Managing Your Customer Data Without Chaos

In marketing and media, we not only use data from different sources, we also collect, analyse and use data to optimise campaigns for better results.

However, handling and management of these data is a very delicate and important role every brand or business must take seriously.

Below are some of our best practices in management of customer and marketing data:
1. Store your customers’ data securely and handle it responsibly.

Identify the types of data you collect and store, and the business tasks attached to each. If the data collected identifies a particular individual,
this data is considered personal information and requires special care and proper protections.

Protect personal data such as email addresses, phone numbers, passwords and login credentials (if your business has access to such data),
social security numbers and financial information. At a minimum, customer-provided data should be stored in a password-protected environment, accessed only via secure, encrypted networks like a VPN, and limited to authorized company devices and authorized employees.
Your employees should have access only to the data they absolutely need to complete their tasks. They should know what constitutes acceptable uses. Outline this in your company’s internal policies and procedures.

2. Be transparent with your customer: What data do you collect and why?

When getting your business up and running, privacy might be an afterthought.

Now that you know the type of data you are collecting, be sure your customer knows, too.

Does your website have a privacy notice? Does it clearly explain the data your customers are giving you permission to access or store, and why it is required for the transaction?
Make sure your data practices align with your privacy notice.

3. Delete customer data upon request

Some small-business CRMs allow you to delete or anonymize customer data. Consider adding or using this feature.
Include in your privacy notice a way for customers to easily request their data be removed from your systems and respond to verified requests promptly. This can be as simple as an email and a phone number to call with a specific request.
Your customers’ right to withdraw data is your responsibility to respect (and it’s likely to be included in any future national and state privacy laws). The practice also reduces storage costs and keeps your database neat and current.

4. Borrow existing protections for payment data
Payment processors and e-commerce sites have pioneered effective and secure management of customer data. Your best bet is to choose a reliable service provider that can extend that protection to both you and your customers.
Payment processors and e-commerce sites have pioneered effective and secure management of customer data. Your best bet is to choose a reliable service provider that can extend that protection to both you and your customers.
From global best practice, when building a payment system, insist on point-to-point encryption to thwart hackers. Use tokens instead of passing cardholder data, and EMV or chip cards to protect your business against the risk of fraud.
Unique pay URLs can offer secure transfer on invoices, and remote deposit allows you to shred checks promptly.
Take proactive steps to manage your customers’ data responsibly, and offer them full autonomy over their data.

Responsible handling of customers’ data is the right thing to do–and it can protect your business against costly exposure and reputational risks.

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