.
  • Accessing data – you need to decide who has access to your customers’ data and who doesn’t have access.

If You Develop Your Own CRM Software

If you run your own CRM software or have a similar type of software that is necessary to run your business, you need ‘privacy by default’ and ‘privacy by design’ GDPR CRM built in. This means automatically applying the strictest privacy settings.

This includes when a customer acquires a product and these privacy features continue to apply after the product is purchased.

Specific Areas of Your CRM Affected by the GDPR

Your Website

It’s more important now than ever to inform your customers that your website uses cookies if it does. This includes your mobile website.

Are you unsure about the purpose of cookies in website data? Cookies collect behaviour on your website. This helps marketers understand what their customers are doing on their website and how to tailor their marketing strategy to their website visitors. This not only improves marketing effectiveness but also the customer and user experience of websites.

However, customers must now know that their behaviour is being monitored. Therefore, consent is required.

Have a disclaimer on your website, but make disabling cookies an available option. Or, you can simply ask if they have consented to use your website with cookies enabled.

Email Marketing

Your email marketing initiatives are more important than ever.

The GDPR is cracking down on unsolicited email marketing. If you’re sending emails to people who have been sitting in your account for years, they may be putting your marketing emails in the trash. If you do not have any permission information then you need to contact these customers to get the right permissions in place.

You should receive consent from your customers when adding them to your email marketing campaign. And not only consent to receive your emails, but specifically how you’re marketing to them and how you’re using their data.

Similar documentation is required if you use or are buying lists from a third-party.

Now Your CRM is Ready for GDPR

The vast majority of marketers and service-based companies hold on to information from their customers.

If GDPR regulations are scaring you, the easiest aspect about GDPR to keep in mind is that more transparency is required between you, your customer and their personal data.

Make sure consent is always given and that you can provide proof of permission and documentation to outline what you’re doing with personal data.

If you’re looking for a CRM platform, we have developed manual and automated solutions to help you comply with GDPR regulations. Click below to find out more.