Thanks to the internet, almost all businesses today are experiencing a digital transformation. The shift from storing information in ledgers and registers to securing details in cloud storage using high-speed internet is becoming increasingly common. However, the move from in-store to digital operations is posing hurdle for many businesses coming to terms with this slow and gradual reality.
Instances of data breaches are common in call centers handling inbound customer calls. All inbound call centers have support teams that typically monitor calls from existing customers or new visitors inquiring about product or service details or seeking resolutions to their grievances. Inbound call centers provide professional assistance like customer service, tech support, product assistance, solve billing problems, or help to place an order. Besides, the employees at inbound call centers pay heed to customer problems and their requests timely and efficiently.
Many inbound call centers invest a major part of the revenue earned through cross-sells and upsell to install security protocols to guard themselves against potential data breaches. Since securing complete protection from data breaches is not possible, most of them outsource inbound call center services to prevent their customers from becoming victims of identity theft.
Benefits of Inbound Call Center Outsourcing
Many companies save on their resources in terms of infrastructure and manpower by outsourcing their inbound call center solutions. The benefit of managing core business processes and earning profits without having to allocate a part of the earnings to train employees or pay for expensive software underscores the importance of outsourcing inbound call services to expert companies handling the customer care services of their clients.
Many companies now outsource inbound call center services to call centers that also promise extra services at no added costs including:
- Scheduling sales demonstrations
- Increasing the frequency of loyalty programs
- Providing phone services
- Handling customer requests
- Enhancing telesales
- Taking orders from customers
- Answering queries on calls
- Assuring all-round helpdesk services
- Assisting in online sales
Kinds of Security Threats to Call Centers
Experienced hackers can bring down the working and reputation of a call center in no time. Inbound call centers find it imperative to execute safety measures against possible security threats like:
- Telephony denial-of-service attacks
- Data theft attack
- Violation of do-not-call registry
- Identity theft due to misdialing
- Physical security threats
Safety Measures to Lessen Data Security Risks
Call centers unable to ensure adequate data security not only fail to continue their businesses but also come under the country’s security radar citing possible national threat. To ensure safety against data breaches, call centers take the following measures.
One of the mistakes that several inbound call center companies make is to not give much importance to phone authentication when compared to web authentication techniques like CAPTCHA and 2-Factor Authentication. They focus on identity rather than authentication. Identity involves knowledge of factors such as email id, middle name, phone number, and social security number which can be easily available to anyone besides the individual. These details don’t change and so anyone who has possession of these details can easily pose as the actual individual. With even the big corporations facing data leak crises, proper authentication ensure that the person speaking to you is that person.
How can you Properly Authenticate a User?
You have several options such as service codes, SMS OTPs, PIN, callbacks, and email verification OTPs for authentication. Service codes are used by popular services like Netflix for authentication where the customer is required to log into their account and click on the code so a token is generated. This code automatically expires in 24 hours and so when a customer provides the code, the call center representative can then go ahead with the customer’s request.
SMS OTPs are good authentication methods as a code is provided on your mobile phone for authentication. Amazon uses this method of authentication.
A PIN is used by various mobile carriers for authentication. A four-digit or six-digit PIN is more personal and offers a convenient yet secure key to relay over the phone call. Callbacks are increasingly used by companies for authentication because it gives the agent proof that the customer is genuine. For example, some people are unable to authenticate themselves by other methods and so a callback can establish that the customer is the one who genuinely called the call center. Email verification OTPs are good authentication methods as they provide the ability to authenticate the user. You can use one or more methods of authentication to ensure you authenticate users properly.
With the rising fear of privacy concerns, you want to avoid oversharing information about your caller because that will only make them feel more vulnerable. There is already enough fear regarding the Covid-19 crisis and the last thing you want to do is give rise to that fear and make things worse. For example, inexperienced agents in some inbound call center solutions companies tend to confirm information. They say things along the lines of ‘Is this Robert Burns that I am speaking to?’ Even if it is not the authentic customer who has called, this provides easy information for the would-be attacker.
When the attacker has received information so easily, he can use it in other malicious ways. For instance, he can call other call centers using the information he received from the first call center to authenticate himself and get other information. This sounds like a far-fetched idea but many call centers don’t have enough proper authentications in place which means customers are always at risk. You should avoid doing this at all costs and ensure you are not providing any information before authenticating customers properly. Some call centers provide information through their automated greeting and at times, too much information is provided than necessary.
Personal information must be just that, personal. It is easy to fall into the trap of providing excess information but you should not do that because it has many ramifications. It will ruin your reputation as a company and it will make your customers fearful of even calling your call center which is not good. If you have automated greetings for certain requests when callers call then ensure it does not provide enough information for stalkers and attackers to misuse. You should only provide sufficient information as necessary without giving too much away. This will safeguard your customer’s personal information.
Training agents who provide inbound call services are essential because they are the ones who will interact with the callers directly. If you don’t upskill agents during the current pandemic panic period, then there might be lapses that can leak customer information unintentionally. For example, let us say your company focuses on being helpful to your customers. Your agents might be trained to be helpful in all cases and not to authenticate the users properly when they call. If you train them to authenticate and then provide any information at every step of the way when a sensitive piece of information is being shared, then they will do that whenever they get a call and this can easily help improve security.
One of the effective ways of training is to limit how much information is available to your agents. You should only provide enough information about the customer to your agent as he needs to know. Of course, there are different agents and how much access they have will depend on their level and what type of requests they deal with. This can help you be in charge of how much they know and what they can share. You should explicitly tell your agents about how much information they should share and what authentication methods should be used to ensure it is the genuine customer who is making the call.
If your call center deals with sensitive customer data then it is best if you have dedicated staff who deals with that data only and have the authority to perform certain actions based on that. This way, your customer’s data is protected and secure at all times. You should train your agents to only reveal any information after the authentication is successful. You should make it clear to your agents about when the call needs to be forwarded to some other specialist. Try gating sensitive data from low-level agents and only provide critical customer information to the senior support executives who are experienced and well equipped to handle and manage this data.
Want to ensure top-notch security in your inbound call center services? Then consider outsourcing your inbound call center services to Expert Callers. We always put the privacy and security of customers’ personal information as our top priority. With over 10 years of experience in providing call center services, we at Expert Callers have taken the time and dedicated the resources to ensure data security of the highest order. Apart from infrastructure and tech, our skilled staff working in our inbound call center teams have been trained to ensure they use the right practices during this COVID period and beyond, to authenticate and provide unparalleled secured service to every business.
Wrapping it Up
Multiple layers of authentication and security are essential to reducing the risk of data breaches. Layered security on customer details and emails sent and received help by:
- Assuring that no email gets intercepted
- Preventing unauthorized access in case of email sent to the wrong recipient
- Averting all chances of call center staff getting access to customer data
- Obviating any instance of dishonest employees siphoning off customer credentials
With so many ways to breach data security at your call center, it makes sense to review your current security measures or outsource inbound call center services. Applying necessary security methods at your inbound call services center not only lessens the risks of threats but ensures continued business of your call center.
To know more about our inbound call center services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org