Clients are not data destruction experts

May 15, 2015

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

Unfortunately, some clients have a troublesome and risky perspective on their data destruction requirements. Namely, they think they already know all they need to know. Here are symptoms of that risky perspective:

  • The client is only interested in the price.
  • The client views any discussion about qualifications as an attempt to mislead them.
  • The client feels comfortable deciding that employee training is not necessary.
  • The client decides that developing written data destruction policies and procedures is a waste to time.
  • The client takes a certification program at face value without making sure it is solid.
  • All that matters to the client is that they get a certificate of destruction.
  • The client is confident that all employees have the willingness, ability, and commitment to determine what information needs destruction and what information can simply be recycled.
  • The client feels that all professional liability coverages are the same.

The fact is that most clients are not information destruction experts. Most clients do not have the knowledge they need to make these decisions on their own. The reason for this boils down to one thing: they do not recognize or believe that the service provider has more knowledge than they do. And, unfortunately, in most cases, they are right. When you go to the doctor, you do not tell him/her your diagnosis of your condition. You explain the symptoms, answer his/her questions and accept the advice because you know he/she is better equipped than you to do so.

Service providers who want customers to take them seriously have to take themselves seriously. Look at the list above and ask yourself if you could look a prospect dead in the eye and confidently explain how and why they are misguided in a manner that shows both your knowledge and that you have their best interest at heart.

Clients owe it to themselves and their employer to make sure they are dealing with a service provider who is a subject matter expert. To not do so is both risky and negligent.