Do you know that the personal information of your clients and consumers is actually the new oil of this digital world? In the contemporary world, everything runs on the data. For instance, when you subscribe to ESPN on DirecTV, they have your personal information. It is inevitable for businesses to process and collect consumer data. It is powerful and valuable information for them. But some recent events have proved that even the biggest brands of the world are vulnerable and this can violate the trust of customers.
Why is Customer Trust Important?
It is a lesson that should be taken seriously by businesses. With governments investing heavily in the digital industry and innovation, business leaders should try to distinguish themselves in areas like data security and customer privacy. If you are a business owner, you need to understand the psyche of a modern consumer. They would understand that businesses want to use their personal information as long as they deliver better and more personalized services and products. Because this makes their lives easier. You can take the instances of traffic alerts, weather alerts, song recommendations and so on. However, if this doesn’t happen, it would compromise the customer trust very easily.
What Can You Do?
In order to safeguard the customer data, you have to maintain proper checks. You don’t want things to go sideways. You need to be particularly diligent here. Because in the communications handbook, if your business is unable to protect your customer information, the following could be the consequences:
- You can forfeit billions in the market value.
- Your brand reputation can be squandered.
- You can be hauled to face the industry regulators and eventually the courts.
You don’t want any of this. So, let’s discuss what we can do.
Proactive Approach to Customer Data Protection
Do you know that governments across the globe are devising new regulations on the collection, usage, and storage of customer data? For instance, according to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of Europe, any EU consumer can pull all their data from any company at any time. this is just one instance. Other countries are regulating these rules in other ways. If you are a business owner, it’s time to implement a diligence process effectively.
If your customer data goes into wrong hands, none of your claims will matter anymore. You need to take prior measures to protect your customer data.
- Exercise the due diligence and it will improve protection your customer data.
- It will also ensure the impact on the business from the perspective of brand-reputation and law is mitigated. That is, if and when any such disaster strikes.
Know Who You Are Doing Business With
The news is full of high-profile breaches in customer information and security. When it comes to data privacy, the discussion revolves around “how to protect yourself from hackers.” It’s like installing top-notch alarm systems and then inviting some stranger to dinner!
If for any reason, you are transferring your confidential customer information to any third party, you are obliged to make sure that it is safe. You may trust your vendors and partners. But make it mandatory to verify terms of security. Because if something goes wrong, it will become a mess for you. We are only saying it in light of recent events. You don’t want to end up as a failure.
Your customers will blame you. Because they know you and trusted you. They didn’t know this other company. In the current business environment, competitiveness makes you tempted whenever a new vendor offers a new solution. Especially when they claim that their solution will cut your costs by almost half. Or, they will help you improve the customer experience immensely or, provide new and better insights. Don’t be influenced with that temptation, and always make a thorough research about the new vendor’s background. Especially if you haven’t heard their name before. As for solid referrals and get to know about their physical office location.
Get More than Just a Signature
Every single day, lawyers are reviewing contracts between vendors and companies. All the clauses clearly seem to outline everything about how to use customer data. The clauses are well versed, instructing clearly, and comprehensive. All signed properly and contractually bound!
But what’s the point of this paper? Do you know that most of the indemnity clauses are usually capped? It is highly unlikely that you will receive the actual value of the damage done to your business reputation in case of mishandling by a vendor. So, invest some significant effort and time ensuring that your vendors are well aware of and abide by those terms.
Regular auditing is a good idea. Verify that vendors are effectively guarding your customers’ information. On an individual basis, for instance, you can ask your showtime Comcast whether your customer information is protected. What are their policies and are they sharing it with a third party? Making a little effort will save you from something big!