How to Apply Your Company’s Data Retention Policy to Business SMS

Data and lights in space.

As data grows in value, more businesses are amping up their data-related policies. Every enterprise, and even many small businesses, has a data retention policy. But how can businesses ensure new technologies—like business SMS platforms, for example—adhere to their data policies?

In general, a data retention policy will outline which data a business should keep, but also which data they should purge as well. In the past, this was a primary concern for businesses that managed confidential information, like law firms. Firms had to decide which files to keep, and for how long after cases. But now, with every company automatically collecting customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) and other data through a variety of technology tools, businesses have to determine how to manage it. This is also true with business SMS platforms, which can automatically save conversations with customers and other key information. 

Businesses also have to adhere to new federal and local regulations about data retention, too. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) outlines a data retention policy, as does the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Applying your data retention policy to your texting program can seem like a challenge—but with the help of a few advanced features from a business text messaging platform, the process is far easier.

Archiving Customer Texts

Modern messaging platforms should allow, if needed, your business to archive all messages between customers and employees. In most cases, platforms automatically log customer messages unless you tell them differently. 

Archiving customer texts is often a key aspect of a data retention policy. Saving past interactions between customers and employees allows your business to:

  • Review past conversations for opt-in compliance
  • Scan archived chats for PII
  • Search for key information that might apply to a current conversation

Ensure that the business texting platform you choose automatically archives text messages, and your business will be one step further toward data retention policy compliance. 

Removing Customer Texts

While it’s critical that your company can store customer messages, your business SMS platform should also empower your company to remove data. This is another key requirement of corporate, local, and federal data retention policies.

As per GDPR and CCPA regulations, businesses cannot keep customer data for longer than it is needed. While this is a somewhat vague requirement, businesses are expected to pick up the slack, choosing a certain window of time that is appropriate for keeping a customer’s data. Additionally, businesses should be able to remove a customer’s data if they specifically request them to take that action. 

Your team should carefully consider how long you need to keep old text messages, considering the value of past conversations and how you might use them. Your business SMS platform should allow you to remove some or all customer data, no matter how recently it was logged.

Updating Contacts from CRMs

Cutting-edge business SMS platforms can integrate with other third-party apps, which is especially helpful when it comes to data retention. When business texting platforms integrate with CRMs, for example, they can seamlessly share contact data.

When two platforms share data, that means that any data added or removed in one platform is automatically added or removed in the other. This automated syncing makes it easier—and less time-consuming—to ensure contacts are removed from every platform when they are removed from one. 

When a contact’s data is removed from a CRM, your business texting platform should be able to automatically remove that contact and its custom fields as well.

Creating Granular Administrative Roles

Finally, your business SMS platform should be able to support a wide variety of administrative roles. When your business texting services are managed by a team of employees, you don’t want each employee to have the same level of access to customer data. 

When you sign up for a business texting platform, you should be able to set different administrative roles. For example, you should be able to choose who can add or remove members, who can export messages, and who can import or delete contacts. These controls are critical to ensure that customer data is only handled by those who have express permission. You should also be able to control which employees have access to which customer messages, or even hide customer PII (e.g., phone numbers) from select employees.

With the ability to carefully select which employees view which information, your business can ensure that your texting program successfully complies with your data retention policy.


Need a business SMS platform that supports your data retention policy? Try our text service for business today.

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