Four years ago, Daniella Sya received an inappropriate text from her Uber driver.
Shocked by the misuse of her personal details, the Malaysian actress blocked the number and shared her plight on Facebook.
Soon, Sya’s multiple female friends caught wind of the post and flocked in to share similar experiences.
What was thought to be an isolated incident turned out to be a far more common problem.
You know this by now: a breach in customer privacy negatively impacts companies.
When a company fails to protect customers, it pays a penalty for unauthorized disclosure of data. And that’s only the best case scenario.
The worst case scenario?
It causes an angry mob of customers voicing their displeasure online, causing permanent damage to not only its brand image, but its revenue and growth.
How to Protect Customer Privacy—The Answer Lies in Phone Number Masking
Protecting customer privacy is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
To build trust in customers who have invested time and money in your business, you need to step up to secure the data you keep.
One such way is masking phone numbers during phone calls.
Number masking is empowered by Voice API.
This Voice API with number masking enables customers and customer support agents to communicate directly with each other without revealing their actual phone numbers.
For a driver who is receiving a call from his passenger from a ride-hailing company, it might look a little something like this:
Instead of the passenger’s phone number, all the driver sees is a virtual number
Number masking safeguards customers’ privacy thanks to anonymized phone calls.
How Number Masking Works—A Real World Example
Let’s say, a delivery rider is caught in a traffic jam and wants to contact a customer to let her know he’s running late.
For this example, we’ll use Wavecell.
When the delivery rider initiates a call through the delivery app, he automatically connects to a Wavecell virtual number—a number that’s owned by the courier service company.
How a Voice API enables a delivery rider and customer to communicate with each other—without revealing their real phone numbers
Next, the Voice API notifies the courier service company’s server with the delivery rider’s personal details.
It then promptly returns the customer’s number.
The Voice API then dials the customer’s number and connects her with the delivery rider. The customer will receive a call from this same virtual number. By this time, both participants’ actual phone numbers are hidden.
After the call ends, this virtual number is reassigned to other participants on the platform, and the cycle repeats.
Why Should You Care About Number Masking?
The benefits of number masking goes beyond protecting your customers’ privacy. It also plays a big role in your company’s revenue and profits.
Let’s take a deeper look:
1) It stops you from losing money
Without access to the actual phone numbers, customers and third-party service providers are unable to engage in private communications to conduct off-platform transactions.
You never have to worry about revenue leakage, because all payments happen within the platform.
2) It saves money
The average phone bill costs USD$73 a month—companies that provide mobile phone reimbursement for an amount of this size will find it painfully expensive in the long run.
Fortunately, this is where number masking comes in handy.
Since employees (or third-party service providers) will be conducting these phone calls on the platform itself, they don’t have to drain their mobile talktime balance, which in turn helps your business reduce a ton of expenses down the road.
3) It boosts your brand loyalty (and profits!)
When you demonstrate that you have your customers’ best interests at heart, your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Customers stick around with companies that go above and beyond to protect their privacy and create a great experience.
These loyal customers—who always return to support you—play a huge role in your business growth.
In fact, just a 5% increase in this group of customers can boost your profits up to a whopping 95%:
Final Words: The Stakes Are High For Your Customers’ Privacy
In today’s digital world, it’s far too risky to neglect customers’ privacy.
No matter the size of your company—enterprise or SME—a privacy breach destroys all trust.
Here’s a fact that might change your mind: by the end of 2020, customer experience will be the no.1 factor that differentiates you from competitors.
That’s right, customer experience will matter more than products and pricing.
But before you create a great experience for your customers, you have to first ramp up on security.
Prove to your customers they can work with you, without fear.
Strengthen their trust.
Boost their loyalty.
And grow your profits.
What challenges do you often face in protecting your customers’ privacy? How will you use number masking in your business? Leave a comment today and share it with us.