Improving the Usability of your Call Centre Security Experience

Matt Smallman
Matt Smallman
4 mins read
Last updated
29 May 2024

Usability is a critical dimension of contact centre Security Experience performance. Callers may struggle to navigate the available services, provide information an organisation needs or ultimately have their reason for calling satisfied unless the experience is easy to use. The harder the process is to use the more frustrated callers, the more likely they are to require agent intervention and redirection even if they didn’t want or need it. Usability is also a significant factor in callers perception of an organisation’s overall customer experience.

Options to consider

If you want to improve the Usability of your Call Centre Security Experience here are some things you could consider:

Replace reference and account numbers with easy to use identifiers

Understanding the callers claimed identity is a key element of the Call Centre Security Experience but does it really have to require reference or account numbers known only to your organisations. Callers may have to go through old pieces of mail or files to find the magic number before they call or even as they are speaking to your agents. Identification is the act of identifying the unique record in your systems the caller is claiming to represent. In many cases, this doesn’t need to be anything more than their phone number which no one has difficulty remembering and is often the number they are calling from, so you may not even need to ask. If that is not appropriate, then callers can be asked for their address, which is harder to process for the organisation but adds little or no cognitive load to the caller.

Replace menus with natural language routing

Callers are increasingly used to stating their needs clearly to the voice assistants becoming ubiquitous in cars, homes and mobile phones. Comparable technology is approaching commodity prices for the limited range of likely requests a typical organisation receives. There really is no excuse for making callers listen to minutes of menu prompts and navigate their way in terms defined by the organisation they call only to get stuck in a dead-end and have to call back. This is particularly true for callers in moments of crisis you need to identify as quickly as possible and get to the right person. Even without asking, organisations already know an awful lot about their customer’s likely reason for calling based on their incoming phone number.

Introduce inherence or possession-based authentication

As fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated and more customer data has been lost, organisations have added additional knowledge-based security questions to protect themselves and their customers. These changes have made the process increasingly unusable for genuine customers. These questions’ increased obscurity makes it harder for callers to remember the answer and more likely to fail the process whilst adding very little real security.

By basing authentication on something the caller is (like their voice) or possesses (like their mobile phone), the caller’s effort can be significantly reduced as is the likelihood of the genuine customer being incorrectly denied access. Callers are increasingly accepting of the Biometric technology used in their mobile devices and Voice Biometric technology is starting to become available as part of the core feature of platforms like Amazon Connect at exceptionally accessible prices. Specialist vendors can provide solutions that can authenticate callers even with the short utterances provided to Natural Language IVRs creating truly conversational experiences with exceptional usability.

Balancing Usability with Security and Efficiency

Of course, usability isn’t the only dimension of the Call Centre Security Experience. It’s important to balance efficiency with both the usability and security of the process. The most efficient process may not always be the most secure or usable.

I am the expert in helping organisations find the right balance and implement new technologies and approaches to maintain this balance and improve all dimensions of the Call Centre Security Experience. We’ve written a separate article on Balancing Usability, Efficiency and Security in the Call Centre Security Experience that covers this in more depth.

Next Steps

These are only a small selection of the things you can do to improve your Call Centre Security Experience’s usability. Of course, even these require a lot more thought and consideration before they can be implemented.

You can read more about these issues on this site, get in touch for a no-obligation confidential initial discussion or take our free Call Centre Security Experience Scorecard assessment to see how your organisation performs and get recommendations customised to your unique situation.

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