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The New Ethics of Customer Engagement

Aug 02, 2023, By Natalie Mackay

The contact center industry is witnessing a significant transformation in compliance practices; driven by stricter, more enforceable compliance acts and companies facing larger fines or penalties. Learn more.

Our industry is witnessing a significant transformation in compliance practices; largely driven by stricter, more enforceable compliance acts and companies facing larger fines or penalties. With increasingly complex compliance requirements, organizations are under tremendous regulatory scrutiny. Consider the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported enforcement actions have resulted in $3.7 billion in penalties. You may think that the burden of compliance would force many businesses to pivot strategy, downsize their workforce, or worse, act unethically. While there are some contact centers that have suffered or have compromised their standards and mission, there are plenty of contact centers thriving in this new landscape. By harnessing technology solutions, call centers have been able to enhance their compliance efforts, mitigate risks, and deliver ethical customer engagement. 

It turns out that data management, compliance monitoring, call recording and analytics, and workforce management all get easier when you play by the same set of rules.  

As a technology organization, Alvaria has long encouraged contact centers to adopt robust CRM systems to securely store and manage customer information. These systems were designed to facilitate proper data handling, including consent management, data encryption, and access controls. In response to a post-covid and increasingly globalized world, we’ve launched a myriad of cloud-based solutions, ensuring call centers have premier data security, backup, and disaster recovery. This technology also enables automated data scrubbing, ensuring compliance with do-not-call lists and easily remove outdated or invalid contact information. As automation becomes integrated, we’ve been able to vastly improve data management technologies, allowing contact centers to streamline compliance processes, reduce human error, and ensure the accuracy and integrity of customer data. This technology not only demands, but relies on strict adherence to data privacy regulations and security measures to protect sensitive data. Safeguarding customer information has never been easier or more streamlined. Encryption, multi-factor authentication, and secure storage systems are built not just to spec, but also to maintain customer trust and uphold ethical standards. 

You may have noticed that AI is rapidly transforming call center operations. Data analysis, performance metrics, employee development, and training have all seen radical changes due to AI and RPA powered improvements. But AI is also enabling more efficient and ethical decision-making processes. AI-powered tools can analyze vast amounts of data to identify customer preferences and predict their needs accurately, helping agents tailor their responses and offers, leading to improved customer satisfaction in real time. AI speech analysis is currently being trained to detect and address potential ethical breaches, biased language or discriminatory practices, ensuring a fair and equitable customer engagement environment. 

Ethical customer engagement isn’t all about technology. Engagement is predicated on well-trained customer service representatives. Contact centers are continuing to invest in comprehensive training programs to equip agents with the necessary skills. We’ve seen that data and results are reliant on engaged agents. Conflict resolution training, emotional intelligence quotients, and cultural sensitivity are further empowering agents and organizations to handle customer inquiries more ethically and professionally. In our highly politicized and visible world, customer experience now extends from the products and services they receive to the values and practices of the companies they interact with. A positive social image and responsible footprint are nearly on par with the quality of service in determining CSAT. Embracing these trends not only fosters better customer relationships but also positions call centers as responsible corporate entities.  

As we recognize and reward the significance of ethical practices in customer engagement, contact centers will continue to serve as critical touchpoints for maintaining positive relationships with clients. Ethical customer engagement entails adopting fair, transparent, and respectful approaches when interacting with customers and their data. While technology isn’t the only factor, historically, massive changes have all been sparked by new technology. These platforms will only continue to develop and provide momentum. Contact centers that can build trust with customers while providing social proof of competence are positioning themselves for long-term success. The evolving landscape of call center practices, where data privacy, AI-powered decision-making, agent training, and socio-political responsibility play crucial roles means that ethical customer engagement now extends beyond individual interactions. Are you ready? Learn more about our industry-best compliant outbound solutions.  

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