Could recent "cyber-attacks" on Sony's PSN affect customer feedback?

Identity theft itself is not a new phenomenon; stories of hooded criminals searching through bin bags or a sly barman copying down a credit card number over the till have been around for years. Today, though, the threat to individual’s personal details comes from multiple sources (I myself have had an email account hacked in order send spam emails); the most recent of which are large scale “hacks” into organisation’s databases.

Probably the most notable of these is Sony Playstation’s PSN network being breached by a cyber gang, gaining access to millions of gamers account details including credit card information. Other eye-catching stories recently include the breach of software company Square Enix’s system, plus the hacking of a South Korean Bank. But why am I writing about this subject in this blog?

One of the main difficulties in gathering feedback is how to increase the volume of responses; customers need to feel that when giving feedback, they are not exposing themselves to fraud or “cyber attack”. With these recent stories in the news, customers are going to be more wary than ever about giving away their personal details. Yet, there are a number of ways to not only assure the customer of the safety of giving feedback, but also avoid any issues altogether:

• The first is perhaps an obvious point, the companies gathering feedback must ensure the security and safety of the data collected; it is something that Fizzback has as a top priority.

• A multi-channel approach; use and offer a number of different channels for the customer to give feedback, allowing the customer to send their message in whichever they feel safest. For example it is likely that a customer feels safer sending an SMS than an email.

• Move away from old style surveying which records large amounts of customer’s personal information. This not only reduces the time it takes to complete the survey and thus increases volumes, but also ensures the customer is more comfortable completing it.

Organisations must not allow the fear of internet hacking or other hi-tech crimes to affect customer feedback. It is why it is more important than ever to be pro-active in making the customer feel secure in giving feedback and protecting the data that is collected. Breaches in trust take a long time to repair, as many commentators on the PSN affair have stated with regard to Sony. 

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