Managing Customer Data Post-Brexit
Now the UK is no longer part of the EU, the EU GDPR regulations don’t apply to UK businesses – but you still need to meet the EU data security regulations if you wish to operate in, or conduct business with, clients who are in the EU. And if your business only operates within the UK, you must comply with UK data privacy laws – including secure customer data management.
But what is customer data management? And what is the best way to ensure that your business remains compliant post-Brexit?
What is customer data management?
Customer data management involves acquiring, organising and using customer data to better understand them, with a goal to increase conversions and customer retention.
Benefits of customer data management
When done properly, customer data management can offer your business a whole host of benefits, including:
- Gathering useful reports on customers to discover new ways to improve your services and products – leading to an increase in sales and profits.
- Avoiding duplicate data and the collection of irrelevant/junk information to improve efficiency and processes.
- Ensuring compliance and security by standardising and centralising data, helping your business to adhere to data privacy laws.
Secure customer data management with Virtual Cabinet
How can you stay compliant with UK data privacy laws?
Changes to UK data privacy laws are affecting businesses across the country. But with the help of Virtual Cabinet, you can ensure that your business’ customer information management system remains compliant…
The Virtual Cabinet audit trail function provides a full history of a document that you can access at any given time – a single source of truth. So whenever businesses are audited, or need to prove that they have or haven’t done something, they have one centralised trail that they can refer back to.
With Virtual Cabinet, you can make sure that as much of this process is as automated as possible. For example, as you create a tax return, the customer data management system steps in, grabs it and puts it in a centralised location for the compliance officer. Any action that has been made on or towards a document is recorded – from when it’s been seen and who’s received it to any minor changes that have been made. That way, you have documented proof that something did or didn’t happen, should you need to refer back to it.
With access controls, you can segregate documents depending on their security needs to manage who internally gets to access certain information. For example, highly sensitive individuals and documents can be marked – e.g., customer data – and can be protected against certain employees. Access controls allow businesses to be automatically compliant and protect people’s privacy.
As of yet, Brexit has had no real effect on the UK data privacy laws – and therefore document retention periods are not affected – but various industries still have different retention periods for certain documents. For example, accountancy firms have to keep documents for seven years in total. After this period, the client can choose what they want to do with those documents – be that keep them or destroy them. Some industries are required to delete or refresh files after a certain time period, such as proof of ID. Virtual Cabinet allows businesses to index these documents within the customer data management system and can provide you with a lifecycle – so that in X-years’ time, the files will be segmented or automatically deleted. All you need to do is pass on your retention policies to Virtual Cabinet and our experts will build your custom customer data management system based off those requirements.
The destroy function within Virtual Cabinet can also keep everything neat and tidy for you, making managing customer data easy. Even if it’s not part of your compliance, you can regularly and automatically clear out documents of a certain age without the need for admin. This function deletes previous versions of the document and takes them off the database, removing any mention of the file. Anything that isn’t marked as permanent will be removed in every possible way, helping to save file space and meet the parameters of UK data privacy laws.
Are there certain processes you have to follow within your business when managing customer data? Virtual Cabinet ensures that users are completing all the right steps with a document (e.g., making sure they send it to the right people before passing it on) by creating bespoke workflows to your business, or even a type of file that you may use. This workflow automation helps you tick off all the boxes in your process and ensure compliance at every step of the way.
Managing customer data is much easier when it’s all done for you. There are many features that users can automate within Virtual Cabinet – from document retention and workflows to security and automatic filing. With automated security, your compliance officer knows that certain teams can only see certain documents – no crossover, no confusion. As for automated filing, without the need for manual admin, there’s no risk of filing documents in the wrong area. That way, you can ensure that your documents are in the right place and seen by the right people.
While it may not be a legal requirement for all industries, version control can help to prove when and why a document change has been made. For example, during the contract creation process there will be many amendments made to a single file, and you can review these changes if necessary. With Virtual Cabinet, you can keep track of changes over time, set permissions and rollback to an earlier version in the system.
There are many aspects of Virtual Cabinet that provide security – you can keep sensitive data protected, improve controlled access and see audit trails, all with the ISO27001 compliant software.
In particular, the secure client portal provides a safe place for file sharing with bank-level security. Documents in the portal, as opposed to email, are encrypted at rest and in transit, making it much harder for hackers to reach the information. The portal is ideal for sharing documents with external parties to ensure businesses remain compliant.
Managing customer data with Virtual Cabinet
Compliance needs vary from industry to industry, which is why it’s important to have a customer data management system that reflects the needs of every business. The Virtual Cabinet product is as compliant by design as possible – so that users can ensure that they, as businesses, are subconsciously doing things regulatory. Managing customer data is made easy with the right document management system.
Are you looking to develop your customer data management system? Book a FREE Virtual Cabinet demo today to find out how our document management software can help your business comply with UK data privacy laws.