Customer Services Are Paying The Price For Compliance

Customer Services

As customers find security more and more taxing, it’s become increasingly clear that customer services operations are paying the price. Customer contact centres particularly are seeing a growing number of interactions about forgotten passwords or other access issues, and password reset is now regularly among the top three reasons for calls in many centres.

These interactions bring little or no value to the service provider, while generating significant levels of customer frustration. In a recent survey of over 2,000 UK consumers it was found that half of respondents felt security failure was a real issue.

For Customer Service Directors tasked with improving the experience offered to customers, a heightened security overhead not only increases customer frustration but also reduces the time their already busy resource can spend on resolving existing customer service issues.

The problem is compounded where organisations don’t have a fully integrated contact centre infrastructure, so that already frustrated customers often find themselves having to repeat security information in a call that they’ve already given to an Interactive Voice Recording system. Organisations are clearly experiencing real friction between their demanding compliance processes and an ongoing commitment to providing consumers with a positive customer experience.

This conflict usually arises between an organisation’s compliance operation and its customer service function – whether it’s security and fraud prevention in the financial services sector, or PCI card security adherence in the retail payments industry. Customer service operational teams invariably find this a major challenge, but it’s no use complaining – compliance is simply a fact of life for today’s major organisations.

The good news is that the two goals shouldn’t be mutually incompatible. Instead organisations need to find new ways to balance meeting their compliance needs while still offering a high quality customer experience. However, too many organisations still seem content to let the security/customer experience balance shift back towards the compliance area of their operations.

When my company interviewed Compliance Officers from different organisations within the contact centre space there was a distinct split between those that felt that compliance should function as a policing role within the business, and those that saw their role as helping the business to achieve its objectives while at the same time managing compliance requirements.

I believe it doesn’t have to be an either/or issue, and that you can achieve your compliance goals while still delivering a level of service that’s seamless for the customer. The application of innovative technologies such as voice biometrics, speech analytics and PCI payment solutions, for example, can help considerably in achieving the dual goals of increased compliance and reduced customer frustration.

If you’re currently experiencing the compliance/customer service disconnect, then you should certainly be looking at voice biometrics and speech analytics as a way forward, particularly given its ability to capture identification and verification data without increasing customer frustration levels.

Applied correctly, these technologies can help organisations tick both boxes – ensuring compliance and delivering a positive customer experience.

Ken Hitchen

Ken Hitchen is one of Sabio's founding directors and has over 18 years' experience of running contact centres globally. Ken has become a leading advisor to businesses on how to get the technology elements of their customer service operations right. He has led teams of consultants to deliver complex technology solutions to some of the UK's largest call centres including Argos, Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Building Society.