Your phone buzzes with an email notification. Subject line: Important information about a recent security incident.
Sounds familiar, right? Unfortunately, security incidents are more and more common, which means many companies are leaning on trust to galvanize their customer relationships. Trust is the cornerstone of customer relationships, but in today’s changing data privacy and security landscape, it’s hard to earn and easy to lose.
Companies and platforms collect more personal data than ever, and consumers expect this data to stay safe in the face of evolving security threats. Simultaneously, government and industry compliance standards are constantly evolving. This makes it challenging to balance privacy and security while working to better the customer experience. Even more so for companies in highly regulated sectors, companies handling lots of sensitive customer data, or companies following their own strict privacy and security standards.
Zendesk’s 2023 report The IT dilemma: Balancing data privacy and personalization in customer experience, highlights these conflicting priorities. The report found that 66 percent of surveyed IT leaders cite data privacy and protection regulations as limiting their personalization efforts significantly.
Despite these challenges, companies with the right tools and partners in place can thrive in this changing landscape, meeting their customers’ need for greater privacy and security while building greater customer trust and satisfaction along the way.
Here are three ways businesses can proactively maintain customer trust amidst the changing data privacy sphere.
Redacting personal data from customer conversations can be a critical first step in protecting customer privacy.
Customer conversations contain a wealth of information that can be used to personalize the customer experience – think details like purchase history or previously closed tickets. The key is determining which personal information is relevant and which information is not. This includes data like credit cards, social security numbers, and passwords from support conversations.
Once businesses know which personal information isn't needed to deliver customer experiences, they can use redaction tools to selectively and permanently delete those details from customer conversations. With advances in AI, this process is becoming smarter and easier to automate.
Redaction can help protect personal information that CX professionals don't need access to, but what about the data they do need?
To provide the best personalized customer experiences, support agents need access to customer information. For example, to better understand the customers’ needs, they might search through past conversations for relevant insights.
The complexity here is that not all CX professionals require the same level of access to customer data. According to the information security principle of least privilege, CX team members should only be able to access the information they need to do their jobs effectively. If one team member relies on specific personal data to service customers while another agent does not, only the first agent should have access to that information.
Beyond maintaining access and permission controls, businesses can use advanced capabilities like data masking to surface or hide customer data based on employee role.
Eventually, even the most relevant customer data becomes unnecessary for businesses to hold. Think for example of customer service data stored in platforms years after a service transaction was completed. For maximum customer privacy, this kind of outdated data should be deleted on a regular basis. To do this, CX teams need flexible tools to enforce data retention policies that delete the data they don’t need while keeping the data they do.
This is particularly crucial for businesses under data protection regulations, whereby personal data must be deleted if it's no longer needed or if a customer requests its removal.
By enforcing data retention policies, businesses can stay on top of regional and industry-based regulations while keeping customer data safe. CX tools that allow businesses to customize where, when and which data is deleted can accommodate this flexibility.
Building customer trust amidst a dynamic data privacy and cyber threat landscape can be a challenge. But with the right strategies and tools in place, businesses can deliver the most trusted customer experiences while safeguarding their business, elevating customer privacy, and strengthening data security, at scale.
To delve deeper into the strategies for balancing data privacy and personalization, access the complete report here.