Data collection used to be done only through face-to-face interaction and surveys. It was an intensive process that required a lot of resources. And not many companies, especially startups and small businesses, had the money, time and people to undertake such a difficult yet necessary process to marketing.
But this has changed today. Businesses now use different metrics to measure the success of a marketing strategy.
Beyond Data Collection
Marketing and business experts understand the value of data in growing a company. This is why professionals with the right credentials, from Masters of Science in Data Analytics to certifications in data management, are in demand and command lucrative compensation packages. These professionals not only know how to collect and process massive volumes of data, but they also know how to protect them.
Securing data isn’t just crucial for your customers, it’s also critical for your business. Brands that consistently manage to protect their customers information are trusted and will continue to invite more business.
How do you do the same for your company? Consider the following ways to protect your customers’ data:
Limit the Data You Collect From Your Customers
Ask only the truly important information you need from them, such as their name, email and phone number. Do you need to find out when their birthdays are? You should just ask the month and year, so you can send them a greeting and some coupons for their birthdays.
The more information you have about your customers, the more inviting you’re going to be to hackers and scammers. People will target your company because they know you hold complete information that will allow them to steal your customers’ identities.
Use Encryption Methods
Encryption involves an algorithm and a key. The process leaves you with cyphertext, which you can decode with the right key. You can encrypt email, devices and the data, of course. When dealing with sensitive data, try the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA); most security applications and protocols, like SSL and IPsec, use the SHA-1.
Hackers and scammers use sophisticated algorithms to hack into your systems. Make sure your encryption methods are equally sophisticated.
Invest in Your Customers
There should be a no-holds-barred policy when it comes to investing in your customer data protection. Your customers trust your company enough to spend on the products and services you create. You need to reciprocate this trust. Show your customers that you respect them by offering credit and warranties, extended post-sales services and data protection.
Most companies’ privacy policies are full of legalese. Customers won’t understand all the technical and legal jargon in your policy. You should publish the full policy in all its legal glory, but you should also come up with a summary of the key points.
Tell your customers why you collect such data and what you do with it. Ensure that their information is safe and secure. Let them know that this information will not be shared with any other company. Be straightforward with your customers.
Educate Your Employees
Your employees—from top to bottom—must understand the importance of protecting customer data. They must be careful when connecting new USB or other devices to their computers. They must know how to use encrypted information. You need to invest in your employees. Educate them about the different fraudulent schemes that cybercriminals use.
Data protection plays an integral role in the relationship between businesses and their customers. Since almost all businesses have online-based transactions with their customers, protecting digital data is now central to any company. It becomes the foundation of a customer’s decision to do business with you.