Businesses that are keenly invested in personalization of customer experience are leaving no stones unturned to tailor highly targeted and individualistic experiences, whether online or in-store. According to a research by the Boston Consulting group, brands that integrate data, analytics and advanced digital technologies are showing a rise in profits by 6-10%, which is two to three times faster than those who follow traditional marketing methods. Leading e-commerce players like Amazon and Alibaba are deeply focused on harnessing the full potential of the personalization approach through interaction and consumer behaviour data. Early adopters of AI, cloud and mobile technology are reaping benefits of customer loyalty alongside profitability, with the help of daily streams of data pouring in.

Considering that many businesses employ contact centres to manage omnichannel customer experience, assimilating valuable and private data on a daily basis is a matter of high security priority in the contact centre environment. Contact centres operate in a highly competitive landscape where agents have to continually meet customer demands to optimise sales conversions. They use complex technology systems like IoT and cloud to store data that also have a flip side of exposure to cyber-attack risks. According to the Pindrop report, the increase in global fraud call rate in 2016-17 was 113%. In 2016, 90% of businesses suffered a cyber security hack in some form as per reports. It is vital to pre-empt security risks and keep sensitive customer data protected from breach opportunities. The tenacity and susceptibility of data security must be tested from time to time and upgraded for potential vulnerability. Data security is the responsibility of contact centres and business owners, and strict adherence to best practices can keep business intelligence and data safe and glitch-free. Some practices that can be implemented for data protection are:

1.On-premise security

Securing entry and exit at the contact centre with simple biometric authentication will permit only authorised personnel to enter work areas. For sensitive areas like servers, administrative access must be assigned based on hierarchy and respective roles. Biometrics itself provides data that can be protected with end-to-end encryption. With growing interest in voice recognition systems, voice biometrics will soon be a reality as well.

 2.Hiring responsible individuals

Call centre employees handle vast amounts sensitive data (PII) such as credit card information, passwords, bank details, health care and social security info. Conducting rigorous screening and background checks before hiring applicants can reduce the risk of internal breach. Managers should be trained to observe change in behaviour of agents in order to take preventive action. Recruits should be trained adequately and periodically to follow security protocol. Contact centre ethos should encourage gainful employee engagement and retention to avoid fast attrition.

3.Adopting scalable enterprise platforms

With the rise in remote working options, call centres will be following suit to include work-from-home agents as a part of their ecosystem. This business model has its benefits but security issues can arise. Not only with remote employees, but cloud-based call centres often share integrated platforms with third-party applications as well. It’s crucial for contact canters to adopt a scalable enterprise platform that secures outsourced environments.

4.Implementing Data Encryption Solutions

According to IBM, 68 percent of breaches have occurred through insiders in the healthcare industry. Although encryption is not a new practice in database security, its implementation needs to be such that cyber-attacks can be defended both externally and internally. An advanced encryption system that supports frequent key rotation can encrypt and decrypt data without security or system administrators having access to the information. Data loss can also occur if employees are using multiple devices to copy data and upload it to the cloud. By adopting data loss prevention solutions, contact centres can ensure proactive tagging, classification and encryption of sensitive data in emails and attachments based on message content and context.

5.Introducing secure data entry technology

As contact centres zero in on “effective” personalization in customer experience, they also need to consider blending live agent assistance with self-service. Embracing technologies that allow discrete entry of data by the customer within an ongoing call, will free up agent responsibility and time, and help the contact centres to manage KPIs like AHT (average handling time) and FCR (first contact resolution) better.

Categorising data storage according to risk factor and applying relevant security measures is one way of protecting data. Encrypting data in resting format as well as transit format is another way of reducing breaches. There has been an alarming rise in the number of data breaches for tech savvy retailers and service providers like Target and Uber, amongst many, in the recent past. In future, perhaps contact centres will eventually fare better if vulnerable data is no longer a part of their infrastructure any more.

TeleApps has years of experience in providing relevant contact centre solutions for a vast spectrum of clients including retail, telecom, banking, government, utility and insurance. TeleApps services include self-service application customization with integration to core banking systems and hosting security module for PIN number encryption. For more details, click here.



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