Creating Connectivity and Establishing Trust with a New Breed of Online Customer

With tens of millions of people forced to practice social distancing by isolating themselves indoors, many businesses are experiencing rapid customer migration from offline to online platforms.  While many of those rushing online are technically savvy, undoubtedly, a segment will find the digital environment overwhelming and confusing.

Think about the vast number of senior citizens that now find themselves cut off from family members, and fearful of going out in public due to the potential exposure to the virus. They’ll need to use the internet to conduct all manner of tasks, such as the delivery of groceries as well routine banking transactions. We’ll also likely see a rush of individuals that used to rely on physical branches to conduct business who now face no other choice but to conduct business online.

To help those with limited online experience establish digital identities, businesses will need to identify ways to streamline their onboarding and reauthentication processes to locate and pass legitimate customers. Here are three questions to ask to prepare your company for the influx of online newbies and under-connected customers.

  1. Can your current technology deliver in this new environment? Identity verification systems are certainly getting stress tested right now – proven and hardened systems with transparent results that deliver identity intelligence back to companies will be at a premium. Systems that can perform a “virtual handshake” to welcome new online customers can help calm anxious individuals and create trust-based relationships that build loyalty. Can your current identity verification tool optimally balance the need for friction and convenience?
  2. Are you prepared for an increase in thin file customers? Customers that once relied on physical branches that allowed them to provide alternative forms of identity to facilitate a transaction may now start appearing online. Not only younger adults but other segments of customers such as those new to the country and recently divorced need to be located and verified without unnecessary friction. Does your current approach to verifying identities allow you to locate those with limited identity-related records?
  3. Can your customer contact center handle a surge in calls? As online account creation and transactions grow, many businesses will experience a corresponding increase in calls received by their customer contact centers. Those calls will include both legitimate customers and those from fraudsters. Can your customers self-verify in the IVR system? Does your system enable passive authentication, fortified mobile one-time links, mobile ID scanning and mobile carrier data fed intelligence to shorten hold times?  Do your call center employees possess the tools and training to support new customers as they attempt to establish their digital identities as well as combat attempts by criminals to engage in social engineering?

The more we distance ourselves from each other, the more important it is to connect in some shape or form digitally. Businesses that optimize their new customer experience to include the appropriate balance of friction and convenience can provide the connectivity we all need to survive these uncertain times.

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