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How Customer Success Departments can start preparing themselves for CCPA

Were you aware that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and that we’re two and a half months aware from the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) going into effect? (Don’t over-panic, the enforcement of the act doesn’t start until July 2020.) If that doesn’t seem that far away, you’re right. With the strategic planning, budgetary, and holiday season all taking up the majority of our time (let alone the Q4/EOY results blitz) this is something you’re probably taking the approach of “wait and see” on”. Well, if you’re taking that approach, I’d encourage you to reconsider. Here’s why:

  1. Unless you’re working for the unicorn that can get away with not doing business in the 5th biggest economy in the world, you’re going to need to deal with the law.

  2. Unless you’re a Success leader who has every customer data access and storage point known, documented, and there’s an existing company policy that all staff are trained and managed to, you’re going to have to deal with it.

  3. If you haven’t already, I bet you’re customers are starting to get more vocal about your privacy policies and data security, and your team on the front lines is going to need some ammo to address those questions properly.

  4. More states are following California’s lead, and the momentum for a federal law is building.

If these tasks seem a bit daunting, well, they are. GDPR aside, you’re heading for uncharted waters and as the leader of the company voice to its customers you’ll be playing a key part in your company’s CCPA communication and execution strategy. Like all great leaders in Customer Success, you’re always thinking ahead about how you can minimize customer friction and accelerate their delight with your organization. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions on how you can get ahead of the curve:

  1. Encourage your CEO to create a task force and accountable roles around CCPA’s launch. Getting people lined up and understanding who’s on point for what sooner, rather than later, will give you greater clarity and speed in putting your customers in a place to succeed here.

  2. Start documenting how your team engages with customer data. It’s a must to have a command of where, how, and through what mechanism we’re touching our clients, but it sometimes gets forgotten once the system’s put in place. This is a wonderful opportunity for an up-and-coming performer or one of your rock star managers to practice building out a customer experience audit map that may also be leveraged to identify and address other gaps in your current processes. It’s also a great way to strengthen interdepartmental relationships and reassess which vendor’s you’re using to serve customers and their plans around compliance too.

  3. Work on your staff messaging now. Assessing your staff’s confidence in who they send privacy and security questions to now, and what those questions are, will help you equip your task force with the customer questions they should be thinking about.

In our opinion, privacy and security matters are only going to increase and we’ll get to a state of greater legislation and compliance oversight. Working through the kinks now seems like the better approach given these rules will impact how businesses are run in the years to come. As the leader of CS, it’s best to show your customers you’re leading from the front on this, rather than behind.


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