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If you are a technology service provider and have been taking notice of GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation) and the new Data Protection Bill making its way through Parliament, then you will be aware that there are changes in the offing. One of those that is likely to be particularly relevant if you handle or process your client’s data or the data they hold on their customers, is the changed status of data processors and data controllers. Currently, there’s a very clear difference between the two. As a data processor, the “my client told me to do it” defence isn’t quite water-tight, but in most cases it will keep you out of trouble. 

It won’t do so in future, though. GDPR puts a lot more onus on data processors to be confident that the data they are handling is being used appropriately and compliantly.

So, just something to address from 26th May 2018 onwards, then? I think not. 

 

A few months ago, we blogged about 3 things that contact centres and people responsible for customer experience needed to know about GDPR (the new set of EU data protection rules, now being written into UK law in the new Data Protection Bill, which had its first reading in parliament earlier this month). We explained that the DMA’s Contact Centre Council had been considering how contact centres should best square GDPR compliance with optimising customer experience and securing companies’ commercial goals. www.linkedin.com/pulse/contact-centres-3-things-you-need-know-gdpr-steve-sullivan/ Back then we highlighted: 

• the possible need for a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

• changing requirements between data Controllers and Processors

• the need to ensure your corporate insure cover reflects changed obligations and liabilities 

We said we’d continue to keep you informed as to what we understand about how GDPR will take effect and the impact it is likely to have on customer facing operations. 

Since then, although the Data Protection Bill has started to make its way through parliament, some detailed, practical aspects of how GDPR will be interpreted – specifically around customer consent and profiling - remain a little unclear. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s final guidance on these areas is still awaited. However, as the ICO has made clear (www.iconewsblog.org.uk/category/elizabeth-denham/), there’s a great deal we can be certain of. Organisations need to get into a fit state before the new DPA makes compliance with GDPR mandatory by May next year And for many organisations, that will be big ask.

So, here are another 3 things you need to know about. There will be more aspects of GDPR / the new DPA to consider in future, but take these on board for now. They will all have a direct impact on your front-line staff, in contact centres, in the field and in-store.

The information Commissioner hasn't been relaxing over the summer

 

August is a funny time of year, isn’t it? If you’re not on holiday – and as long as your colleagues’ absence hasn’t meant that you’re up to your eyes in their work - then August can be a great time to catch up on the things you’ve been putting off. Putting in plans for your ’peak’ season, reading some of those thought leadership articles you’ve downloaded and never had a chance to catch up on, swapping your wonky chair with a better one from the first floor, completing that mandatory e-learning course that no-one’s noticed you’ve not yet done, etc.

You could start blogging about your work and your organisation, make a commitment to write a blog every week and (the really impressive bit) actually do so. It would seem to be a strange time to start, though, when a large proportion of your audience is either away from work or distracted from their typical working routine.

However, that’s what Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, has done this month.

 

It’s now over 2 months since the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Flybe and Honda £70,000 and £13,000, respectively, for infringing PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations). So, why are these two cases still being talked about? Partly, of course, because it’s very rare that blue-chip brands like Flybe and Honda are subject to Enforcement action – and all the resultant reputational damage - by the ICO because of their customer contact and marketing activities.
But there are 3 wider lessons that stand out and should be considered by marketers of brands big and small.

You may well have read about the impact of GDPR (the new set of EU data protection rules, due to be written into UK law by May 2018) and excitable comments about the potential fines of 4% of global turnover or €20 million, whichever’s the greater.

But isn’t that all a bit over the top? It’s only going to be the real rogues and miscreants who will need to start working out what the current sterling equivalent of €20m is, surely?

Not necessarily.

water, water everywhere...

This article was originally published on About Match's UK website www.aboutmatch.co.uk

The biggest change in the world of contact centre technology over the past several years has been the rise of mobile and digital channels. It’s been a case of “follow the consumer”, as organisations frenetically play catch-up to deploy new technology to feed their customers’ insatiable digital appetites.

 

Maybe, just maybe, we should all follow JustCloud's example, start worrying less about sophisticated customer journey mapping and try some old-fashioned customer service.

“Be nice to people on your way up, because you never know who you’ll meet on your way down!” is one of my mother’s favourite phrases. It might be redolent of the days of a more linear career progression, but surely good advice all-round.

An acid test of a brand and how they really feel about customers and how to treat them is when you’re leaving. We talk a lot about customer journeys, but often the most memorable stage is the point of departure. How do we feel about a brand that we’re moving away from – and how does the brand’s behaviour as we end our transactional relationship impact on our future perception?

Turning customer satisfaction to disatisfaction

I love Decathlon. I’ve recently bought a new bike there. It was great value and I’m very pleased with it. I’ve been in twice since to buy more accessories.

So, why am I starting to feel dissatisfied?

The reason, oddly, is that Decathlon has tried to get my feedback on my experience in store. You might think I’d be all for the sort of thing, but here’s why it’s not working out for either of us.

email customer service SLA contact centre

It’s two weeks since I wrote a blog article about my frustrated attempts to get through to New Place, a Principal Hotel Company hotel, to see if they had a gym:
www.linkedin.com/pulse/who-we-again-steve-sullivan

 

Tomorrow I’m staying at the New Place Hotel in Hampshire, part of the Principal Hotels group. It looks like a lovely place, but it wasn’t clear to me from the website if it had a gym. So, this evening I did a quick search on my phone and top of Google’s list was the hotel’s own site:

New Place Screenshot 1

New Place Screenshot 2

Our BT broadband failed the other week, for the second time in the space of a few months. I wasn’t happy. But it gave me the opportunity to get a real-world BT customer experience. And it wasn’t great.

However, I have come up with three practical observations and tips for BT – and indeed any of us responsible for customer service and fault rectification. All three should be very easy to implement. They don’t need a radical overhaul of how BT manages its customer service operation or their underlying technologies (both of which are no doubt complex and hard to improve). It’s just a matter of thinking about how they use their current solutions and techniques.

A little while ago I sat in a conference room listening to a (rightly) well-respected customer experience guru propound the importance of Customer Experience becoming a profession. Through recognised qualifications, methodologies and practitioner groups Customer Experience could become established and respected.

It’s hard to argue with that logic. Over the past few decades HR, technology and marketing have joined legal services and accountancy to gain perceived stature through becoming recognised as professional activities, best trusted to qualified experts. Even in a world of work where it’s increasingly difficult for outsiders to understand from job titles what people actually do, there is organisational cachet and implied authority from having a ‘professional job’. And professional roles and disciplines tend to become indispensable by being ‘baked in’ to organisational design and operating models.

Great. As far as it goes.