That’s it! The 2018 Leader Insights Forum in Amsterdam is over. The speakers and delegates were all fantastic. Knowledge was shared and new friendships created. As you can see from the summary of day one, the debate was intense and everyone left with new insights in the future direction of the customer experience (CX).
But there was one final speaker on day two who didn’t feature in the earlier summary. Simon McDougall is the Managing Director of Promontory and is well known in the data security and protection industry – he did emphasize at the start of his talk that many of his comments and views are personal, rather than being a company position or policy. Despite the delegates all enjoying themselves floating on the canals of Amsterdam the previous evening, there was not a single spare seat in the room when Simon started his a briefing on the implications of GDPR.
As summarized in the preview of Simon’s talk, GDPR is important for any company that is capturing and using customer data. The new rules will be enforced just a few weeks from now, and the regulators will be looking out for companies that have not introduced new regulations.
Simon emphasized that GDPR is not a silver bullet: “It took several years to draft this new regulation and it is really just a snapshot in time. It’s right for 2016 and it was amended over 4,000 times when it was in draft form. Like all regulations it is already struggling to keep up with the real world.”
This was a sobering thought for many in the room. The GDPR generalists tend to present it as a bulletproof solution for managing customer data and yet Simon emphasized that problems remain. He also reminded the audience that GDPR might be a European regulation, but you do not need to be a European citizen to be subject to it. He said: “Even if your business is based in South America, but uses data related to anyone in Europe then that is in the scope of the regulation.”
The potentially huge fines – 4% of global revenue – have hit the headlines and Simon reminded the audience that this figure is for an entire global group – not just a local subsidiary that might not be compliant. However, he went on to say: “The regulators are unlikely to hit anyone with the mega-million fines for minor infringements – although it is a positive step to be moving to an environment with the possibility of real fines and not just the ‘rounding error’ fines of the past.”
Simon pointed out the GDPR is really focused on how a company organizes the collection and use of data. It is not in itself a measure for data protection or security and the recent Facebook scandal is a good example. He said: “The Facebook case has nothing to do with data security – the data was transferred securely so there was no breach – everyone knew what they were doing, but they were doing the wrong thing.”
One of the biggest changes the GDPR brings about is that it is no longer good enough to just warn or inform a customer in an extremely long T&C document and then assume that because the customer ticked the box, it’s reasonable to do anything with their data. This is no longer good enough for the regulator. He said: “Some companies offer T & Cs longer than Shakespeare’s Hamlet – it is no longer acceptable to take the US-centric approach that the customer was warned so we can do what we like with the data.”
Simon gave some excellent practical tips on how to be ready for GDPR enforcement and the Q&A session was extremely lively. As we closed the forum, Yannis Tourcomanis, the Teleperformance CEMEA CEO put some statements on the screen as a recap of what the earlier speakers had said:
Anders Sorman-Nilsson: “Who can remember when the cloud was just what blocked the sun and Amazon was a rainforest?”
Mike Havard: “Gamers don’t exit a game to make a call to customer service! They expect service right there inside the game!”
Paolo Righetti: “You cannot hide your telephone number because it costs a lot to answer calls. You may be damaging customer loyalty much more than you think by hiding behind a wall of Artificial Intelligence.”
Stefano Scabbio: “In the future, 86% of senior leaders believe that the number of jobs will stay the same or actually increase.”
Thank you to all the delegates, speakers, and the Teleperformance team who worked tirelessly to make the Leader Insight Forum Amsterdam such a great success. The team has already moved on to repeat the event in Dubai yesterday and today.
If you are not in attendance at the event in Dubai today, then you can catch up on all the blog commentary on our “Global Blog” company page. Live comment will continue today on Twitter – please feel free to contribute using the hashtag #LIF2020.