Companies should act decisively to simplify and unify customer onboarding and authentication or risk losing customers and revenue in today's digital economy, according to a new report by the CMO Council and Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.
The new report, Humanize and Optimize the Way You Recognize Every Customer + Contact, is based on conversations with leading executives and experts across info security, digital marketing, and customer support, as well as the findings of a survey of 2,000 consumers. The research was developed in partnership with Daon, a global leader in identity assurance technology.
The study finds that many consumers are abandoning digital transactions due to frustration with outdated password authentication and repetitive identity verification. Customer-minded brands are responding with new approaches, particularly the use of biometric verification to improve both security and ease of use. The study also finds that consumers overwhelmingly prefer biometrics to other forms of authentication.
Among key findings in the report:
- Improving digital identity assurance has become a top priority for companies since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Siloed systems and inconsistencies in the authentication process across different channels of customer engagement within the same company are a major issue impacting digital experience and security.
- Customer support centres are frequently behind the curve in modernizing and simplifying authentication—creating both customer friction and security vulnerabilities.
- Time-to-authentication and ease of use are important factors in improving customer satisfaction scores.
- Consumers are growing increasingly concerned about identity theft and privacy and want to do business in trusted channels.
- CMOs and Chief Digital Officers say they need to be very involved in making sure that friction is removed from identity assurance.
- Executives overwhelmingly believe biometrics is the future of identity assurance for both digital experience and security reasons, and most say they are in the midst of implementing biometric technology.
“Consumers and business leaders agree that identity assurance plays a major role in delivering winning digital customer experiences,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council and BPI Network.
“They also agree that biometrics can provide both simplified and better secured authentication. CMOs, CDOs and customer experience leaders need to work closely with security and identity executives to accelerate the adoption of biometrics and advanced back-end systems to deliver greater trust, consistency and ease of use in identity-based processes.”
“This study underscores the critical need for businesses and other enterprises to deploy biometrics to ease the strain and pain of authentication and improve security and privacy for customers,” said George Skaff, senior vice president of marketing at Daon. “However, the implementation of biometrics as a point solution in isolated digital channels of interaction is not enough. Inconsistent identity assurance processes are creating friction for customers and security gaps within companies. Security and digital experience leaders should look to unify authentication and identity proofing on a single enterprise platform across their mobile, web and customer support channels. Such identity continuity will be critical to the future of digital business.”
A survey of 2,000 consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland highlights the critical business need to simplify and improve authentication in the digital economy. First published in a CMO Council and BPI Network report issued in October, “Authentication Frustration: How Companies Lose Customers in the Digital Age,” the survey finds that more than 6 in 10 consumers have abandoned transactions due to authentication frustration. Some 81% say they prefer to do business with companies that allow them to verify their identity “simply, quickly and safely.”
Some 7 in 10 consumers also said they have trouble remembering and using passwords. Just 10% prefer passwords or other forms of authentication over biometrics.
Download the Humanize and Optimize the Way You Recognize Every Customer + Contact report: https://www.cmocouncil.org/thought-leadership/reports/humanize--optimize-the-way-you-recognize-every-customer--contact.