Meeting the immediate challenges of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements may have passed, yet according to Gartner, 75% of the world population will fall under privacy regulations by 2024. Businesses should understand that treating personal data and information from customers with diligence and care is not only a legal duty but is crucial to business operations. However, are we still treating data security and privacy as a necessary obligation or because we value and respect customers and see a chance to strengthen those relationships?
Consent management covers the flow of consent in its entirety. It is about deciding which type and the extent of permissions organizations would like to obtain from their partners and customers to interact and communicate with them through desired channels.
Organizations that successfully interact with their customers outperform the market. They use relevant customer data and choose the correct channel, message and moment to get in touch with customers. In other words, they build relationships. A tailored approach to product information and recommendations, individual feedback options on services received or personalized messaging are just a few examples.
Investing in a consent strategy and architecture is where you must start. There is no excuse these days for being unable to contact and communicate with customers. Giving consent should be easy for customers, and at the same time, it should be a lever for the organization asking for consent. Customers should not feel invited to “opt out” of communicating with the organization. Customers should understand why “opting in” to direct communication with an organization has numerous benefits.
Consent management affects all steps within the customer journey and enables benefits such as personalized playlists on music platforms and invite-only events for members. In short, understanding a customer’s needs is the first step in designing an impactful consent management strategy.
With state-of-the-art technology available, implementing proper consent management may be overwhelming. We suggest starting by seeing IT as an enabler and functioning in tandem with business, joined together for a holistic view of customer needs.
Do not see IT as a barrier or, even worse, blame IT for the shortcomings of an ill-defined privacy framework and consent management strategy. The same holds for the establishment of the corresponding governance. Cross-functional involvement of experts is critical in developing a holistic solution that is welcomed by customers and finds acceptance in the market.
Another consideration for designing a consent management strategy is not leaving your client-facing staff alone in handling consent management. There will always be new questions and a lot of needed support. Stakeholders from across the organization can provide added value if consulted. Reporting and monitoring may be automated, integrated and thoroughly discussed. Still, the field staff, product experts, customer service employees – any group in the organization that builds trust with the customers – must be aware of the benefits of giving consent. And it’s good to keep in mind that, at least to some extent, business development is the responsibility of every employee.
Your employees’ diligence, care and respect will make a difference on your road to sustainable success, and last but not least, the number of people opting in with a “yes.”