April 20, 2017

How can GDPR improve your customer experience?

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Maria Nordgren

VP, Sales, Security Services, Tieto

Imagine it’s the summer of 2018. The GDPR is fully enforced, and thanks to the regulation, you are beating your competition by making your customers happier than ever. How could that happen?

Typically, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is considered a burden imposed upon us by the EU. Yes, implementing it is indeed a considerable challenge for every organization that handles personal data. But that is not the whole truth.

It is more useful and encouraging to look at the implications of GDPR as a business opportunity. This way your scope will not be limited to seeing just a pile of tasks that must be done in order to comply. Instead, with each step towards compliance you should constantly keep the customer in your focus: How can I improve the customer experience through the things I do?

1. Empower and build trust

Currently, you may still have a less than perfect way to inform your customers how you collect, handle, and store their personal data. Under GDPR, you are required to ask for explicit consent and clarify how you use the customers’ data and make sure it always remains secure.

On top of that, you should let customers review their data anytime they like, ask for updates of their data and even allow full erasure upon request.

Turn these tough requirements into new strengths.  

Empower your customers by proving them that they truly have ownership of their personal data. They will feel happy about your transparency.  

Compare this to the present situation: Way too often it is hard for the customer to even realize when their consent is asked or when they make a binding contract concerning their sensitive data and what will happen to it.

In this context, if your competitor appears obscure and vague, and gives the impression of being hideous, while you are transparent and empowering: isn’t it obvious which one of you will shine in the eyes of the customer?

Another thing to consider is trust. Each step you take to be compliant, including all the improvements you make to the security of personal data, helps you build trust. Communicating your compliance allows you to emphasize your trustworthiness as a partner.  

And reliability is the basis of all lasting relationships. By implementing GDPR your “trust ranking” may climb higher than ever before.

2. A full view of each customer

The preparation for GDPR may force you to upgrade major IT systems that are obsolete or about to become such. This will be a blow for your budget in the short term, but in the long run it will do you good. Quite probably, your renewed IT will bring along plenty of ways to offer new solutions and services that benefit you and your customers.

Just think of the potential of consolidating data from deep silos into a uniform platform. This will enable a full 360 degree view of each customer. Visibility enables you to serve them better, to respond to their requests, to engage them in ways they prefer, to pinpoint their needs in one moment of time – and to be aware of any warning signals of churn.

Another aspect that is rarely mentioned is data portability. The GDPR demands that each customer must have the right to transfer their data anywhere they like (EU’s pdf about data portability).

Even this can be turned into a business benefit. OK, you are forced to create data assets that enable data portability. Whatever technical methods you choose to use, the result will be a more agile and future-proof system, even if no-one ever wishes to move their data.

And we should not forget this important bonus: You become ready to receive data transferred from a competitor and get the data histories of your new customers!

Excel in GDPR, and it will not take long before new customers are flocking on your doorstep.

Interested in hearing more? Please, join our localized webinars about GDPR and its business implications. The first one will take place in Finnish on the 11th of May, in Swedish on the 23rd and in Norwegian on the 24th of May.

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