Is your dealership geared up for GDPR? - NextGear Capital Ireland
There is still a year to go, but it’s never too early to start preparing your dealership for the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which will replace the Data Protection Act 1998.
As an article on AM-online explains, customer databases are invaluable to dealerships, which depend on them for marketing their products and services. However, failure to comply with the GDPR could lead to severe penalties, such as bans from processing data, and fines of up to 4% of a business’ global yearly turnover.
Some of the regulations that dealerships will need to adhere to include:
- Providing privacy notices at the point at which a customer’s personal details are collected.
- Giving customers the opportunity to object to marketing communications at the point of data collection.
- Making customers aware if automated processes, such as profiling, are used and offering the choice to opt-out.
- Reporting serious data breaches within 72 hours of becoming aware of the incident.
- Carrying out regular and methodical data monitoring processes on a large scale, potentially designating this duty to a single person within the company.
- Keeping an internal record of processing activities, such as customer transactions, together with other information required under the regulations
- Demonstrating compliance through organisational and technical processes.
The new rules grant more control to the customer, who will be given the right to demand inaccuracies to be corrected, for details to be deleted, and for direct marketing to be stopped. They will also have the right to withdraw consent, transfer data to another body, and data portability – it will be down to dealers to implement processes which enable them to deal with such requests.
The GDPR may seem daunting, however, the new rules shouldn’t require an overhaul of your current processes for capturing and using data. Hopefully, you’ll just need to make a few tweaks; the earlier you do this, the better.
Reviewing your strategy
With the new rules coming into force next year, now is the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your data capture strategy.
You may want to assess your touch-points and identify opportunities to confirm contact details with existing customers. Checking that all data is accurate and up-to-date will ensure that your future marketing efforts aren’t in vain.
Other steps include making sure that customers can easily submit details via your website, and ensuring your dealer management system is robust and that data from all telephone enquiries is sufficiently logged.
Capturing quality data will allow you to gain a better understanding of your customers, which will lead to more effective marketing and ultimately, encourage more sales.