Thought leadership

Customer service technology specialist Sabio has published the results of its major research project examining the state of ‘Data security in call centres’. The research examines consumer concerns about the security of their personal identity and payment card data, quantifies the impact that consumer fraud concerns is having on organisations, and identifies call centres as potentially the weakest security link – despite consumers still being reliant on them for resolving queries.

The independent research report – commissioned jointly by Sabio and Avaya – identifies the challenges faced by organisations as consumers demand better security while also valuing both convenience and quick interactions. Consumers particularly highlighted security procedures and remembering passwords for identity and verification (ID&V) as a tedious barrier to efficient customer service. The report also highlights considerable levels of consumer frustration, with 60% complaining about organisations asking for security details when there is no need, and 55% annoyed about having to repeat details on the same call. Consumers also expressed discomfort in sharing security details with call centre agents.

“We commissioned the research to find out what consumers are thinking, and also to understand the cost implications of evolving customer concerns for the organisations they deal with,” explained Sabio Founding Director, Kenneth Hitchen. “However, rather than simply highlight a problem, we’ve also built on the research to provide organisations with six key insights into consumer thinking that we believe are essential for today’s compliance and customer service leaders to understand.”

For organisations looking to respond to real consumer concerns about how safe organisations actually keep their data, the research suggests the need to appreciate that:


  1. We’re only human: consumers show a definite preference for brands that make it easier for them to go through identification and verification when making payments

  2. Work-arounds: consumers regularly jeopardise their own personal data security in order to make their lives easier

  3. B+ for effort: most consumers try hard to take care of their personal data, but aren’t always perfect

  4. Alias-mania: consumers often try to hide their true identities when dealing with businesses

  5. The long number: consumers are worried about sharing their personal and payments data verbally over the phone

  6. Who’s to blame?: consumers are aware that they need to protect themselves from fraud – but feel that organisations (merchants and acquiring banks particularly) should shoulder more responsibility


“It’s increasingly clear that there’s real friction within organisations between those responsible for policing compliance and the customer service teams charged with delivering improved levels of customer experience,” continued Sabio Founding Director, Kenneth Hitchen. “At Sabio we recommend a number of potential technology innovations that can help organisations to make life easier for customers, including solutions that help you ensure the right security levels while easing the customer password load; that remove potential barriers to telephony commerce; and that allow you to identify and act on customer frustrations much earlier.”

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