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GDPR Compliance: The most important guide you’ll use for CRM

By 18 April 2018June 8th, 2022No Comments

Businesses around the world are preparing themselves for the arrival of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For many the looming introduction may be met with a sense of unease as organisations find out how the changes pertain to them. However, with solid preparation and reliable CRM software, the arrival should be seen as an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive control of your data usage, effectively leveraging the potential benefits that exist for business and customer alike.

GDPR overview

The GDPR comes into effect on May 25 2018, with the aim of protecting citizens’ rights regarding the processing of their personal data. The new legislation will streamline regulation across EU member states, offering enhanced data protection across the region. All organisations that process EU citizens’ personal data are required to comply, regardless of where they are based. Failure to uphold the new regulation will result in fines of €20 million or 4% of global turnover, depending on which is of greater value. We wrote another blog that explains more about preparing your business for the new data regulations.

What is GDPR?

The core objective of GDPR is to give individuals more comprehensive rights to their data. The new changes afford customers the right to make requests on any data held on them, including the right to rectification, erasure, and objection, among others. If a data subject decides to make a request, there is a requirement to respond ‘without undue delay’.

SugarCRM is introducing new updates which contains essential CRM developments for data protection and privacy. The updates will take effect in the upcoming Spring Release, expected around the end of April.

This will offer the perfect infrastructure for executing and consolidating GDPR efforts, as well as providing a competitive advantage by enabling a better customer experience.

How can you make the new regulations work for you?

A quality CRM system provides capabilities above and beyond simply capturing data. By embracing the use of a CRM system like Sugar to comply with GDPR, it becomes possible to effectively manage the processes and procedures that will become a necessary part of running a business day-to-day. This should be seen as the ideal opportunity to provide customers with a better user experience. Use our blog on how to prepare your lists for CRM and Marketing, it’s one of our most visited posts.


How can CRM software help you with GDPR compliance?

One-time and ongoing GDPR requirements are easily met with the support of a strong CRM system. The CRM infrastructure can also help with one of the important points outlined in Article 12 of the new regulations: providing transparent information, communication and methods for the controller and processor. This enables controller and processor to support the data subject’s rights both initially as well as on an ongoing basis. SugarCRM further allows companies to process this in an efficient and timely manner, easily meeting the requirement that a company respond within a month of the customer request.

1. Avoid duplication across systems

It is important to remember that CRM is just one of the IT systems that will be processing personal data. The SugarCRM system infrastructure is perfect for satisfying many GDPR requirements in its use of personal data as well as consolidating other internal IT systems’ in accordance to new guidelines. This prevents duplication of efforts across systems, ensuring that when responding to a data subject’s legal request, you are able to provide them with one coherent and consolidated response.

2. Procedural explanations made easy

An effective CRM system will also facilitate processes to explain how personal data is dealt with, using a permissible reason given in Article 6. The transactions of exactly what was surfaced and how the permissions were obtained, along with copies of documents with date and time stamps, can be linked to each specific individual within the CRM, enabling companies to give their customers a clear explanation of the procedure.

3. Establish control and processes

New rights of the data subject, covered in Chapter 3 of GDPR, require businesses to be more transparent with how they process user data. Under Article 17, users have the right to erasure, or the right to be forgotten.

Many perceive this to be a particularly challenging element of the new regulation but with increased SugarCRM functionalities, customers can submit erasure requests to be efficiently dealt with in full compliance of GDPR. In addition, Sugar’s new data privacy module allows CRM users to manage all privacy requests from one convenient location. Although this new responsibility will require Data Privacy Managers to adopt a new CRM role, Sugar eases the transition by providing an accessible, user-friendly platform for processing.

What are the benefits to the customer relationship?

These capabilities collectively drive the greatest advantage to ensuring your CRM is compliant with GDPR: greater transparency, trust and reciprocity. It is important to tell your customers what you’re planning to do with their data and why. Explain that your organisation will help them find what they are looking for faster, make better recommendations, keep them updated on everything they need to know while offering them the best possible price. Your customers will appreciate your effort to make this information more accessible, and they will be sure to reciprocate by granting companies the permission they seek. This ‘information reciprocity’ is exactly what is needed to satisfy the more detailed requirements around data consent.

With this in mind, businesses should revisit their Data Privacy Policy. If this policy were attractive, interesting and understandable, and presented as a differentiating factor, then customers would recognise the personal benefit. This means that instead of simply satisfying the new regulations. For example, businesses can rewrite permission language as a way of encouraging stronger relationships with customers.

How can we help?

The new GDPR coming into effect in May 2018 will have a profound effect on managing customer data. This, and the huge fines for not meeting requirements, can be overwhelming for businesses. Yet with a good CRM software it is easy to update systems and use the standardisation of the rules to your company’s advantage.

SugarCRM allows organisations to seamlessly manage and meet GDPR requirements across all systems with built-in frameworks and tools to easily manage data subjects’ personal data and requests. Using SugarCRM not only gives your company peace of mind leading up to GDPR compliance, but it also offers unrivalled opportunities for enhanced customer relationships by establishing clear, transparent communication that fosters ‘information reciprocity’, trust and loyalty.

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