With customer loyalty and profitability at stake, it’s important to have sound policies in place for managing and safeguarding customer information. Make sure that your policies are put into practice by training contact center staff on preventative best practices.
“Often, human error is a primary factor when it comes to security issues,” says Matt Lautz, president and CIO of cloud communications provider CorvisaCloud. “Instituting proper procedures detailing how customer data is handled internally is your first line of defense. Make sure that you have workplace policies and training in place to ensure that all employees follow the same practices and understand their importance. For instance, don’t write down any sensitive information such as credit card numbers. While it may help the agent initially to keep up with gathering customer information by writing it down and planning to enter it later, practices such as this put your company and your customers at risk if those documents are not properly shredded and disposed.
“Don’t be naïve and have the ‘it won’t happen to us’ mentality,” he stresses. “Hackers are sneaky and can easily trick you. For example, VoIP fraud can be a real risk among companies who don’t train their employees and implement preventative security. Without proper security controls and oversight, hackers can tap into a company’s PBX and route calls, resulting in huge phone bills at month end. There are always ways to improve your security in the contact center. Make sure you properly train employees and have a disaster recovery plan in place to avoid putting your business at risk.”
Agents who staff non-phone channels (email, chat, social media) should be instructed to guide customers to more secure channels, such as self-service or live-agent, when a transaction requires personal information, adds Strategic Contact’s Lori Bocklund. “Tell customers not to include account numbers or other sensitive information on these channels, which are generally unencrypted. While the unknowing might like to try a transaction tied to their personal information via chat, they should be guided to use secure self-service or call to speak to an agent.”