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How Government legislation is changing the nature of CRM
Following the announcement that Google will start personalising search results regardless of whether someone has opted-in to a previously. And adding to the raft of Government legislation aimed at combating terrorism and crime Dr. Kirstie Ball of the Open University Business Schools questions how the uses of consumer data are changing the nature of ‘customer service?’
Traditionally CRM has been directed towards defining customer attractiveness and value. But these changing national security arrangements are now affording it wider significance.
This includes the assumption that we are all, potentially, suspects, which cannot help but affect the nature of customer-provider relationships, management and service; how will we be judged and how will relationships with people supposed to serve us be shaped by bias?
The Financial Services Authority, for example, advises its members that they should look out for transactions featuring ‘risky’ combinations of people, products and places.
The FSA says you should be interested if you can see no commercial rationale for buying something. They talk about transaction size and complexity and if a customer requests undue levels of secrecy that is suspicious.
Within the travel industry, requesting certain seats on a plane, booking only a single fare, even requesting a special meal may all register as risk factors and will certainly be recorded in the tracking files the Border Agency intends to keep for 10 years.
It’s the effects of such monitoring and human judgements that may in the end have a much more far-reaching impact on the way we live our lives. And that might – like so much that is happening as a result of our surveillance society – go undetected and reported, but for projects like my current one.
At the level of the everyday, it’s clear we’re all going to feel the effects. In circumstances where 'being in the wrong category' results in the freezing of financial assets, deportation or imprisonment, the accuracy and application of profiles becomes critical.
Errors occur when databases are combined, missing information is 'filled in', data quality is poor, and profiles become inaccurate.
At its most dangerous, those factors ‘concretise’ prejudices, potentially affecting our economic opportunity and even liberty.