GDPR and CRM: Maintaining Customer Relationships | DMA

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GDPR and CRM: Maintaining Customer Relationships


Companies are at pains to retain the wealth of information they hold on their customers now that GDPR data regulations are in force. Yet customer relationship systems typically don’t provide for the personal data controls that are now needed. So what are companies to do? Consentric’s Andy Green weighs up the options

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems provide an invaluable central hub for businesses that need to store and organise customer data. This information might be used in marketing promotions, or in sales contact and customer care activities, via links to respective software applications.

As a result, the CRM database is an important starting point for setting appropriate controls around capture and use of personal data, particularly in the light of enhanced consumer data rights under the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This requires a level of sophistication that most CRM systems do not provide for as standard. For instance, assignment of permissions to particular purposes and the lawful basis being applied (there are six possibilities: consent, contract, legitimate interest, vital interest, legal obligation and public interest) in order to keep communication channels open with customers.

The good news is that, rather than try to develop their own capabilities for managing all of this, it is possible to plug in purpose-built capabilities designed as add-ons to popular CRM systems such as Salesforce.

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