5 Best Practices for Managing Customer Data in the World of AI


Artificial intelligence is doing wonders for the world around us. Unfortunately, it’s also changing the way we do a lot of things, including how we secure customer data and personal information. While AI has enhanced data management to a certain degree, it has also created its own concerns for data security, as highlighted in the saga of ChatGPT. 

ChatGPT was initially released as a generative AI tool in November 2022, but by March 2023, there was already a breach that revealed the history of millions of users. That history contained all manner of personal information tidbits, although mostly harmless, but it was proof enough: things are changing, and it’s time for your business to change, too. 

To that end, here are five best practices that can help you with managing customer data in the world of AI and machine learning, which is growing by the day. 

Understand how AI works 

This is as much a learning step as it is a best practice for managing customer data in the world of artificial intelligence. If you are going to protect the information that you have (and gather), you need to know where it comes from, how it gets there, and what potential threats can be found along the way. 

AI is an engine, of sorts. It operates as a process, taking in one thing and putting out another. Just as a car needs gas to make the engine run, AI needs a lot of data to fuel its machine. In collecting and using that data, you will find where the potential security threats lie. 

Keep data clean and organized 

This is probably a best practice for data management in general, but it’s especially helpful with potential privacy and security risks. When you have clean, organized data, you will know there are no potential threats in your database or ways for people to get access to your information. It’s also much easier to secure data that is organized and well-structured, no matter what security measures you’re using. 

Think about it like this: if your home is a mess and you’ve left the security system off because the back door is broken, someone could easily break in without having to do much “breaking.” If, however, your home is tidy and in good repair, your security system is operational and in use, they won’t get in easily or they might be scared off before they even try. Data security works the same way. You can’t notice potential threats if things are a mess.  

Take advantage of automation 

AI is a tool that can be leveraged in several forms. While you might not want to replace your live chat team with full-service AI bots, for example, you can automate certain aspects of your operations with AI. Think of your email campaigns—if you’re doing them smartly, you’ve likely got a sequence set up for each campaign in an autoresponder, set with dates and times (or triggers) to launch the next message. 

You can automate a lot of other tasks this way, so make sure that you capitalize on those aspects of artificial intelligence where you can. And yes, you can even consider automating privacy and security measures so that you know your customers’ data is always protected. 

Choose secure tools 

Speaking of security measures, choosing the right tools in the first place will make a big difference. AI has a lot of potential, which means it comes with a huge learning curve. However, companies are wasting no time creating tools and solutions that capitalize on AI to generate a profit. Take advantage of that and make sure that you’re exploring all the different tools out there. Check out their security and regulatory compliance first and foremost for maximum peace of mind. 

Many fraud detection programs and bank security protocols are AI-based to some degree, providing an example of how real-world tools are putting AI to work without compromising data privacy. 

Be prepared for changes and updates 

The world of AI isn’t brand-new, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still in its infancy. ChatGPT hasn’t even reached a year old yet. Who knows what else is to come in the future? As companies seek to further their competitive edge with AI, you’ll want to make sure that you keep tabs on the news and industry updates along the way. 

Having an agile mentality around AI and technology is a lot more effective for the entire organization, not just your sales team or customer service. You have to be willing to learn and grow, and to utilize the tools that are available to help you do that. As AI becomes more widely used and other privacy concerns are brought to light, laws and regulations surrounding the use of AI and its security requirements will change and evolve. 

What’s the future of AI for businesses?

This is a common question, but it’s one that still doesn’t really have a definite answer. The future of AI and machine learning is bright, including in helping you better manage customer data. The caveat, of course, is that you’ll have to make sure that you have the right security protocols in place for that AI to protect customer data, proprietary information, and other valuable data. 

That’s why our last tip is so important: keep up with the industry. Learn and grow as things change. Then, when the dust settles, you’ll be steps ahead of everyone else in securing customer data and providing an optimal experience with the assistance of AI. 

Speaking of assistance, Smith.ai can help manage customers, too 

While you’re working on customer data privacy, who’s tending to the customers? At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists can serve as your 24/7 answering service to ensure that you never miss an opportunity. We can also help you with your outreach campaigns and provide support for lead intake and appointment scheduling

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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