Can Customer Service Cover the Online Risk?

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Which Team is Responsible for a business' online risk?

It’s 1996 and the role of customer service is clear – service the customer, deal with any issues, and make them happy. Contact was straight forward – people could call you, write to you by letter, the odd fax might of still been possible, and even emails had just started to appear thanks to free hotmail accounts. It was a straight forward transaction. We all knew the rules – you make contact and the customer service team went about solving it as best they could.

All of this occurred between the hours of 9am–5pm. The world was structured and managed into those hours. Customer service teams had a process – man the phones, open the letters and read the odd email in order to best serve the client or customer. Simple!

Over the past 25 years we have gradually seen more and more technology appear in the customer service workflow. First came the digital telephone systems which year on year got faster, cleverer, and cheaper. We then added in email and digitised the full customer service flow and unified records. Which brings us up to 2021 – finally, we are now able to integrate social channels into the mix. With everything at our fingertips – literally – we ended up expanding the hours of customer service as customers became impatient and demanded more and more. A lot of customer service channels are open 12 or 24 hours a day now.

Once the social channels appeared in the mix we took our servicing of them for the 12 hours a day to be understood that we have covered the risks that come on social media channels. Nothing could be further from the truth. Social media data doesn’t just contain people looking for customer service help – it contains a huge amount more. Social commentary, confidential leaks, and even reputational risks. Social media doesn’t come with a rule book of who can say what and when. Hoping that the marketing team or social media manager will detect and pick up the risks is also not a fail-safe. The risk is still there even when none of the teams employed to deal with it are looking.

The world is full of data which is moving at light-speed and staying switched on 24/7. That’s a lot of mental energy taken up by constantly looking for harm.

At RiskEye we work with all teams to ensure that every risk is covered and every risk gets a process so it can be dealt with – by the right person at the right time. We ensure the risks are distributed to every part of the business – be it the PR team, customer service team, social teams etc. Understanding that customer service is responsible for customer service not finding risks helps us ensure and protect businesses in a comprehensive and safe way. 

It’s time to stop point the finger at customer service teams looking for answers to how risk has been missed. It’s time to understand the rules of social media and acknowledge that the gap between harm happening online and the impacts in the real world are instantaneously and they definitely don’t know what your working hours are!

At RiskEye, we are moving to a time of needing new skills to see this new digital world in a new way. RiskEye monitor your brand online 24/7, using real people to send you alerts, so you don’t have to spend so much time watching for risk. 

For an insight into online risk and what it means for you, check out our website, or email [email protected]. We make social safer!

Check out our eir case study here..


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