How to Manage Customer Service in the Data Privacy Era

Data protection and data privacy have quickly transitioned from a topic that primarily concerned paranoid tech enthusiasts to one that is a hot topic for everyone. How companies collect and store consumer data is increasingly relevant, as news of data breaches hit the wire on a regular basis.

Consumers are taking notice of this trend, and governments are demanding action. Around the world, new legislation is being enacted that places the burden of responsibility for data protection on the shoulders of the companies that collect and store the information. In addition to previously established privacy laws like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which sets privacy standards for the healthcare industry, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which mandates data privacy laws for companies collecting data from European nationals, new regulations around the globe impact companies in virtually every sector.

However, even in today's compliance-driven, regulatory landscape, companies still need to maintain competitiveness, so customer satisfaction remains an important differentiator.

As a result, many organizations are turning to employee monitoring to help balance their need to comply with data privacy regulations while also delivering a compelling customer service experience. Luckily, there are tools available that can help.

Here are three ways employee monitoring can help an organization improve customer service while also preventing damaging data loss.

Maximize Efficiency.

Monitoring software provides a unique glimpse into employees' strengths and weaknesses, while also identifying bottlenecks and hazards in the company's customer service initiatives. When deployed alongside a growth mindset, this software helps companies make decisions about which customer care strategies are working and which ones need to be improved.

For instance, employee monitoring software can record customer interactions, and it places tangible metrics on the speed and efficiency of customer service representatives. Not only does this serve an educational purpose, allowing companies to improve their practices based on accumulated feedback, if necessary, it positions managers to step in to mitigate problems that reps can't handle.

With that information, it's possible to optimize processes while pursuing the best customer experience. In doing so, companies maximize a critical factor that can help differentiate themselves in an increasingly restrictive business environment.

Implement and Enforce Data Loss Prevention Rules.

Of course, a pristine customer service experience is meaningless if companies can't fortify customer data, and employee monitoring software can help evaluate company norms in that regard. Few things damage a brand's reputation like a data breach, and more than half of data loss events are caused by internal sources.

Companies can (and should) set rules about data access and misuse, but even the best acceptable use policies are meaningless if employees are not evaluated according to established standards. Employee monitoring software provides that assessment mechanism.

Since up to 70 percent of employees have access to data not related to their work, preventing data misuse is a big job. However, by leveraging user activity monitoring, it's possible to ensure compliance. With employee monitoring software, IT administrators can be notified when acceptable use boundaries are violated, so they can take action to ensure compliance.

Identify High-Risk User Activities.

Today's employee monitoring software uses artificial intelligence to create a baseline user profile that establishes their normative use cases and evaluates acceptable parameters. Moreover, it monitors employee data usage to actively detect red flags, such as unusual access times or access points, providing a notification for IT administrators to evaluate.

This powerful, hands-off approach allows companies to confidently expect that their data remains secure and protected, even against the trickle of data leakage that often occurs at the employee level.

In doing so, employee monitoring software is protecting customer data and preserving the customer experience, all while ensuring that companies remain compliant with the most recent laws and that they don't experience reputational damage to their brands.

Our current regulatory environment makes it more important than ever to properly balance the customer experience with regulatory compliance. In many ways, these mandates are the same. Companies that adequately guard their customers' data are already improving the experience, and they are setting a new standard of customer service that can differentiate them from the competition. With employee monitoring processes and technologies in place, it's possible for companies to achieve both without compromise.

Isaac Kohen is founder and chief technology officer of Teramind, a, provider of employee monitoring, insider threat detection, and data loss prevention solutions.