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11 Jun


Great customer service but what about the ethical considerations?

11th June 2015 | By |

corporate ethicsI came across this HBR article which gives some great insights into the possibilities that technology offers for improving customer service. It gives some marvelous advice to business managers about how to do this more effectively in terms of thinking about the customer’s experience from the customer’s point of view and tailoring the service offered to what is most important to them.

As a consumer I love the idea of receiving more personalized service and tailored offerings.  However I do worry that the article overlooks the ethical considerations that should also be on a manager’s checklist. What are the privacy and data protection implications? Are there unintended consequences we need to consider? What information is the customer being asked to provide in order to avail of these enhanced service options? How much information do we need to give to the customer so that they can make an informed choice? If they miss out on these considerations managers risk reputation damage to the business in the pursuit of great customer service.

Only last weekend, the Sunday Times newspaper wrote about differing attitudes to data privacy in Europe and the USA. Tim Cook of Apple was quoted in the article as saying about other Silicon Valley businesses that they “have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information. They are gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”

So what’s right for your company and your customers? Be careful of getting too excited about the possibilities until you have thought through the possible consequences for your customers and for your business.