- September 27, 2021
Customer experience is a competitive differentiator. Many organizations follow a loyalty-centric strategy and communicate this effectively to their base for retaining existing customers and attracting new ones. However, the vast amount of data that organizations gather to improve their business growth, service, and overall customer experience is no longer the mundane topic reserved solely for business analysts and IT professionals.
Today, cybersecurity and data protection have entered the mainstream conversation. Consumers are aware of the implications of data breaches and are asking questions about the organizational safeguards in place to protect their personal information.
According to a PwC report, 88% of customer’s willingness to share personal information depends on how much they trust the company. Per this report, a minute section of the consumers believed that businesses handled their data responsibly. Likewise, various other pieces show how consumers have stopped buying or using companies’ services over privacy concerns. The increasing frequency in the news of cyberattacks and data breaches has made it hard for consumers to trust any business with their data. Data mishandling and opaque privacy policies of many organizations are also responsible for fueling consumer distrust.
Importance of Cybersecurity for Building Customer Confidence
The ongoing pandemic has radically changed the way businesses operate. Previously, online transactions were just a part of business interactions. However, online transactions are becoming the new norm as the COVID-related restrictions lessen. The increased digital activity is creating new ways for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities related to consumer identity or access-control management.
The quality of online customer experience matters now more than ever. To thwart cyberthreats, organizations implement complex authentication requirements that often irk the consumers. Consumers want a seamless digital experience: faster authentication, login, and better mobile and web interactivity. Maintaining strong security standards while offering a premium user experience brings organizations one step closer to earning customer confidence.
Businesses are adhering to cyber laws and implementing cybersecurity protocols to safeguard consumer data. Consumers want data transparency: they want to know how companies use data and when or with whom it is shared. Popular surveys have also shown that consumers do not want organizations to sell their data to any third party. They want options regarding their data usage and clarity regarding privacy settings.
Data breaches and cyberattacks can cause heavy damage to the reputation of a business. According to Forbes Insight, 46% of organizations faced reputation damage from data breaches. Yet, corporate reputation is a valuable asset that helps to attract the best talent, suppliers, and investors.
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Improving Customer Experience
A better understanding of the cyber risk landscape will help organizations be proactive and align their security goals with improving customer experience. Business must assure their customers that they are taking proper measures to mitigate cyber threats. The C-suite executives of an organization play a key role in developing business-driven cyber risk programs. They can take the initiative and bridge the gap between the perception and reality of the organization’s cybersecurity preparedness.
Here are some of the best practices organizations can employ to improve both cybersecurity and customer experience:
- Proactive response: data breaches damage consumer trust. However, a swift and proper response to any data breach can reduce the damage to a brand’s reputation. Being proactive and following the highest standards of cybersecurity practices for protecting user privacy can go a long way in providing a secure customer experience.
- Implement strong in-house cybersecurity policies: establishing policies on using computing resources is a first step in securing technology infrastructure. For example, controlling and limiting access to data and devices can limit the damage. In addition, a robust asset management system can further help businesses track all devices and secure their infrastructure.
- Secure points of contact throughout a customer’s journey: understanding the consumer’s path of engagement will help organizations secure the consumer’s life cycle. Strong consumer identity and access management (CIAM), along with a customer-sensitive risk-based approach, can enhance security and provide a better customer experience.
- Consumer Data Transparency: transparency is a prime factor in earning the trust of consumers. Being transparent and communicating data policies will help organizations build trust with their users. In addition, informing customers about how and what data is collected, stored, and used and giving them the option to opt-out or delete will bring customer loyalty.
Businesses are using innovative technologies for the betterment of customer experience. However, with the rapid advancement of technologies and integrations, cybersecurity risks are also increasing. Therefore, protecting sensitive consumer data must be a priority for all organizations. The changing digital landscape and increasing cyberattacks call for a concrete plan that guarantees a secure and quality customer experience. Organizations must perceive cybersecurity as an opportunity rather than a hindrance to enhance customer experience and gain their trust.