GDPR: 8 Measures to Ensure the Compliance of your Contact Center

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is coming. This European regulation on privacy and data protection takes effect on May 25, 2018 and supersedes the current data protection directives and legislation.

The purpose of the GDPR is to strengthen the privacy and data protection of European citizens by giving them more control over their personal data, protection against data loss, and unifying data privacy regulations across Europe. But it does not only affect European companies. Any company working with data from customers, employees, vendors or European partners, is liable in terms of this regulation. In case of non-compliance, fines can go up to 20 million euros or 4% of the company’s turnover.

For Customer Service companies, in particular, the GDPR seems threatening. All personal information, regardless of where it is used, must be protected and this protection must be proven and verified. It shall be guaranteed to citizens the right to access their data, and the right to rectification, elimination or limitation of its processing. These requirements have a direct link to customer satisfaction and corporate reputation. They can generate a significant increase in the number of interactions, overloading the Contact Center and the departments involved in these processes.

The question then arises as how to counteract compliance with the GDPR, with the overall corporate objectives for customer service and management. Fortunately, compliance with the GDPR is ongoing and the GoContact platform is ensuring it.

Focus on Essential Information

As technology evolves from face-to-face relationships in a store to more digital relationships, it is important to determine the right moments in the customer journey to ask for his data. Confidence sets in with time. Structuring the questions and asking customers at the right time is important to get the necessary data and permissions from them. Questioning their preferences is essential to maintain these permissions and increase responsiveness to information. Resist the temptation to try to get as much data as possible in an initial interaction.

Build Information Access Profiles

The GDPR also requires companies to use as minimum data as needed to successfully complete a given task. This has implications for the amount of data that must be collected, and the availability of data within the organization. In a Contact Center, if an Outbound sales team only needs to access the customer’s phone number, and does not need his address, for example, then this information should not be visible. If an Inbound support team needs the address to schedule interventions at the customer’s home, for example, then this information may be visible.

In order to respond to this GDPR requirement, it is essential for the Contact Center platform to allow the creation and configuration of data access and customer information profiles. These profiles must then be carefully assigned, to ensure that the agents and the rest of the Contact Center team only has access to the data they actually need.

Facilitate Data Management in the Platform

The Contact Center platform must be prepared to allow users to easily, quickly and effortlessly correct, eliminate, or change customer data usage preferences without any complication or security concern.

Educate Your Team

Ensuring that your company complies with the GDPR starts with a team that understands this regulation, its fundamental concepts, and is trained to know how to act accordingly. Most likely, these will be the agents job, to clarify to customers what data is stored, why, and what your company does to it. Train your team to deal with these issues unambiguously.

Store everything in One Place

In the area of ​​Contact Centers and Customer Service, the evolution of technology in recent years has been exponential. The use of this type of technology separately, in different systems, with different management processes, represents a potential risk of nonconformity. Likewise, growth with this type of infrastructure represents an even greater risk, where data is stored in a distributed way rather than a centralized way. Only by centralizing everything in a single system and platform will it be possible to audit and ensure compliance with the GDPR on an ongoing basis. For customers, their data must be available in a concise, transparent and easily accessible way, with clear and simple language. To achieve this, it is important to have a Contact Center platform that ensures compliance with the regulation.

Security and Data Encryption

The importance of data security against possible attacks and unlawful access is not a new issue. However, the GDPR provides new guidelines to address these security breaches. It is essential to ensure that customer data is encrypted, as well as the communication between the browser and the server, and that its visibility to the company’s employees is controlled. Minimizing data and rigorously examining the Contact Center platform will reduce the likelihood of data exposure in a security breach. If there is a breach of customer personal data, the GDPR says that the regulatory authority has to be notified within 72 hours.

Create a Team Dedicated to Data Management

Establishing a team dedicated to data management and communication with customers becomes a requirement with the GDPR. This team should have a view of all communications with customers and define internal strategies to address these communications. This can only be achieved by combining technology, and information obtained through the Contact Center platform, and the supervision of this dedicated team. This approach reduces the GDPR major source of risk, customers’ complaints.

Anticipating Consumer Trends

Use the features of your Contact Center platform to anticipate consumer trends and preferences in the area of ​​data usage. Review customer responsiveness to your campaigns by monitoring negative events, such as the number of unopened emails, that can lead customers to revoke their consent or unsubscribe from a list. Proactive management of customer data is essential to ensure that customers have the best possible experience.

Is your Contact Center Ready?

When the 25th of May arrives, companies with customers in Europe must be prepared for the arrival of the GDPR. By examining the issue of protection beyond this regulation, companies can take advantage of the systems they use, such as the GoContact platform, to improve the relationship with their customers. At GoContact, we have a dedicated consulting team to help companies enforce and configure their Contact Centers with the GDPR in mind.

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Daniel Castilho

Digital Marketing Manager at GoContact
A developer by mistake, has a Marketing background and currently manages the Digital Marketing Strategy for GoContact, a company that develops Cloud Contact Center Software. Here, he takes the responsibility for the Content Strategy, AdWords, SEO, Web Analytics and Web Development.