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Call Center Security: Ask One More Question

Call center security is a concern that has been prevalent for quite some time now.  Because so much personal information is transferred via telephone, both customers and contact center agents have very real reasons to be apprehensive about what is recorded, how much information is shared, and how many security questions are needed to verify the caller.  Three industries that should be especially wary include health care, financial institutions, and insurance agencies.

Call center security best practices

Until recently, best practices for call center security included asking for an account number and the last four numbers of the caller’s social security number.  Recently, in order to increase security, contact centers have begun increasing the number of questions asked.  It has been established that asking three questions is best to ensure the caller is who they say they are without causing both the agent and caller frustration.

The first question that should be asked is a number that only the caller would have access to.  This includes the account number, a reference number, or a contract number.  While phone numbers are sometimes requested for utility companies, it’s not recommended for companies who deal with more personal or confidential information.

The second question that should be asked is the name on the account.  This prevents people from calling and giving agents random numbers and obtaining access to sensitive account information.

Finally, a question should be asked that can confirm the caller is who they say they are.  This includes questions like date of birth, last payment made, last four numbers of the social security number, or payment method.

Contact centers who are concerned with average handle time or frustrating their customers sometimes choose to take the minimum path of two questions asked.  However, most customers would agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry when handling their private information.  When agents who skimp on call center security questions find their customers’ information hacked, your customers will appreciate the steps that they take to prove their identity.


David Wise

David Wise

Chief Executive Officer, Founder at AVOXI
David has more than 18 years of management experience in the telecommunications industry. A graduate of the Citadel, David worked as a Senior Account Executive with Intermedia Communications and later co-founded Rapid Link, a leading provider of International callback and VoIP. David then founded AVOXI in 2001with a focus on providing niche international call center markets with customized voice and data services. read more
David Wise
David Wise

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