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Customer experience can be influenced by a variety of factors. Most businesses now are familiar with the impact of personalization, good service, and convenient tools. However, it’s also important to recognize just how vital trust is in cultivating a positive journey for your consumers.
This isn’t just about being honest in your dealings or keeping high ethical standards. It’s also about protecting your consumers and their data from threats in the online landscape. As such, you need to establish protocols and methods that prioritize cybersecurity as an integral part of the journey.
Let’s dive a little deeper into what you can do to minimize the threats and maximize consumer confidence.
Protect Your Network
The problem with an insecure network is that if it is breached, the damage can be passed on throughout other areas of your business and to consumers. Malware is one of the prominent threats in online environments at the moment. These are viruses designed to destroy or steal data in a network. If a virus gets introduced to your network and infects your content management system (CMS) or website, consumers may inadvertently download it from you. The result can be a negative experience that dissuades them from interacting with your company in the future.
So, maintain strict network protection procedures. Make sure all devices and software that link up with your network have robust antivirus software. Keep password options secure so outsiders can’t breach the system. Silo any downloads to your company systems so viruses are less likely to be introduced. You can also hire cybersecurity professionals to check your website or app for vulnerabilities. They can, for example, implement a source code review to proactively eliminate any code-based vulnerabilities.
Utilize the Cloud
The cloud has become one of the most important tools for customer experience. It has helped to bolster the potential for omnichannel customer service by making information decentralized from geographical locations. It means vital data can be utilized quickly and efficiently. However, many businesses overlook its potential to bolster cybersecurity that informs the customer experience.
While your business may have strict cybersecurity protocols, they are unlikely to be as sophisticated or robust as those employed by cloud hosting platforms. Alongside cloud-based data management advantages like real-time analytics, cloud developers invest heavily in protective procedures. They tend to use the most sophisticated cybersecurity protocols to keep their business and their clients safe. As such, storing and managing customer data on the cloud gives you and consumers relative confidence in its safety.
This is, of course, dependent on your company utilizing its cloud platforms responsibly. The cloud can make customer data safe and accessible to ensure your consumers benefit from convenience and safety. However, these systems are still accessed via passwords. Make certain that you have robust password management processes, including multi-factor authentication.
Understand Your Customers
One of the cornerstones of good customer experience is taking the time to analyze and understand your consumers. Often, this is applied in the context of establishing their commercial priorities or needs and adjusting the journey accordingly. Data is used to create personas to offer a more appropriate and individualized experience. Your company needs to remember that these elements should also serve the cybersecurity procedures that keep your consumers safe and engaged with your business.
Utilize your tracking protocols to get to know how your consumers interact with your online materials. Gather data on how they navigate the internet or e-commerce landscape in general. Get to know what precautions they take personally when they shop online. You can then create security personas alongside those you use for sales and marketing purposes.
From here, work with your cybersecurity or information technology (IT) team to develop more personalized security tools related to each persona. This might include different types of security warnings and messaging dependent on their level of behavior or trust. It might involve reducing data collection or tracking measures in line with a persona group’s preferences for such tools.
Educate Employees and Customers
One of the most valuable ways you can prioritize cybersecurity throughout the customer experience is through sharing information. Your consumers need to be able to trust your company. This doesn’t just come from the trust signals on your website. It also comes from taking responsibility for making sure all those interacting with your business have the knowledge and tools to do so safely.
Make sure there is information throughout your website about how your customers can proceed safely. If they have to register for an account, provide them with information about how to choose and protect their passwords. Newsletters you send your consumers should include occasional updates on security practices you recommend they adopt and what you’re doing within your organization.
Your commitment to education should extend to your staff, too. Offer frequent training on secure behavior when interacting with company assets and their personal devices. Don’t just focus on techniques but also on meaningful data about why their actions matter. Though this is not immediately visible to your consumers, considerate staff have a knock-on effect on your customers’ journey.
Solidify Communication Protocols
Communication is a vital aspect of the customer experience. If consumers don’t feel as though companies are being open with them in various areas, this can erode trust. As such, it’s vital that your company has solid procedures in place with regard to cybersecurity communications.
This is especially vital when related to breaches. Of course, you should do everything possible to prevent these, but mistakes can occur. It should be one of your first priorities to honestly communicate with potentially affected customers as soon as possible. Be transparent here. Talk about exactly what’s happened, how you’re addressing the matter, and what action they need to take. Set expectations for follow-up communications and stick to these.
In the digital world, cybercrime has the ability to seriously undermine the customer experience. You should, therefore, commit to adopting solid preventative measures throughout. This should include protecting your network from viruses and gaining an understanding of what measures are relevant for your customers. Education and communication procedures can also reduce potential disruption to the customer journey. You’ll never be fully protected from risks, but taking a focused and visible approach can positively impact all stakeholders.