Almost anything and everything can be done via online platforms: conducting virtual doctor visits; renting an apartment; transferring money; booking car rides and airfares; buying and playing video games; and collaborating with multiple people from different parts of the world simultaneously. While online platforms make our lives easier, they can have drawbacks that can negatively impact user experience, such as fraud, offensive content, data breaches, physical safety threats and more.
If businesses want their online services to succeed in the long run, they must ensure a safe and trustworthy environment for their users. When consumers perceive an online marketplace or community to be unsafe, unreliable or problematic, they are very likely to turn away and switch to an alternative. In fact, research shows that 80 percent of customers switched brands due to poor customer experience; 43 percent were likely to leave a brand after just one negative interaction.
And it’s incredibly difficult for a business to win back customers’ trust—especially when its market is competitive. This is why the role of a trust and safety team has never been more critical: to maintain the company’s integrity and protect users of its online platforms.
Trust and safety’s priorities and challenges
Trust and safety is becoming an increasingly important business function as organizations look to protect users of their online platforms, while improving the ability to acquire, engage and retain them as customers. To keep online platforms free of abuse and threats, trust and safety teams are responsible for proactively monitoring and mitigating risk and managing incident response. Top priorities include:
- Ensuring online platforms are safe for users by identifying and responding to both physical and cyber threats
- Mitigating reputational risk and maintaining a positive public perception of their online platform’s safety
But these tasks come with significant challenges. Trust and safety teams need to maintain real-time, comprehensive visibility into adverse events and risks—in both physical and cyber domains—that can ruin or disrupt the customer experience and threaten the safety of hundreds, thousands and even millions of users. It’s an extremely large undertaking, especially for global organizations with customers worldwide.
Additionally, the volume, types, tactics, frequency and unpredictability of online platform abuse are ever-evolving, making it difficult for businesses to keep track of and predict how their platforms and customers will be impacted.
Benefits of having real-time information in trust and safety processes
To safeguard online platforms and users, it’s crucial that trust and safety teams have the right people, practices, policies and technology. And while people, practices and policies can vary by industry and business type, one of the most critical tools all organizations should consider is a real-time alerting solution.
Here are three examples of how real-time information helps trust and safety safeguard users and manage organizations’ brand and reputation.
No. 1: Keep platform users safe
Real-time alerting solutions allow trust and safety teams to better protect users as they alert teams to emerging risks and high-impact events that endanger users in both the physical and digital domains. Trust and safety teams can then inform all at-risk active users as soon as possible and quickly put protections in place to mitigate risks.
A good example is the ways in which our customers use our real-time alerting solution, Dataminr Pulse. Because it provides the earliest indications of risks and high-impact events, customers are alerted to potential threats in real time—often within minutes or seconds of an occurrence.
Take a grocery delivery company, for instance. When an incident transpired near one of its stores, the real-time information it received enabled it to immediately notify employees and shoppers and reroute deliveries. Or when the trust and safety team at a ride-sharing business was able to warn drivers and riders of a potential threat as it emerged, because it was alerted to the threat in real time.
No. 2: Prevent product misuse
Organizations that deploy real-time alerting solutions like Dataminr Pulse are also notified when their platform’s domain links are shared illegally (or with malicious intent) and/or when there is suspicious user behavior, allowing them to react swiftly to ensure platform integrity.
Access to real-time information also empowers trust and safety teams to protect one of their most important and vulnerable assets: their reputation. It’s an effective way to detect online activities—such as negative social media content shared on other platforms about their business—to inform key stakeholders before the posts go viral or become news headlines. This enables the responsible departments—most often legal and communications—to proactively investigate and initiate a response that will mitigate potential reputational damage.
No. 3: Maintain comprehensive visibility into real-word events and risks
The publicly available data landscape is vast and constantly changing. Keeping up with the sheer volume of information is an enormous challenge for many trust and safety teams—particularly threats to user safety, such as disinformation, networks of abuse (e.g. human trafficking), trends in fraudulent behavior and organized criminal activity.
As such, it’s vital that these teams are armed with the real-time information needed to not just keep pace, but to extract the most accurate, relevant information in the time needed to quickly detect and mitigate risks.
Ultimately, trust and safety teams that integrate real-time alerting solutions into their workflows will be better able to create safe and inclusive environments for their users, protect their brand and reputation, increase revenue—and continue to demonstrate the value they bring to their organizations.
Learn more about Dataminr Pulse to see how real-time information can help trust and safety teams like yours protect online platforms and users.