What are the benefits of storing customer data, and is it worth the risks involved? Many professionals argue that data collection and analysis can lead to insights that, if utilized well, can improve your bottom line. However, a few potential drawbacks include increased challenges to PCI compliance and the responsibility of keeping customer data private.

It Can Provide Valuable Insight

This is perhaps the number one reason that big data has become big business. Having access to large amounts of sensitive customer data is perhaps the biggest tool available to marketers today. The potential insight gained from such data can be invaluable. Learning what drives consumer behavior helps you understand the mind of your customer. KnowledgeHut says this information, in turn, lets you market to them much more effectively, as you can predict with greater precision how they might react to a certain marketing tactic, for example.

It Can Make PCI Compliance a Little Harder

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance creates an extra headache for companies who store sensitive customer data. The regulations regarding PCI compliance involve things like establishing security protocols for your business and employees and making sure data is wiped clean from transaction terminals. Merchant One says that not storing sensitive data in the first place is one of the best ways to reach PCI compliance. Of course, doing so eliminates the possibility of profiting from data collected from customers. It comes down to the question of whether or not your company wants to store customer data and accept the associated risks or go the safest route and ensure 100% privacy for customers by never storing data in the first place.

It Requires Customer Privacy

Sensitive customer data has to be stored securely. In this digital era of massive security breaches, customers want to know they can trust you with their data. Storing sensitive customer data necessitates compliance with privacy laws. But this concern is about more than just avoiding potential legal pitfalls. It’s also a prime concern when it comes to public relations. As Threat Stack explains, customers don’t want to do business with a company that fails to safeguard their data. If a competitor gains a better reputation for keeping customer information confidential, it’s a safe bet that the majority of customers will migrate to that competitor’s services.

In the end, storing sensitive customer information is worth it for most companies. It can provide valuable insights used for marketing, although it makes PCI compliance more difficult. And while customer privacy becomes a huge concern and potential PR pitfall, the overall payoff can be substantial.

Understanding how to responsibly handle customer data is an important part of running a modern business. Let Free Press Marketing take off some of the pressure by handling your marketing. Reach out to us today!


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