Improving Customer Experience With GDPR


A blog post from Forrester reveals that “German consumers are very informed about their data privacy. 68% are aware that companies buy and sell their household information, and 58% are likely to cancel a transaction if they see something they don’t like in a privacy policy”. With companies operating in multiple platforms and technologies, we as consumers have provided more personal data than we think we have, not knowing what those organisations are doing with our personal data.

With GDPR coming into full force in a matter of days, customer-centricity is as important as compliance. GDPR is an opportunity for organisations to prove their value and worth to existing and new customers because it will impact the way organisations interact with their customers.

Benefiting from GDPR compliance

Organisations embracing the introduction of this law as an investment, rather than a cost, can take advantage of needed changes to reinforce their focus on the client. This competitive edge will allow organizations to use personal data privacy as a differentiator in the market to attract more new clients and help retain existing ones.

Implementing the GDPR principles properly while keeping the customer in mind implies transparency and creates trust. From the moment interaction starts till it ends, the customer experience should always be excellent, especially when personal data collection kicks off. Thus, if a company simply notifies customers that it is starting to collect data, or demands “provide us your data,” the most likely response will simply be a No; it’s in human nature to be sceptical.

As GDPR bounds profiling and automated decisions (Articles 4[4] and 22, Recitals 71 and 72) and gives individuals significant rights to avoid profiling-based decisions, applying technologies like artificial intelligence should be a way to determine very precise user behaviour profiles without capturing personal data, leaving that for when trust is gained and it is indispensable for completing the transaction.

A transparent interaction is key for a great user experience. Therefore, user interface design and content is key to make it easier for individuals to say Yes in an informed and conscious way. The same applies for when individuals want to say No, or exercise any of their rights. This transparency improves trust and customer experience, which drives customer retention.

A transparent interaction is key and improves trust and #CustomerExperience, which drives customer retention. #GDPR #CustomerIntelligence Click To Tweet

Is customer experience boosted by GDPR compliance?

Absolutely! However, the challenge is how to do this while complying with GDPR.

1.      You must know and govern the personal data

GDPR compliance is only possible to achieve if organisations have complete knowledge about the personal data they have: where it is, who has access to it, how it’s secured, how it’s linked, how long they have had it, and how long they should keep it. Being able to control, manage and govern the data is critical to provide evidence for GDPR compliance.

For agile performance, SAS® for Personal Data Protection provides a set of tools and accelerators to discover personal data across your data sources and establish end-to-end data lineage and governance, all feeding a central monitoring and reporting visual dashboard.

2.      You must govern the data processes involving personal data

A critical factor is managing individuals’ consent and their ability to exercise their rights: to be informed of access, rectification, erasure (to be forgotten), restricted. These rights have tight timing for processing, and organisations must be able to provide evidence to individuals and authorities about processing data subjects’ requests.

For agile performance, SAS for Personal Data Protection provides a set of tools and a framework to help manage data processes (including eventual data breaches), handle individuals’ consent and rights, provide complete monitoring and control, and administer notification processes.

3.      You then must implement a customer intelligence solution

SAS Customer Intelligence makes use of a series of AI capabilities that includes machine learning, natural language processing and cognitive computing, enabled by techniques such as optimization and decision management to leverage campaign efficiency.

Improving customer experience with GDPR

Understanding the customer journey is crucial to personalizing the experience.

Understanding the customer journey is crucial to personalizing the experience. By capturing only the legally allowed data (not making use of personally identifying data, unless the consumer logs in) and applying customer intelligence technologies and techniques, you can:

  • Dynamically  drive appealing and user-friendly user interfaces for individuals to give their consent and exercise their rights.
  • Track user behaviour and potential buying desires.
  • Optimise offers with a high likelihood of purchase, which will maximize customer experience and marketing outcomes.
  • SAS Customer Intelligence provides a set of tools and a framework to help marketers manage campaign processes using all the captured data as a source of future insights, focused on designing optimised marketing campaigns. And it is all done in a controlled and governed manner, respecting privacy by design and GDPR principles by default, including constraints on profiling and automated decisions. All while consistently handling individuals’ consent and rights for each type of communication.

All these GDPR rules might be daunting to organizations that have used “traditional” analytics for years. Read more on the topic in this article: “Is the GDPR an AI killer?”

To learn more about SAS solutions for personal data protection and customer intelligence, go to



About Author

Joao Oliveira

Information management has been part of João’s professional DNA for more than twelve years. He has driven and supported many EMEA-wide data management initiatives across multiple industries. João's professional experience includes functional knowledge of end-to-end solution architectures. His experience and knowledge has been leveraged on multiple engagements supporting information management, from data capture to data archiving. He also helps organizations cope with legal requirements like GDPR, improve customer experiences, drive digital transformation and get the most business value from data at-rest and data in-motion. João has a degree in Applied Mathematics and is a spearhead in matters related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics.

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