Customer Experience Requires Seamless Integration to Reduce Friction

As customers and prospects use more devices in their personal and business lives, B2B and B2C organizations need to engage them on the devices and in the channels they prefer to ensure a positive user and customer experience.

As customers and prospects use more devices in their personal and business lives, B2B and B2C organizations need to engage them on the devices and in the channels they prefer to ensure a positive user and customer experience.

There’s a proliferation of devices with customers and prospects interacting with computers (laptops, desktops and tablet) mobile devices, televisions, voice assistants, watches, glasses, automobiles and whatever the future holds.

There’s also a proliferation of channels — brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, channel partners, social media, direct-to-consumer, as well as web and mobile apps. Customers and prospects expect the companies and the apps they interact with to know them, their activity, their purchase and search history, the questions they’ve asked and the answers they’ve received, interactions in every channel, and social media activity.

Lyft, Amazon, Netflix and Apple have all raised consumer expectations — the same consumers who are employees. Today, employees expect the same intuitive ease of use with the tools they use to do their jobs as the B2C apps they use in their daily lives.

Your customers, prospects, and employees want their product and service providers to know what they’re looking for and do everything they can to make their lives simpler and easier. Customers will not tolerate irrelevant content, apps, or tools that fail to make their lives and jobs simpler and easier.

Starbucks has done this with its mobile app. Spotify has done this for streaming audio. The Progressive mobile app has actually turned “fender benders” into an opportunity to provide “aha” customer experiences.

Listen to customers and employees to learn where friction is in their lives and explore ways to reduce that friction. Let your customers know you hear them. Doing so will enable you to disrupt your industry, earn customers for life and become the preferred place to work. All ensure a successful future. Failure to do so ensures a premature death.

Security Is Part of the Customer Experience in Marketing

As companies work to define an exceptional customer experience, my guess is few of them think about the security of the customer and their personally identifiable information (PII). While consumers are willing to trade privacy for convenience, is it incumbent upon application providers to provide secure apps.

As companies work to define an exceptional customer experience, my guess is few of them think about the security of the customer and their personally identifiable information (PII). While consumers are willing to trade privacy for convenience, is it incumbent upon application providers to provide secure apps.

When we buy a product or service from a manufacturer, we do so with the assumption that the product will solve a problem. But what if it creates one with unforeseen circumstances?

Seventy-seven percent of applications have known vulnerabilities. Based on my interviews with hundreds of IT executives, they are not surprised. Organizations put much more emphasis on getting apps to market and monetizing them than ensuring they are secure.

Developers are rewarded for releasing applications as quickly as possible, without regard for the security of the application. Until consumers start worrying about the security of the apps they use and foregoing those apps that do not value the privacy of their information, we can expect more egregious breaches of B2B and B2C data.

While it’s not pleasant to think about, caveat emptor. The emoji keyboard that pops up on your phone has a vulnerability. The key fob to your car is easily replicated to steal your car. Hundreds of mobile websites and apps leak PII.

What’s a consumer to do? Ask questions about how the items they are buying are being secured. By asking questions, we begin to let manufacturers and solutions providers know that security matters and will be part of our purchase decision.

We know 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. How many more are willing to pay for a better customer experience that’s also secure?

We’re in an ongoing battle with hackers to develop and deploy secure apps that protect our PII. It is incumbent upon us as consumers to hold suppliers accountable for the products and services we buy.

This goes for the security of our infrastructure, medical devices, as well as our cell phones. It’s a matter of making security part of the product requirements upfront and then employing security testing throughout the development process.