Your customers expect you to keep their data safe. In the world of customer privacy, legislation is constantly changing, and it is your responsibility to keep up with it.
Data Privacy Laws
Privacy laws differ from state to state with 25 to 30 states practicing data privacy legislation. While the best way to ensure compliance is work with an attorney, some steps to properly collect data include:
- Establish customer consent. You must notify your customers before collecting data.
- Define how data is collected. Establish the steps you will take to collect your customers’ data and explain how the data will be used. Transparency is key.
- Ensure customers have easy access to their data at any given time. Customers will trust you more when they know how their data is being used.
- Responsibly dispose of data. Keep the data you need, and thoroughly delete the data you don’t.
Keep in mind that customers can deny you the opportunity to process their data, at any time. When this happens, it is your responsibility to make sure the request is completed.
The Five Blessings of Customer Data Privacy
Stricter privacy laws can make collecting data harder to accomplish, but there are blessings too.
- Understand each individual customer in ways you couldn’t before. The best organizations have integrated all their data onto a single base. This allows them to unify the data and understand their customers across the sea of touch points.
- Improve customer experiences. Though chatbots, customer support lines, and online chats are all good ways to help your customer find the information and answers they need, they can still cause stress if not integrated. With data integration, employees can easily check a customer’s past conversations right away, without asking them redundant questions.
- Automated messaging systems can be enhanced. In other words, the chatbot on your help page will have enhanced access to your customer’s information, improving your customer’s experience by giving them better help.
- Understand customer preferences at scale. The best customer data platforms today have the ability to perform predictive analytics and other types of analysis on customer behavior.
- Demand from state legislators for customer data privacy. By giving your customer full control of their data with a portal on your website, you can build trust in your company.
Making This All Work With AI
Cookies will soon be unsupported by Google and other major media companies. This is going to re-shape how businesses collect information. Instead of cookies, you will have to establish a page or portal for customers to give you permission to use their data, and catalog each form of consent. Some rights your customers should have include:
- Ability to update their own data: Right to go in the portal and change their data.
- Pause the use of their data: Right to temporarily withdrawal data from use.
- Freedom to be forgotten: Right to expel their data from any system.
Below are a series of ways that your company can prepare for future data privacy regulations and data use cases.
- Map your data sources. Map any current integrations, and learn to understand API documentation. Do everything you can to understand how data flows around your organization.
- Understand what you have in personal identifiable information (PII). This includes social security numbers, credit card information, and other personally identifiable data you might not always need for marketing. Depending on what industry you’re in, you will not want this information anywhere near your customer data platform (CDP).
- Establish a taxonomy for how you categorize data. This way, machines can better understand what they are reading.
- Prioritize transformation. Talking to different business units will allow you to understand where action needs to be taken immediately.
When evaluating AI tools, take a step back. Look at the amount of data you have, what kind of data you have, and what you want to do with it. Don’t hesitate to hire an IT person to help implement and choose the right system to integrate your data before investing in an AI solution.
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Bethany is an intern for Ready North and Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. She is a student at Mount Union.