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Programmable voice: How number masking enhances customer and employee privacy

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Whether your company manages package delivery, food services, or ride sharing, privacy and safety remain an important part of the customer and employee experience. 

Since the rise of ride sharing and on-demand food delivery services, there have been countless reports of unwanted contact and even more devious crimes being committed.  

In fact, Uber’s own 78-page 2019-2020 US Safety Report revealed more than 998 sexual assault incidents alone. This prompted significant changes in how the company handles customer safety and privacy, which included anonymizing personal phone numbers for employees and customers. 

Privacy matters today and companies need to do everything they can to protect their user’s personal information. 

So, how are ride sharing, food delivery, and last mile delivery companies protecting privacy for all end-users? For top companies like DoorDash, Uber, and Instacart — programmable voice is how. 

What is programmable voice, and how does it improve privacy and security? 

Programmable voice supports the way your customers interact with your business.  It’s an easy way to add voice capabilities using APIs and SDKs allowing companies in any industry to integrate various features — including number masking and in-app calling — into their tech stack. 

For modern package and food delivery services and ride sharing platforms — programmable voice is a simple solution. It lets a customer or driver connect instantly and safely while providing a seamless experience. 

The result for the privacy use case? Food delivery apps, ride sharing services, and logistics companies can protect personal information, such as phone numbers, and enhance the customer experience. 

The privacy and security problem 

A failed delivery or missed connection directly affects the customer experience.  

Solving this challenge requires allowing drivers and customers to instantly contact each other whenever needed. One problem: this often means displaying users’ personal phone numbers, adding another layer of risk to the exchange. 

Here are just a few of the reasons why this is problematic: 

  • Drivers who can see real customer phone numbers may contact them after a delivery is finished. This can result in various forms of harassment, creating a significant problem for the customer and your business. Depending on the situation, you’ll likely lose the customer and may have additional issues to resolve. 

  • Drivers often use their own devices and phone numbers for work, which can also lead to unnecessary harassment towards a driver. 

  • Some drivers may collect passenger information to try and start their own side ride sharing gig. This is best described as revenue leakage. 

Luckily, with programmable voice, personal information is kept hidden from view while allowing for more successful deliveries and reduced expenses. 

Programmable voice use cases for privacy and security 

Communications between delivery drivers and customers are an important part of the logistics industry.  

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, which means both parties need a quick and secure way to communicate.  

number masking

How number masking protects your users 

How does something as simple as number masking work to protect a user’s personal information and limit liability to your company? It all starts with the flexibility offered by programmable voice. 

Number masking works by “anonymizing” the caller’s phone number. The calling party receives a temporary number— behind the scenes — to hide their personal number. All calls and texts are routed through this number via the provider’s network, ensuring quality and stability while also protecting the individual’s personal information. 

Drivers and customers can safely communicate over the phone without revealing their personal phone numbers. Here are a few common scenarios showing number masking in action: 

  • A rider requests a pickup but needs to call the driver who accepted the request to tell them about an unexpected street closure in their neighborhood. 

  • A driver can’t locate their passenger and needs to call them to verify the exact pickup location. 

  • A food delivery driver needs to call a customer to be buzzed into their condo complex to complete the order. 

  • A customer calls their grocery delivery driver to explain how they can access their basement apartment in the back of a triplex. 

All these scenarios boost the comfort level and confidence of drivers and customers, providing additional peace of mind knowing their information is secure. While these are all simple interactions, number masking reduces liability by protecting the personal phone numbers for all parties.  

programmable voice

What are the benefits of programmable voice when it comes to privacy? 

Why should delivery services and logistics companies use number masking? Some of the key benefits of using programmable voice to protect privacy include: 

  • Safeguarding customer privacy and safety: Safety is the primary reason anonymous calling is ultimately a must-have for any gig economy platform or logistics company. Keeping customer information protected prevents any possible unwanted contact. You must ensure customers want to continue using your services or you’ll risk losing them to a more privacy-focused competitor. 

  • Protecting employee privacy: We’ve talked about how delivery drivers need the same protection as customers to prevent being contacted instead of the company for any issues after the delivery. Number masking shields your employees from unnecessary customer harassment. 

  • Preventing revenue leakage: Allowing drivers to see customer numbers creates the opportunity for drivers to contact them later to offer services apart from your app, undermining your business. You may lose customers and employees if left unchecked. Number masking eliminates the possibility of future phone calls as the driver will never see the customer's personal number. 

Integrate programmable voice into your business with Sinch 

Adding number masking to your customer experience is simple thanks to Sinch’s robust APIs and SDKs.  

Sinch has everything you need to create a winning customer experience which prioritizes user privacy and security.  

Protect your user’s privacy with number masking 

Modern delivery platforms have made it easier than ever for consumers to find rideshares, receive packages, and order food. But the rise of on-demand delivery has created new challenges when it comes to protecting user privacy. 

Luckily, the privacy challenge can be easily solved using a powerful programmable voice solution. With the right technology, you can protect user privacy, improve the customer experience, and prevent revenue leakage. 

Are you looking for a solution to protect the privacy of your customers and employees? Contact one of our experts today and see how top delivery platforms are using programmable voice to protect user privacy. 

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