For luxury retailers, customer relationship management is one of their top priorities. Providing a personal service is extremely important when selling high-end products, adding a feel-good factor and enticing the customer to return to the store. They want them to tell their friends and family members about the experience and the products they bought.
This is all great for the salesperson too, of course. They put a lot of energy and their personalities and charisma into getting to know their customers and their tastes, likes and dislikes. In this subset of retail they commonly have each other’s phone numbers in their personal phones, perhaps so they can tell them when exciting new lines are in store or there’s a seasonal discount on offer.
But when sales staff are a little too close to the customer it can cause potential problems for the retail business. Employees change jobs all the time, whether for personal reasons, if they don’t get on with their boss or for more lucrative opportunities. But when they move in the luxury retail world there is the risk of them taking their data – and their customers – with them. This means the business can lose customers without having much control of the matter.
Data theft is a serious problem
Retailers are well aware of the possibility of insider thefts of goods and have taken action to eliminate insider crime as much as possible, but few have data theft on their list of business risks. And fewer still can quantify how much data they lose each year, let alone how much this is costing them.
Data loss has serious implications including loss of trust from customers, business partners and stakeholders, and reputational damage that is very hard to repair and can lead to reduced income. Regulators can also impose fines for lack of data security.
So how can retail businesses prevent data loss from happening? How can they avoid losing customers while ensuring their valued sales employees retain close relationships with them? And how can they do all this without appearing to distrust their workforce?
Data security and compliance solutions
Like any well-run businesses, luxury retailers should know where their data is stored, who has access to it, downloads or moves it, and what they do with it. They should also know which devices such as smartphones, laptops and USB sticks are being used to view, copy and save their data, and when this is happening. And they have a responsibility to secure their customers’ personal data, as well as their company data, at all times (you can read more about this subject in our blog, ‘Are retailers doing enough to secure their customers’ data?’).
The first step is to adopt a data security mindset. Only by knowing what data you store and which is the most sensitive, confidential and vulnerable, can an organisation take the correct actions to protect it. Many businesses just don’t have quality data about their data.
It’s important to understand how your employees use specific information to do their jobs effectively. Do they have the most appropriate company-provided tools or do they use external ones to manage tasks, their time and their customer relationships? The retail sector, like every other, is full of examples of staff downloading external apps to assist them with tasks like shift rotation, product and price comparisons, and to communicate with each other.
Data is a valuable asset
When retailers provide the digital tools that their employees need they can also take much better control of their data and secure it. This can include preventing the copying of customers’ personal data such as phone and credit card numbers. By understanding their data, retailers can gain better insights into their customers’ behaviours and trends which can help them increase sales, retain valued customers and know which products and services they like most, why they shop with them and why they might instead go to a competitor.
Another challenge business have often faced is that compliance teams and technology teams speak different languages and lack understanding of each other. Compliance tools can help smooth this over and accelerate the process of securing data and complying with industry and government regulations such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
At Quorum Cyber, our data security and compliance services can help solve all of these problems. We can turn your data into a goldmine of information to improve customer relationships, increase sales and profits, and give you an advantage against your competitors.
For a no obligation, confidential conversation on how Quorum Cyber can defend your brand and your customers, get in touch today!