Augmenting Contact Center Tech to Optimise Security and CX

Guest Blog by Geoff Forsyth, CISO at PCI Pal

Augmenting Contact Center Tech to Optimise Security and CX

In an attempt to outshine competitors and cultivate customer loyalty, organisations across industries are continuing to refine customer experiences at every touchpoint. And as research from PWC (opens pdf) showing that the customer experience influences 73 percent of buyers’ purchasing decisions, it would be unwise and potentially fatal for businesses not to make it a priority.

As businesses continue their digital transformation efforts, improving customer experiences entails a deep understanding of the digital preferences and behaviours of various audiences. This fanatical focus on improving the customer experience has fuelled the evolution of contact centers. In fact, research shows businesses are planning to implement AI, robotics and video capabilities into contact centre technology stacks to improve business functions and build a seamless, customised and secure experience for customers. But it also means companies need to take steps to ensure that consumer data is protected from hackers on every engagement channel, whether it’s online, in-store or over the phone. Because both trust and convenience play a huge role in developing customer loyalty, businesses should implement an effective security program that protects data from being stolen across channels.

Counting the Brand Cost of Security Breaches

With the proliferation of cybercrime (e.g. just last year, Facebook, Microsoft, DoorDash, Capital One, Quest Diagnostics and countless other businesses were breached), organisations should be prioritising security as part of improving the customer experience. This is evidenced by a survey of 2,000 US consumers conducted by PCI Pal which found that 62 percent of Americans will stop buying from a business for several months following a breach, and 21 percent reportedly never shop with the business again. The findings also suggested that a consumer’s perception of a company is enough to impact ROI – with 18 percent of Americans stating they would spend less with a business they perceived to have poor security hygiene.

In order for businesses to stay at the forefront of their industries, they’ll need to consider strategies to optimise the customer experience without sacrificing security.

Implementing Omnichannel Security to Build and Maintain Positive Customer Experiences

Cyber criminals are always on the hunt for data that they can profit from, constantly evolving the tactics used to perpetrate their crimes. Consider the Equifax breach in 2017 that was a result of a vulnerability in the company’s tech stack, as well as the breaches of Marriott, Lord & Taylor and British Airways, where personally identifiable information and payment data gathered on phone and digital channels were exposed.

Every business has unique needs when it comes to protecting data. For businesses taking Cardholder Not Present (CNP) payments or operating contact centres, securing the phone channel should be top of mind – especially when you consider consumer trust and security as part of building and maintaining a positive customer experience.

And as businesses add digital solutions to engage with customers on the channel of their choice, it will be important that they ensure adherence to stringent compliance and data privacy rules and regulations, such as the CCPA and GDPR, across all customer engagement channels.

With more and more consumers engaging with businesses in new ways, the growing sophistication of the threat landscape and the delicate nature of customer loyalty, organisations operating contact centres must adopt a secure omni-channel strategy – one that enables them to engage with customers on their preferred communication channel, whether it’s over the phone or on myriad digital channels including Webchat, social media, email, SMS and others.

In 2020 and beyond, as new digital technologies emerge, cybercriminals will have more devices to hack and data to steal. For businesses across industries, this means accommodating changing digital habits and preferences of consumers in a secure and compliant way. This will be key to surviving in the age of customer experience.

Guest Blog by Geoff Forsyth, CISO at PCI Pal
PCI Pal are a provider of secure and compliant payment technologies.

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