The increasing pressure for data preferences is not something that is set to slow down as we move through 2018 and beyond. We understand that the Comapi platform is an integral tool for you to manage your data, and the data and preferences of your customers. So we’ve made it as easy as possible for you.
First, just to clarify some jargon: Are we a controller or a processor? Well, for the data provided by our direct clients within the Comapi platform, Comapi is a data processor. For the data we hold on clients and prospects, we are a data controller. For the purposes of this blog, we are going to be talking about the data provided by you (the data on your customers). If you’d like to learn more about data we hold on our clients including yourselves, head over to our Trust Centre which should make everything clear. If not, don’t forget we are always happy to chat.
Secondly, let’s dispel a perception about data preferences. They’re not the end of the world. Sure, they give consumers ultimate control over who they hear from, especially in terms of marketing but they’re not going to do is stop you from contacting consumers and prospects in all absolute terms.
Is it the same rules for transactional and marketing?
There are no restrictions on operational or transactional messages (ie. your day-to-day customer service updates). And when it comes to marketing, if you have a good product, a good strategy, and content that provides value to your customers, you have nothing to worry about. The recent legislation is merely there to nudge companies towards good practice for customer relations, giving you higher quality leads, better open rates and improved interactions. If a customer or prospect has opted-in to hearing from you, they’re not going to view you as spam, nor are you going to fall into the abyss of white noise from other business. This is a great opportunity to streamline your interactions, which of course, at Comapi, we are all about! Worker smarter, not harder.
It’s likely that this is going to be a year where you take a closer look at your databases, so for that, you’re going to need ultimate control, which luckily, is exactly what we have provided. With the Comapi platform, you have full control and access to any of the data you have uploaded or captured, including the ability to search, import, export, delete contact profiles and modify as needed. And to reassure your customers, all data uploaded with the platform is kept within the platform. No third-party nonsense here.
For each of your customer profiles, you can manage how long the data is retained for, and how long the message history is retained for. This is set to default at 13 months, but you can increase or decrease this as you see fit. You will also be able to manage what your customers have opted in to, whether that is SMS, email, app messaging or Facebook Messenger; this is entirely customisable for each profile. This will help when it comes to Subject Access Requests, should you receive any.
Quick tip: when it comes to marketing communications, make sure you have an unambiguous and informed opt-in from your customers. For more information about what this means and how to make sure you are compliant with your communications, visit ico.org.uk. Don’t forget to reassure your customers they can opt-out at any time. Not only does it reassure them, but if they don’t want to hear from you, don’t waste any more of your time or money. Instead, focus on your more engaged customers or prospects.
This is also an opportunity to better understand your customers. If a certain demographic has opted in to SMS, but not email, or Facebook Messenger but not SMS, what are they telling you? Are they craving more formal communication, or more conversational? Are they put off by filling in forms on their phones and want a one-tap social log-instead? Do they want content from you to be briefer and more to the point or are they happy with the longer richer content that you provide? Preferences aren’t just telling you how you can and cannot contact consumers, they are giving you a better picture of the landscape that your business is in.
Do you take enough advantage of inbound?
There’s a lot of talk about getting customers to opt-in for outbound communication. But at Comapi, we think everything should be a conversation. There’s simply not enough focus on inbound. Do you encourage your customers and prospects to contact you?
There may be more restrictions on who and how you can reach out when it comes to outbound. But inbound has been overlooked and under-served for too long in business. When a customer reaches out to you, they are already invested in your product or service. Chances are, they’ve already had a look round your website, a spy on Twitter and a scan of your reviews. Are you doing all you can to encourage them to take the next step and contact you? This is where web chat really comes into play. With simple automated prompts (that respond accordingly, whether or not the user is known and returning or new), your conversion rate could sky rocket.
Where do conversations fall in to all this?
Web chat is great way to kindle conversation. That could be with agents, or if you’re ready for it, maybe a little help from a chatbot. And why yes, we do support the integration of them. Maybe a customer is a big texter – do you have the facilities to enable them to chat this way? Your agents can chat to your customers via SMS by letting them know they can reply to your messages about. For example, a text their order. You never know where these conversations may lead to. You can even integrate the Comapi platform into your own app and allow customers to message you there. Take every opportunity possible to call your customers to action and have them reach out to you.
And finally, the ‘right to be forgotten’
This sounds rather dramatic. But in this digital world, consumers have rights to be forgotten by companies. All this means is that if requested, a consumer’s data should be deleted and scrubbed clean. You just have to do the deleting, which we’ve made easier than ever for you to do. Then we do the scrubbing.
And that about covers it. Any questions? We’re always happy to hear from you.