Announcing Approval Bot for GDPR Compliance and Chat Routing
We’re thrilled to announce a new addition to our chatbot offering! The new Approval Bot is a customizable chatbot that helps businesses (especially businesses that adhere to GDPR-compliant practices) ask website visitors for data processing acceptance/consent before a chat session is initiated. The Approval Bot is also useful for automated chat routing and chat segmentation.
How does the GDPR affect businesses?
When the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) went into effect on May 25, 2018, many sweeping new data protection regulations were put into place for businesses that handle the personal data of EU citizens. This regulation signified the largest change in data privacy regulation history in over 20 years, and is comprised of a set of laws that aim to provide increased protection of EU citizens’ personal data. The GDPR applies to all organizations that handle, control, or process the data of EU citizens, regardless of where in the world those organizations are located.
Key changes to prior data protection regulations include increased territorial scope and applicability, changes to breach notification and penalties, and increased conditions for consent. Under the GDPR, EU citizens possess rights related to the following: data breach, right to access data, right to be forgotten, data portability, privacy by design, and more. You can read more about the GDPR here.
Using the Approval Bot to fulfill GDPR requirements
One of the key components of the GDPR centers upon increased conditions for data transfer/processing consent and increased transparency regarding situations where personal data will be transferred. A live chat conversation is a prime example of a situation in which this type of personal data transfer could occur (for example, a chat agent may request a visitor’s email address, name, phone number, etc for both sales and customer support scenarios).
The Approval Bot makes it easy for businesses using SnapEngage to ask website visitors for consent/acceptance prior to starting a chat conversation (even when proactive chat is used). When a website visitor first initiates a chat conversation or responds to a proactive invitation, the Approval Bot greets the visitor and a data processing consent clause will be displayed to the visitor. All language used by the Approval Bot is completely customizable (including the initial legal text/statement, accept/decline instructions, specific accept and decline word(s), post-decline text, and ‘response not recognized’ text).
Here’s an example of the data consent terminology used currently on the SnapEngage website:
Please note: This is an example of the data consent terminology used by SnapEngage specifically. The data consent terminology for your business will be based on your unique business model and how your business handles personal data.
We strongly advise and recommend that you work closely with your organization’s legal department and Information Security Officer to craft a legally appropriate message for your business.
Once the Approval Bot is enabled via the Admin Dashboard, a website visitor will not be able to initiate a chat conversation with an agent until they clearly (in this case by typing ‘Yes’) acknowledge that they read and understand the statement and also provide consent for data transfer during the subsequent chat conversation. If the visitor declines and does not give their consent (in this case by typing ‘No’), then the chat session will automatically disconnect and all data from the chat will be automatically deleted.
The Approval Bot is further enhanced by location-based settings because SnapEngage automatically detects the website visitor’s location. Therefore, businesses have the ability to automatically launch the Approval Bot for website visitors from the following geographic locations: European Union (EU) only, EU and unknown locations, or for all geographic locations. SnapEngage uses the Approval Bot to adhere to the GDPR specifically, so we’ve set up our Approval Bot to launch only when visitors from EU countries initiate a chat.
Additional routing applications for the Approval Bot
Even though the Approval Bot’s primary application is for data consent purposes, the customizable nature of the bot makes it useful for additional scenarios that require automated chat routing and filtering/segmentation. For example, depending on your business model and industry vertical there may be two segments of customers or prospects that your team typically interacts with. Is there one segment that your business would like to offer live chat services to, and a second segment that your business would prefer to direct to a website form or other non-chat methods of assistance? This is a perfect example of a secondary use case for the Approval Bot!
Perhaps your company offers real estate services and you’d like home buyers and sellers to start live chat conversations with your team, but you’d prefer your second audience segment (real estate agents) to call your team directly. Using the fully-customizable Approval Bot, you can set up the initial automated greeting text to ask the website visitor to type in whether they are a Buyer, Seller, or Agent. You can then set up the Approval Bot settings so that ‘Buyer’ and ‘Seller’ text responses are routed to the ‘accept’ track, and ‘Agent’ responses are routed to the ‘decline’ track with appropriate messaging for each.
Any type of scenario where your organization would like to offer chat services to a particular segment(s) but not to other segment(s) makes a great secondary use case for the Approval Bot. Think of universities and colleges catering chat services to prospective students vs. current students, services for job-seekers vs. hiring companies, businesses differentiating between sales leads vs. support inquiries, or healthcare websites offering live chat services to patients vs. doctors/providers – the opportunities are endless. While this routing does depend on whatever text the visitor types in (meaning there is a chance the visitor could self-identify incorrectly), the Approval Bot still provides helpful chatbot automation to route inquiries more appropriately for businesses.