By Rob Otto
In today’s digital economy, building a sense of brand loyalty has become essential for all organizations.
It’s one of the hardest qualities to win over customers, yet one of the easiest to destroy.
No wonder then, that business leaders are focusing on two critical aspects of brand loyalty – customer convenience and security. These core components are the best place to start for any business protecting the data of its customers, while also striving for a better user experience.
So, how can brands build brand loyalty while keeping their customer’s data safe?
The shift to convenience
First off, brands must not only accommodate a customer’s security needs but also provide convenience.
Take the launch of contactless payment from Barclaycard in the UK. Contactless payments offered far greater ease of use for consumers to make purchases while exponentially increasing flexibility within retail stores.
On top of this, it also means the financial information of customers was more secure. By utilising the ‘tap to pay’ process rather than inputting a PIN number, it helped prevent information from being captured by fraudsters.
The shift allowed retailers to bridge the gap and make the payment process more streamlined. But customers will always be looking for new ways to make their lives convenient – so businesses need to always be one step ahead in this digital era.
Optimizing security alongside ease
As a brand grows, it needs to consistently revisit its security systems based on the current state of the business and the evolving threat landscape. A lack of optimization can lead to high-risk losses for a company. In fact, the average cost of a data breach is around $3.92 million, according to the most recent IBM study. Some 36% of that total, around $1.42 million, was the direct result of lost business.
To prevent costly security incidents, businesses need to prepare for a range of cybersecurity threats, and the ‘human firewall’ is a necessary layer of security for protecting businesses from threats like ransomware.
Cyber resilience requires employees to be equipped and trained to be able to identify incoming phishing attacks for a company. Training employees to help optimise cybersecurity efforts will be beneficial to both the brand and customers.
Guaranteeing customer loyalty
Building a steady and loyal customer base takes time, but it has many benefits that will soon pay off. In the long run, more recurring orders, reviews, and testimonials for the business all have a compounding impact. But protecting this loyalty amongst fickle consumers is critical.
In fact, 32% of customers will abandon their favourite brand after just one bad experience, according to a new study on customer loyalty. So, to ensure the continuity of the relationship, businesses need to factor in a way to prevent customers from giving up on their brand.
Apple, for example, reassures iPhone customers by relieving any purchase doubt by ensuring a one-year warranty for any issues at no extra charge. With this, it keeps the customer coming back to regularly upgrade the product rather than switching to another competitor.
Leveraging multi-factor authentication to protect and evaluate user behaviour
Passwords used to be the main gateway to consumer identity verification but now people can log in and out within seconds, thanks to multi-factor authentication (MFA). The significance of this method allows customers a more secure login experience. It’s important to factor in as 63% of consumers are likely to leave an online service for a competitor which makes it significantly easier to authenticate identity.
Security hits the next level by reducing the risk of compromised passwords and preventing unauthorised users from accessing payment processing systems.
Data shows that 59% of online consumers have abandoned an online service when the login experience was too frustrating. And from time to time, poor authentication methods allow high-risk threats and hackers to compromise an employee or customer’s identity and data, something that’s especially common with phishing.
Investing in identity security has become a vital method to improve operational efficiencies, complement processes and all in all, provide enhanced customer experience.
Good security solutions reduce identity theft because it spots the potential threat to not only the customer but also the brand. Furthermore, implementing additional measures such as AI in multi-factor authentication is a great way to swiftly protect customers from threat actors trying access personal data.
Using risk management to spot signals early
Every day, there are new security threats to keep organizations on high alert. Despite the values that a brand can offer like offering loyalty programs or ease of access to accounts, risks are inevitable when it comes to cybersecurity.
While cyber risk management can be implemented to minimise threats, customers will still turn to competitors if the experience is poor or they feel security isn’t sufficient. Some 81% of customers have expressed that they would stop engaging with a brand online following a breach (a 3% increase over 2018), and one in four would stop all interaction whatsoever.
To successfully implement risk management, businesses must first understand the value of what they are trying to protect. This will help them decide which data needs protecting most. Customers themselves understand what data they want protecting, and where it’s worth enduring some extra friction over.
Businesses must then learn the risk signals that cover a broad range of attack types, from general DOS/Account Takeover/bot activity to specific risks tailored to the business itself. This will help them identify attacks as they happen and be more agile in response.
New threats emerge every day, along with new solutions for detection and mitigation. Businesses must ensure that their architecture allows them to bring in new providers quickly and change things as necessary. For brands to protect and grow their customer base, it’s critical to utilize convenience and security protocols when building brand loyalty.
About the Author
Rob Otto is Field CTO EMEA at Ping Identity. At Ping Identity, we believe in making digital experiences both secure and seamless for all users, without compromise. That’s digital freedom. We let enterprises combine our best-in-class identity solutions with third-party services they already use to remove passwords, prevent fraud, support Zero Trust, or anything in between. This can be accomplished through a simple drag-and-drop canvas. That’s why more than half of the Fortune 100 choose Ping Identity to protect digital interactions from their users while making experiences frictionless.
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