October 13, 2021
Can marketing fix CX?
This is my attempt at a haiku about the global pandemic’s impact on consumers and marketing. Digital business is indeed booming, but the customer experience isn’t where it needs to be. This can lead to frustrated consumers and brand abandonment as they click away to a competitor.
What is the source of their frustration? Many things can set them off, and one of the most upsetting is identity theft. According to identity threat specialist 4iQ, there are currently some 8.7 billion stolen identity records on the dark web. Trying to keep customers safe, brands have turned en masse to passwords as a means of authentication.
This has led to a proliferation of passwords, which brings its own kind of slow-burning consumer frustration. Studies have found high levels of frustration with the way companies recognize and verify their customers’ identities, and passwords are some of the worst.
Truth is, one of the fastest ways to lose customers and revenue in the digital age is a painful and convoluted identity verification process. More than six out of 10 consumers report exiting online transactions due to problems verifying identity. That’s why the BPI Network and CMO Council, in partnership with Daon, launched a a new research initiative called “Unify How You Verify.”
The first report in this research initiative just landed this week, Authentication Frustration: How Companies Lose Customers in the Digital Age. The report surveyed 2,000 consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and found that more than four out of five prefer to engage with companies that provide an easy and safe authentication process.
Just about everyone knows the problem with passwords. Seven out of 10 consumers have trouble using and remembering passwords. The Authentication Frustration report highlights many grievances: keeping track of too many passwords, needing to re-create passwords, being forced to strengthen passwords, coming up with new passwords, having to re-confirm your identity multiple times. Passwords have run amok, especially in financial services.
For my part, I often receive scary notifications — or is it spam? — that my passwords have been compromised, and I better change them right away.
How many passwords do you have? The proliferation of passwords has gotten out of hand. Some 40% of consumers have 11 or more passwords, including 23% with 16 or more. If you’re only using a few passwords, you’re probably reusing them improperly. A separate study found that 52% of consumers reuse the same passwords across multiple accounts, including 13% who use the same password for all their accounts.
Maybe seamless, frictionless biometric authentication can help solve the problem by replacing passwords. There’s been a lot of talk about biometric authentication over the years, but is it ready for primetime?
Consumers used to be paranoid about privacy, about their biometric identifiers falling into the wrong hands, but it looks like they’re finally warming to the technology. The report found that 90% of consumers would consider using biometrics to ease the authentication process. Echoing this, Experian recently issued its 2021 Global Identity and Fraud report showing that consumers prefer physical biometrics as the best form of authentication, while passwords didn’t even crack the top four preferred methods.
The Authentication Frustration report concludes: While there is no foolproof form of authentication, and even biometric methods can be compromised, most agree that done right, biometrics can offer a safer and more secure approach to authentication, while simultaneously delivering greater consumer convenience.
Check out the Authentication Frustration report to understand authentication trends more deeply and how they can impact consumer frustration and digital business.
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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