Security Checklist for Contacting Customer Service

In this knowledgebase

  • Why having a checklist for contacting customer service can protect your privacy and money
  • What happens if you don’t have a checklist for contacting a company for service and support
  • As a customer, what can be done to protect your identity and personal information

When contacting customer service, specific actions must be taken to avoid data leaks of personal information. As customers, we must protect our personal information and family from fraudsters.

As customer service professionals, we have put together many actions to consider instead of being in control of a conversation with a customer service representative (CSR). Thus, if you have multiple issues but no checklist, it’s possible that some problems or concerns can be missed. Even CSRs who are fully committed to their work can easily miss some of your concerns.

1.      Ensure that you have the correct contact information. Use this free website business directory to ensure you’re calling the correct number.
  • Use the contact channel that works best for you at first.
  • If you do not get a response, move to a more direct form of communication within two business days. See this free resource on Channels of Communication.
2.      Be privacy-minded to ensure you have all your relevant customer-related information.
  • What is your company’s privacy policy?
  • Is the company you’re contacting fully committed to privacy and security?
  • Are employees aware of their company’s commitment to privacy?
  • Do you understand your company’s privacy policy?
  • Are there any disagreements that would prevent you from doing business with your company?
  • Is your company flexible with its privacy policy?
  • Does a company need your real name or address?
  • Can you find your company’s address on Google Maps?
  • If you call your company’s line, does it reach individuals who should have access to your personal information?
  • Why does a company need your Social Insurance Number?
  • Does your company need this in their database? If so, what is their procedure for safeguarding it from unauthorized individuals?
  • If your company is doing your taxes, are they using a third party, a contractor, or a local employee to process your taxes with the government?
  • In case of a security breach, does your company have insurance or a plan to deal with the legal fallout?
  • Should you send an ID to confirm your identity?
  • If you ever need to provide ID, does your company have a secure way to access your personal information?
  • Is your company caught up with the times they use a secure channel to verify your personal information?
  • Does your company have any alternatives to receive your personal information?
3.      Make a list of questions you have regarding your customer service issue or question.
  • What is the most critical issue you need to address? Whatever your question or concern is, be sure to number your questions by order of priority.


Great to have ________________

  • Be privacy-minded. Do not disclose all your information to a company you do not know.
  • Ask yourself if a company needs your full name, address, or other personal information; this is key.

4.     Be ready to note down the name of the customer service representative who helps you, along with the time you spoke to them.

Not all companies record their calls, so ensure you know who serves you. CSRs who are working remotely will not have anyone listening in the background. However, companies that have a Quality                Assurance program to supervise CSRs.

5.     Whenever it is allowed, record your conversation in case you need to refer to it. As for chat, most chat systems will allow you to email a full transcript of your talk.

When contacting a company for support, even if you deal with a company committed to protecting private information, there’s still a possibility that your data can be compromised or leaked to unauthorized individuals. Thus, you must be cautious not to fall victim to a CSR with ill intentions. Read more here.

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