CX marks the spot: Lessons for restoring trust with customers after a company data breach

data breach

Consumers have become increasingly comfortable with providing personal data to brands in order to receive a personalised experience and seamless customer journey. However, recent news that Uber concealed a data breach affecting 57 million users and drivers for a year, demonstrates the rapid mistrust a brand can generate when it doesn’t adequately protect this data, or worse, knowingly hides a breach.

A poster child for seamless customer experience (CX), Uber’s data breach raises major concerns around the organisation’s commitment to protecting its customers, and providing a safe and reliable experience. In the wake of this crisis, Uber must make strategic decisions to restore customer trust or risk losing its loyal customer base.

This incident should come as a stern warning to emerging sharing economy players, especially given the exponential growth in competitors eager to fill any gap they spot in the market.

Making strategic investments in the right technologies to ensure a seamless omnichannel customer experience at all times, and especially in the wake of a crisis, needs to become a top priority to regain and maintain customer trust.

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Today’s cybercriminals are one step ahead, with their attacks increasingly more malicious. If 2017 is anything to go by, data breaches will continue to rise in years to come. For customers, one of the most damaging experiences is to have personal information, which they so trustingly shared, exposed to cybercriminals. In order for organisations to win trust back after a breach, how they respond in the aftermath must have the customers’ best interests at heart.

In the wake of a data breach, customers expect transparency and immediate action. Customer frustrations arise when they don’t feel like they are the organisation’s top priority. If customers are stuck waiting on hold for hours or experience chat bot glitches as a result of unexpectedly high volumes of traffic, this will only exacerbate the situation and cause customers to lose even more trust in the organisation.

Therefore, not only do organisations need to ensure they can manage the peak in traffic, but information must also be available to customers and customer service staff at the click of a button to ensure a seamless customer experience. In an organisation, each department, location and channel needs to have a holistic view of the customer, available at any point in time, to facilitate ongoing communication.

The overall perception of an organisation’s CX will be greatly improved by providing customer service teams with the right tools to pre-empt customer concerns, and ensuring contact centers are able to endure the peak in activity following a breach. In Uber’s case for instance, if a customer begins a conversation by submitting a complaint on the application’s customer help portal in the wake of a breach and the issue is not resolved, they will likely make an attempt to seek further help along the customer service journey. If all support staff have easy access to each customer’s conversation history, they will be able to easily pick up where the last conversation left off, reassuring the customer and increasing their trust towards the organisation.

Investing in automated testing

In today’s competitive sharing economy, consumers are spoilt for choice, and time-poor customers are very unforgiving. They will be quick to turn to competitors after experiencing CX failures. This makes it more important than ever to measure and monitor CX at an operational level in order to provide CX assurance.

Measuring Operational Customer Experience (OCX) through synthetic automated interactions provides organisations with the ability to view customer journeys across digital channels with an outside-in perspective, in an objective and repeatable way. Doing so allows flawless customer experiences by detecting and eliminating operational failures that lead to customer dissatisfaction before they even happen. This lowers the amount of revenue lost due to customer frustrations and increases loyalty, which should be a priority for any organisation following a data breach.

Unforgiving customers will not wait for the best CX — they will move on to an organisation that is already offering it. Given that the core of their service offering is driven by creating seamless customer experiences, delivering exceptional CX should be a top priority for organisations like Uber, especially following a breach. Ultimately, organisations must invest in OCX measurement or risk falling behind industry CX leaders.


About the author

Alok Kulkarni is the co-founder, CEO, and chairman of Cyara. Alok founded the company with a belief that the right software testing platform would enable businesses to guarantee success in serving their customers while keeping up with the rapid pace of innovation and consumer expectations. 

Prior to Cyara, he was Director, Solutions Engineering, at Genesys where he led the team that architected contact center solutions for the Asia Pacific market, driving Genesys to the top position in that market. He also held various engineering roles at National Australia Bank, NEC, Lincolne Scott, and Boral Building Technologies.