HIPAA. If you’re in healthcare, you know what that means – HIPAA is all about information privacy. If you’re a parent with a child going to college, you’re probably familiar with the laws protecting your child from having to share their school information with…you!
If you’re in a financial-oriented or retail (or most other) type of business, I’m sure your company is concerned with keeping social security numbers and credit card numbers confidential.
Confidentiality and privacy are embedded in many big corporate initiatives, policies, and laws. But let’s take a twist on confidentiality that’s not simply a governmental or organizational requirement – instead, it’s a component of great customer service.
When thinking about how to best provide service to your clients, consider the term “discreet.” Being discreet with client information means keeping the information and their concerns private unless absolutely necessary. It means respecting them and the details of their situation. It means not sharing the client’s details with others for the sake of sharing; it means appropriately using and sharing the information only for the benefit of the customer.
View “discreet” as holding difficult conversations with customers in a more private room. It means not repeating personal information like their cell phone number, hotel room number, or e-mail address loudly for other customers to hear. Discreet requires that we’re aware of our surroundings and aware of the responsibility we have to be professional and respectful of client-specific information, issues, emotions, and needs.
What does “discreet” mean to someone in your business, and how does that present itself differently when talking with the customer on the phone or face-to-face? In your business, when should you be discreet in sharing one client’s information with other clients or with co-workers?
Take a twist on confidentiality. Be discreet with the customer and their information to provide the best customer experience.