Shep Hyken On: How Privacy Will Impact Customer Service

Customer Service Expert Shep Hyken.

Customer service expert Shep Hyken discusses the evolving definition of privacy, and how it will affect customer experience in 2021.

In an interview with author and CS expert Shep Hyken for our Navigating Customer Service in 2021 trend guide, we talk privacy: its evolving definition and the role privacy plays in customer support.

What role does privacy plays in customer service?

Now, I’m not a privacy expert, but I’m going to take it from the consumer standpoint, I do a lot of reading on this.

1. Sharing sensitive information

If I’m going to give you my credit card information, if I’m going to give you the last four digits of my Social Security, you know, information like that, I expect that to be locked in a safe somewhere digital or not, that nobody can get to and breach my personal life as a result of that. Okay, so that’s the level of privacy.

But then there’s the idea of, I’m going to share with you some information, and I expect you to use that information to give me a better experience. And let me give you the most basic example of that major retail chain, Target. Not that many years ago, maybe three years ago, they said, “Hey, we know that we’re sending you information, but we’re sending you information about an awful lot, would you please tell us what you’re really, really interested in? So we could stop wasting your time with information that you don’t need?”

So, I see that as “I’m willing to give you this insight on what I love and what I’m interested in, in exchange for you not abusing it. And, overmarketing to me, because you’ll lose me if you do that.”

2. Selling data

Number two, you know, “are you going to sell that to somebody? Promise me you won’t do that.” But if I’m going to give you ways to connect with me, and all of a sudden I’m feeling spammed by people I’ve never heard of, but I know the only company I gave this information to was this company, you breached my trust in you.

Guess what, I’ll do everything I can to get away from you. I’ll delete you and put you on my spam list. I’ll put you in a filter that never allows you to connect with me again.

Like, if you could put a chip in me, and only give me and market to me what I’m really interested in and give me the deals that are best appropriate to what I’m ready to buy, [then] I think that you’re making my life better. And I’m willing to do that with you.

Another version of managing this type of communication is asking me: “How often do you want to hear from me? You want my report every day? Do you want it once a month? You know, do you want it once a week?”

So I love music. You can see in my background, I have guitars. There’s my favorite guitar shop here, a boutique guitar shop. They email me every single day. And I don’t mind that because I love music and guitars. Okay, now, if the XYZ retail company emails me every single day, I would probably opt out of the list because I don’t have that love for them. But once you learn about me and you use it the right way, you’ll capture my attention.

I think privacy is number one, the actual safety of privacy makes it safe for me, makes me trust you. And number two, what’s gonna make me trust you is when you personalize it to a point that I know you’re talking to me, and I’m feeling that connection.

Get more insights on customer service technology in the new year from Shep and many more customer service experts who we interviewed for our Navigating Customer Service in 2021 trends guide.

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