Customer Journeys in 2018: Forget your customers

Customer Journeys in 2018: Forget your customers

In this series, we’ll tell you more about the four trends that will influence your customer journey in 2018. Yesterday, we wrote about why mobile banking will explode this year. Today, we’ll dive into data, privacy, and customer awareness.

This year, a lot will change in how we handle data. You’ve probably heard that on May 25, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect. This regulation applies to any organization that handles personal data within the European Union. The goal is to reinforce and expand citizens’ privacy. As a result, organizations will carry responsibility for the security of their customer data.

The consumer is in control

If your organization isn’t able to prove it has permission to store consumer data, you’ll face high fines of up to 4 percent of yearly revenue. For your customers, withdrawing their approval should be just as easy as giving consent.

Thanks to GDPR, consumers will gain some rights: the right to erasure (of personal data) and the right to data portability (in a standardized format). The benefit for consumers? They’ll be able to easily transfer their data to similar services. This puts the consumer in control of which companies are allowed to store their data, and which aren’t.

As many people in the Netherlands still have inactive data profiles across the web, customer databases will likely decrease in size. Win-back campaigns for former or inactive customers will no longer be an option when this group has decided to erase their personal data. For marketeers, winning back past customers will thus become an even bigger challenge.

Don’t forget your onboarding campaign either: tell new customers how and where you store their data right away. Otherwise, they might feel offended later on, which could lead them to delete their profile.


Chatbot data

Setting up a space where costumers can view, edit, delete, or transfer their personal data is another thing that’s relevant for (CRM) marketeers. These preference centers will have to be adapted or, in many cases, still have to be developed.

Offering (data) transparency to consumers will have several consequences. Many people are unaware of how much of their personal data is being collected. When this amount turns out to be more than expected, a Big Brother feeling could damage your brand’s reputation. This effect can manifest itself in the size, and thus usefulness, of your customer database.

It’s wise to approach innovation projects from a GDPR perspective, too. As an example, let’s pick chatbots, which many Dutch organizations have been experimenting with. These virtual assistants are frequently employed as support for customer service. Consequently, chatbots often handle personal data. For innovation projects like these, it’s good to do a quick GDPR check before building your chatbot:

  • Which: Which data will you collect? Which of that data is personal and sensitive?
  • When: When will you store data? Before starting a conversation? Are you asking the user for permission? Are you informing them?
  • Where: Where will you store data? Where can users see and change this data? Can a conversation be deleted? What is being done to secure the data?
  • Why: What is the goal of storing this data?
  • Who: Who within my organization can view this data?

Answering these questions will result in a good data plan for your bot. If, during the year ahead, you’re expecting to welcome new customers, make sure you give them transparency about the personal data you store. Offering transparency too late could mean you’ll lose customers.

Curious about other digital trends in 2018? Our next article in this series addresses how augmented reality is changing the customer journey. Are you ready for branded filters and zapp codes?