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  • Writer's pictureDevon Harris

The RESTRICT Act and Its Implications for Customer Experience

The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act (RESTRICT Act) is a bill aimed at mitigating foreign threats to information and communications technology or ICT products and services in the United States. While the Act's primary focus is on national security, it could have far-reaching results for the customer experience field.

A Brief Overview

The RESTRICT Act requires the Department of Commerce to identify, deter, and mitigate transactions involving ICT products and services that pose an undue or unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the safety of U.S. persons. The Act empowers the Department of Commerce to designate foreign governments or regimes as adversaries and establishes civil and criminal penalties for violations.

Possible Impacts on the Customer Experience

While it's difficult to predict the exact impact the RESTRICT Act could have on user experiences, there are potential implications that can be considered. Here are a few ways the Act may affect the field and increase user frustration and ticket or call volume:

Vendor selection and supply chain:

The RESTRICT Act may prompt companies to reevaluate their supply chains and vendor partnerships, especially for ICT products and services. As a result, organizations may shift towards trusted domestic vendors, which could impact product availability, costs, and potential delivery or implementation delays.

Data security and privacy:

The Act's focus on national security may heighten the importance of data security and privacy in the CX field. Companies may adopt more stringent data handling practices and increase transparency around data usage. This transparency may help reassure customers that their data is being handled responsibly and ethically, which could ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, if the company's business model relies on selling user data, they may experience a decline in revenue due to the new regulations on data and privacy.

Innovation and technology adoption:

Companies may become more cautious about embracing new technologies or collaborating with foreign entities, leading to a slower pace of technological advancement and a potential impact on the diversity and quality of customer experience offerings. The restrictions imposed by the Act could be particularly problematic for foreign innovators seeking to disrupt global industries, potentially crushing their aspirations as entrepreneurs.

Compliance and risk management:

To ensure compliance with the RESTRICT Act, organizations in the CX field may need to invest more in compliance and risk management efforts. This could involve additional resources for monitoring, auditing, and training, which may divert resources away from other customer experience initiatives.

International business relationships:

The Act could potentially strain relationships between U.S. companies and their foreign partners, particularly if those entities are designated as adversaries or otherwise implicated by the legislation. Suppose a US-based company that sells software solutions partners with a Chinese-based company to manufacture hardware for their products. If the RESTRICT Act designates China as an adversary, it may put a strain on the partnership between the two companies. The US-based company may need to find a new domestic partner for hardware manufacturing, which could result in a decline in the quality and diversity of their product offerings. Alternatively, they may need to find a new foreign partner, which could lead to additional costs and delays due to the need to establish a new partnership and navigate potential language and cultural barriers. Ultimately, this disruption in international business collaborations could adversely impact the customer experience offerings of the US-based company.

Final Thoughts

The RESTRICT Act, while primarily focused on national security, could have significant ramifications for the customer experience field. Companies will need to adapt to these changes by scrutinizing their supply chains, prioritizing data security, and navigating technology adoption with caution. Should the Act be implemented, organizations can maintain high-quality customer experiences while complying with the RESTRICT Act by remaining vigilant and adaptable in their approach. Check out our recent TLDR podcast episode for more information on the RESTRICT Act:


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