GDPR and the call centre

April 20th, 2018

Are you a call centre or a brand using call centres as part of your marketing efforts? Read on.

Recent surveys unveil worrying GDPR stats for contact centres. Did you know that:

· 4% of UK’s working population is employed in contact centres?

· 61% of fraud originates in the telephony channel before spreading to digital channels?

· Poor data is costing brands 6% of annual revenue?

· Third parties account for 63% of all data breaches?In a world of increasing regulation around data, control and processing, the vast amount of personal information handled every day by call centres, puts them at the forefront of risk. This is because GDPR governs how businesses are required to handle the personal data of individuals, imposing tighter regulations on accessing, recording, processing and storing customer data. Here’s what you should be doing if you are a call centre or a brand that works with call centres:

For call centres:With the new data protection law, expect to hear the ‘how did you get my details? ’ a lot more often. Consumers are slowing becoming aware of GDPR and are keen to exercise their data rights if necessary, so you should be ready to answer any question regarding their personal data and always remember that you represent your client (the brand).

Just like you have an obligation to protect individuals’ data and brand reputation, you are also obliged to apply the new regulations to the management of that personal information. With consumers and brands being concerned about data security, data protection has to be integrated into the core of all your business procedures and all the tools and platforms you use on a daily basis.

It goes without saying that getting your own house in order first, is the most sensible thing to do. If you start addressing the challenges in time and have evidence that you are compliant, you won’t be the weakest link in the chain. You need businesses to trust you and be able to prove it, so be sure to get into compliance mode, sooner than later. This is your opportunity to embrace the new era of compliance, demonstrate your trustworthiness to the public and reducing the likelihood to damage your call centre’s reputation.

For brands:Behind call centres, consumers see a brand. Call centres (acting as data processors) handle a lot of your consumers’ data, so it is crucial to regularly question and audit how they process and store your customer data, as well as ensure that all agents know what they should be communicating to consumers regarding their data.

You, as a data controller, are liable for all those third-party companies included in your supply chain which means that it’s up to you to do due diligence, audit their processes and ensure that they are compliant with GDPR. Even if data processors have increased accountability, you need to cover any potential liability by imposing additional obligations on call centres in your written contracts – you wouldn’t want to pay penalties for a lack of proper due diligence and appropriate contractual requirements.

The needs of every business are different, but auditing your partners, training your employees and adapting to the new rules, is the way forward. GDPR does not only bring challenges, but also many opportunities, so if you are operating, collecting and processing individuals’ personal information lawfully, you stand a good chance of being seen favourably – both by consumers and the regulators (ICO).

2018 is going to be a transformational year for every business who has European customers. Whether you are a call centre or using call centres as part of your marketing efforts, Marketing Town can help you discover compliant data sources and higher quality, contactable leads and get access to a reliable network of data suppliers, respectively. And remember, 25th May 2018 is just the beginning of a long compliance journey, not the deadline!