Customer Service Trends

The End of the Internet’s Grand Bargain and you as a Customer Experience professional

As a customer experience professional you may be aware!

Un May 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect, two years after passage by the European Parliament.

This radical new privacy law, which covers any business that processes information about EU residents, will dramatically affect the way data is collected, stored, and used , including for U.S. companies doing business abroad.

Source: GDPR and the End of the Internet’s Grand Bargain

I do share my thoughts, concerns and worries in this short post.

What happened the last decades?

Large customer service organizations started collecting data of their customers in the late ’80’s or the early ’90’s.  From my own experience in the Netherlands it took at least a decade before privacy and data security became a management issue in large contact center operations.

Things got even worse after going digital. Websites, webforms, e-commerce, Google, social media created a tsunami of data stored often on company or private owned computers or stored in the cloud. As stated in the article, today nearly 40% of all cybersecurity incidents involve insiders, not hackers.

And  the mindset became (and even is)  that digital and online enables and empowers you. To “target,” “capture,” “acquire,” “manage,” “control” and “lock in” leads, customers and employees in an aggressive, under water way.

Nevertheless, also as a result of the use of data by third-parties customer experience became better and better. Better advertisements (?), better recommendations, a more seamless experience in using apps and so on. And in the end of the day, better living standards with a disposable incomes that did not change in the last few decades.

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A wicked problem for customer experience professionals

We all knew that the free internet experience is based on the exchange of personal data for advertising. Is it not quite embarrassing that US-politicians did not know till 10 April 2018 what the business model of Facebook was, is and probably will be.

For those into customer experience, there were, are and will be many dilemma’s. As some claim that trust is the core of any business, any relationship or encounter, professionals have to work on this wicked problem.

Intention economyIt was in 2012 that Doc Searls published The Intention Economy. A wake-up call. Claiming “that while marketers look for more ways to get personal with customers, including new tricks with “big data,”. And that customers are about to get personal in their own ways, with their own tools.”  In his book Doc Searls describesdan economy driven by consumer intent.  Vendors must respond to the actual intentions of customers. Instead of vying and spying for the attention of many.  New customer tools will provide the engine. VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) providing the consumer counterpart to vendors’ CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems.


Have you seen the future yet?

For some of us as customers, this concept may work (provided you have enough time or adequate tooling). But many customers lack the motivation and skills to get personal with their data. And that implies that customers experience professionals must address the wicked problem of how to create better and better experiences using offline or online collected data of their leads, customers and employees.

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A Dutch media personality stated 8 April 2018 that he would delete his impressive Facebook account on Wednesday 10th April 2018. And indeed he did. Impacting the way how to deliver his audience experience in an impressive way.

How can one operate in a profitable – technology driven – way without the free use of personal data?

What do you think?





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