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As data privacy regulations continue to evolve and strengthen, companies around the world are grappling with the challenges of compliance. One significant impact of these regulations is their effect on customer service facing roles. In recent years, customer service teams have found themselves increasingly burdened with processing data subject access requests (DSAR), diverting their focus from providing efficient and satisfactory customer support. This article explores the mounting strain on customer service teams due to data privacy regulations and considers whether outsourcing could be the solution to returning resources back to service-led roles.

The Growing Burden of Data Subject Access Requests

Data subject access requests, a fundamental right for individuals under data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, allow customers to inquire about the personal data companies hold on them. While empowering customers with more control over their data, this right has presented a challenge for businesses.

Customer service teams more frequently have been pushed to  the frontline of processing DSARs. They are responsible for collecting, verifying, and fulfilling these requests, often within strict timeframes stipulated by the regulations. This task, while essential for data transparency and protection, can be resource-intensive and time-consuming. Consequently, it may hinder customer service representatives from focusing on their primary role of providing excellent customer support.

The Impact on Service Quality

The diversion of customer service teams towards handling DSARs can have adverse effects on service quality. When representatives are preoccupied with processing data requests, their availability and responsiveness to other customer inquiries may suffer. Lengthy response times and a lack of personalized interactions can leave customers feeling dissatisfied and frustrated.

Moreover, customer service representatives may lack the expertise and training required to navigate the intricacies of data privacy regulations properly. Mishandling sensitive personal data could result in severe legal consequences and damage the company’s reputation. Balancing data compliance responsibilities and exceptional service delivery becomes a tightrope walk for customer service teams.

Resource Drain: Service vs. Compliance

For many companies, the rise in DSARs has resulted in a significant drain on resources. Customer service teams that were once dedicated to promptly addressing customer issues now find themselves spending considerable time and effort on compliance-related tasks. This shift in focus can lead to reduced operational efficiency and increased operational costs.

As the volume of data subject access requests continues to rise, companies face the dilemma of allocating more resources to manage compliance while maintaining high-quality customer service. Striking the right balance becomes increasingly challenging, and in some cases, it may no longer be viable to expect customer service teams to carry the additional compliance burden without compromising on service quality.

Outsourcing as a Potential Solution

The growing strain on customer service facing roles has prompted companies to consider alternative approaches to manage DSARs effectively while refocusing their internal resources on delivering outstanding customer service. Outsourcing data privacy compliance tasks, including the processing of DSARs, has emerged as a potential solution.

By entrusting compliance-related responsibilities to specialized third-party providers, companies can ensure that DSARs are handled efficiently, accurately, and within the stipulated timeframes. Outsourcing allows for access to trained professionals with expertise in data privacy regulations, reducing the risk of errors and compliance breaches.

By shifting compliance-related tasks to external service providers, customer service teams can reclaim their focus on serving customers and providing personalized, attentive support. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, which are essential for long-term business success.


Data privacy regulations have undoubtedly played a vital role in safeguarding individual rights and promoting transparency in the digital age. However, the increasing burden of data subject access requests on customer service teams may inadvertently divert them away from their core purpose of delivering exceptional service.

As companies navigate the complex landscape of data privacy compliance, they must find a balance between meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining service excellence. Outsourcing data privacy-related tasks could be the tipping point that enables companies to streamline their operations, ensuring that customer service teams can once again focus on what they do best – serving their customers with utmost dedication and care.