GDPR is coming. Are you ready?


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect next month, and businesses are taking steps to ensure compliance. This includes considering the impact and full extent of the new legislation in every area of their organization. If the organization includes a contact center, the rules around data and how it is captured and stored is especially relevant.

The most important change with GDPR is that companies need to explain why they want customer data and how they intend to use it – control has really been handed back to the customer. This will impact any company that captures EU customer data whether in the EU, US or otherwise.

Threat or Opportunity?

As the hub of every customer touch point, the contact center is certain to be handling, changing and processing personal data, warranting careful assessment of the GDPR regulations. It’s critical that businesses continue to deliver exceptional customer experiences to their customers as they implement the changes required for compliance. So, what are the elements of customer engagement excellence in the contact center?


Beyond simply ensuring as little disruption as possible to existing services while implementing the GDPR related changes, it’s important to offer consistent service levels and capabilities across channels, business units, and agents. For example, GDPR regulation includes the ‘right to erasure’, meaning individuals will have the right to have all of their personal data erased when being processed using the legal basis of consent, legitimate or public interests. Organizations must comply without undue delay if such a request is made. This capability, and indeed all services offered, should be available across all contact methods for a consistent customer experience.

Tracking All Interactions

To be more certain of GDPR compliance, contact centers should have the capability to capture and analyze every customer interaction. This will demonstrate that the organization is following the correct procedures by asking for the customer’s consent, or properly documenting the revocation of consent. Having a platform that allows for easy capture and tracking of disposition codes for each interaction, along with the ability to include multiple reason codes per contact, is critical.


Although the GDPR legislation is about privacy of information, this doesn’t negate the contact center’s ability to provide personalized, informed service. Personalization can include understanding and leveraging the customer journey, the context of previous discussions with the business, and even preferences in terms of channels and agents. It also includes the consistency and consolidation of information shared, as contacts are transferred within the organization.

Opportunity to Build Trust with GDPR

As you prepare for GDPR, it is important to look beyond the minimum viable compliance. In general, GDPR creates an environment that most of us – as customers – would want. It encourages companies to be open about how they ask for and use customer data and it gives us the right to be forgotten and removed from a database. The enforcement of these regulations can be viewed as an opportunity for organizations to make trust and service excellence their key competitive differentiators while also updating current systems and processes. Platforms like the omnichannel-ready agent desktop from Upstream Works provide organizations with the opportunity to take a fresh look at their operations and make changes that can elevate them from GDPR-compliant to a provider of customer experience excellence.

Upstream Works Aids GDPR

Upstream Works provides omnichannel-ready contact center software that is designed to provide optimal customer experience. It does not store customer profile records itself; it does however maintain interaction records which identify customers in terms of pertinent information that enables a great CX, including channel of contact, reason for the contact, and any other information the contact center deems to be useful. The desktop and routing platform can also track repeat contact behaviors and can help identify potential fraud.
There is an opportunity to improve the way that companies use customer data and to improve the customer experience. It’s time to take action. Contact us to learn more about Upstream Works and how we can help support your GDPR plans.