Data Privacy in an AI-powered World – How It Affects Your Contact Centre
Updated: Jul 10
Tumultuous times set the tone for the era of transparency in the wake of countless data breach scandals running rampant in the tech industry. Global enterprises (read data-powerhouses) find themselves embroiled in a battle royale between privacy and power. Consumers are ready to evict social media companies and institutions that don’t share their value for confidentiality. As a result, companies that prioritise trust retain loyalty among their users. It is therefore necessary that companies use consumer data responsibly, but how is this maintained in a period defined by customers who want personalised service faster and more accurately than ever before?
Let’s Talk About Trust
If you’re still reeling from Netflix documentary,The Great Hack, you’re not alone. For as long as the Internet has been showing us pictures of cats, fears around data privacy have been stoked. And it’s a reasonable fear to latch onto.
“Data is the most valuable asset on Earth.”
This statement is casually raised by one of the documentaries’ featured subjects. It sets the tone for the film, which focused on the dark side of data-mining to create psychometric personas that can be targeted for manipulation. While the narrative fixates on the political sphere, a major question is raised, “What are companies actually doing with our data?”
All’s Fair in Matters of Personalisation and Privacy?
As consumer expectations continue to grow, the only way to keep up with the pace is to create engaging experiences and adhere to policies that build trust surrounding the way customer data is used.
Anyone calling a customer service line is made formally aware that their calls are recorded for quality control purposes, whether they are fully cognizant of what this means is anyone’s guess–but corporate entities are encouraged to lead with transparency in this regard. Taking heed of the overarching sentiment around data privacy, it’s necessary to lead by example.
Emerging technologies in AI and NLP are transforming the ways that data is captured, analysed and put to use. The core belief here, is that customer service and customer experience is infinitely improved upon when technology is enlisted to serve employees. Consider this, the average contact center is central to customer engagement with voice still leading as the most popular method of communication among consumers. With advances in NLP and Speech Analytics, companies have the opportunity to learn from a wealth of data with ease, and uncover information previously overlooked. Information that can be used to inform process improvement and strategy or deliver new ways to delight customers through product improvements.
Embedding AI functionality in your communications platform is a means to staying ahead of the competition. By providing personalised experiences that hinge on customer data, you're going the distance in guaranteeing sustainable customer loyalty.
With data security ever-present on the minds of consumers, the question evolves from “how can we use data to guarantee revenue?”, to “how can we add value without crossing a line?”
We, the People – And Our Data
Passed in 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sought to take back the data and defer use to its owners. Compliance to this regulation applies to any company that interacts with an EU citizen.
Data is the key to efforts in personalised customer engagement, and moreover, any marketing or product development venture–so with stringent laws setting the precedent for data usage and consent, fears that innovation will be stunted are not surprising. This shouldn’t be the case. In fact, giving customer's power over the way their data is spent rewards legitimate enterprises that use data to create better customer experiences.
The Numbers Game
In the research document titled Exceed expectations with extraordinary experiences, an Accenture strategy team posits that 88% of customers believe that a company that can personalise their experience without compromising trust is more appealing and relevant to their needs. In a later Personalisation Pulse Check study, 83% of consumers mentioned that they were willing to share their data to enable a personalised experience. And thus, we have the paradox of data-use. The onus, therefore, is on companies to strike a balance that builds trust and pushes innovation.
Data Not Risked = Rewards
What are some of the measures that call centers and companies can take to ensure that customer data is protected and prioritised?
Ensure that Data is Used and Stored Safely
Providing better customer experiences through AI implementations whilst gaining trust isn’t the challenge it seems to be if you’re implementing responsible data storage and usage strategies. Start by auditing your current security and privacy controls to uncover and issues and develop strategies that ensure the integrity of your customer data.
Work with providers who put security and privacy first, have the right certifications and learn how their data is collected. The more you know about the source of your data, the more value can be assigned to it. It’s also necessary to survey your internal policies, ensuring that staff are properly clued up on web security policies and take care in handling sensitive customer data by following the correct protocols.
Promote Awareness and Transparency
Other than the ethics of it all, offering your customers insight freely, regarding the use of their data is a proactive move in manifesting trust. As people become more and more data-privacy oriented, your move is to clearly communicate the steps being taken to secure data.
Enhance Your Utility
Customers are willing to share their data if they are to benefit from its usage, which is why efforts should reflect in the creation of value through the creation of exceptional customer experiences.
In the contact centre setting, this extends to the use of AI technology to help resolve issues faster and more accurately; to pick up trends that need to be timeously addressed by the right people; to create value through expanding quality assurance capabilities; and to enact overall value that stems from the daily interaction with customers for a thoughtful and more personalised touch.
Connecting the Data Points
To rise to the expectations of your customers, you must ensure that you’re ahead of the vulnerabilities of online data exposure. There’s a lot that companies can do with the right data at the right time; creating effortless, empathetic and personalised customer experiences is one of them. However, without addressing your audience’s data privacy requirements and proactively engaging on the subject, you’re risking valuable opportunities for growth built on customer confidence.
Over time, customers will expect more from companies for consent to use their information, which is why you should be investing in tools that help you make the most out of you data. Voyc is GDPR compliant and employs bank-grade security practices. Put our platform to the test in your call center and see why we’re leading the way in customer discovery.