We’re coming up for a month since GDPR came into force. Like us, you’re probably starting to get a feel for what it means for your relationship with customers and prospects. I wanted to share where we are with you.

GDPR wasn’t an easy change to plan for. Critical passages within the regulation were written to be open to interpretation by the courts. Certainty on what they really mean can only be gained at some point after the 25 May, once the courts have had a chance to apply the regulation to the behaviour of a company.

Like nearly every other business, we acted in good faith to apply the regulation to our contact database and the processes we apply to it. We were guided by the text of the regulation. Where there seemed to be gaps, we used the purpose of GDPR as our guide.

By 25 May, we felt we were in as strong a position for GDPR compliance as any company could be expected to be.

So what impact will our GDPR compliant position have on our success?

We’ve not had to change as much as we had at first thought we might.

Our prospects have all at some point agreed to be contacted by us or, where we acquired contacts from partners, they have agreed to be passed to us for marketing use. We had a legal duty to ensure that was the case before GDPR so no real change there.

Our customers have, what GDPR calls, a ‘legitimate interest’ in hearing from us. Before 25 May, we sent customers company news and information, including about related further services. We still do that.

What has changed is that we are now more aware of the need for keeping our contact databases in good order, with up to date contact details and an easy to access record of permissions, opt outs and history of what information we have sent to individuals. We can also more easily comply with any disclosure requests that we receive.

In conclusion, while the run up to GDPR gave our marketing and information support departments sleepless nights, all it has really done is focus our minds on our contact data and generate an additional amount of efficiency around how we store and process it. And that’s a good thing.