Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Are your Data Protection statements improving supporter relationships or hindering them?

Oh no, I hear you cry - a post about data protection.  Well, it is and it isn't. We have all heard about the EU plans to reform the current legislation, the outcome of which could be with us as early as 2017 and much of which could have a serious impact should it go ahead as is.

However, this post is more about how we can better frame data protection and what it means in order to strengthen relationships with potential and existing supporters rather than jeopardising them through a lack of understanding.

So, a short tale - with an happy ending.

Very recently one of Sense's supporters emailed to cancel his Direct Debit. He didn’t like being telephoned and had received a call recently. We let him know how much we really valued his support and of course that we would do what he asked but also let him know that we can communicate with him in the way he prefers. If that means no future telephone calls then of course. The supporter as a result decided not to cancel his direct debit. 

A big high five for good supporter care! 

However, what was interesting, was the supporter's understanding before we explained we would ensure that he wouldn't receive further calls:
"I didn't realise at the time I sent the e-mail that it was possible not to be 
contacted in this way."

Interesting really - the thought that some of our supporters who opt-in or don't opt-out of receiving various communications from us feel it is for life rather than that there is a control that is in their hands.

In this instance we were able to explain this to our kind donor who continued his support.  But how many are silently leaving without that dialogue?

So though the legal guidelines are set in terms of gaining consent to communicate, a simple line stating that you can let us know at any time should your wishes change should be a clear message alongside any data protection statements.

This simple message may very well help ensure that instead of a supporter leaving entirely because they decide they don't like a channel of communication after all, that they just let us know and allow us to adhere to their wishes and provide great supporter care at the same time.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.

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