Think about the last time you visited an online retailer. They probably have a single click fast checkout option that knows your favourite payment system and delivery address. They have a record of all your past orders. They know your preferences so highly personalised deals and recommendations appear while browsing the site.
All this knowledge about the customer makes for a better experience right? That’s true, but there is a cost to all this personalisation. Companies can serve customers better because they are storing more data on those customers. Addresses, preferences, and payment details, are all stored away for reference whenever the customer returns.
Earlier customer experience with retailers was completely different and rarely required the customer to reveal their identity. Imagine visiting a supermarket and being asked for your ID card on entering the store? Isn’t that what we all do now when shopping online and logging in?
The reason this is so important is that we now trust companies with so much of our personal data often without even thinking about it. In many cases we have no choice as the small print of a customer agreement says the company has the right to do as they please with your data.
Even if the company does not exploit your personal data for advertising or other annoying activities, they need to protect it. Data breaches can be extremely damaging for the company that finds they have lost customer data and even more worrying for customers who find that criminals intent on accessing their bank account have stolen all their payment details.
Industry analyst Frost & Sullivan recently published a security report focused on keeping data safe inside the customer service environment and creating a culture of security inside your business. The report is a detailed examination of what it takes to keep your business safe and makes some interesting observations, specifically:
- Certifications are not enough; you cannot claim to be secure just by getting a certificate of competence. This proves that you have developed a process, not that your business is secure.
- Criminals aim to get a person on the inside; your process needs to ensure that individuals cannot access sensitive information and transmit or save it for later use. It should be assumed that criminals might have placed staff inside your operation. Ensure that the processes prevent data theft.
- Security is not just part of IT; if your security is managed by the IT team then you are years behind where you need to be to offer data protection. You must have a separate data security team with a reporting line right to the CEO and board.
- Need to plan 5 years out; you need a vision that is at least 3-5 years out of what data you might be using in future, why, and how it will be protected.
- Awareness is the key; the best line of defence is to create a culture of security on the team. Make your people aware why it matters and give them the ability to report anything suspicious immediately.
Contact centre security is more complex than ever. If you are searching for a partner to help with your customer service then you certainly need to be asking these questions – the alternative will be explaining to your customers how their personal data leaked and their bank details are no longer secure.