Blog · 02 Mar 2020

Are consumers at breaking point with contact centre verification and security?

Our new research highlights the urgency for easy identification and verification in the contact centre that feels safe to consumers.

The realms of identification and verification, payments over the phone and general data security have been a weak spot in customer contact for some time now — and consumers have had enough.

Their frustration comes through loud and clear in our latest round of Autonomous Customer 2020 research, with scores for “It takes too long to identify me”, “It’s irritating to keep repeating my details”, and “I worry about security when giving my card details over the phone” remaining high.

So how can businesses tackle this deep source of irritation in 2020? 

I worry about security when giving my card details over the phone”

Recognise the customer contact trust conundrum

Over the last eighteen months, consumer awareness that personal data is an asset they have rights over has grown significantly. The principles of GDPR have filtered into the public consciousness. As a result, consumers expect businesses to protect their data and are looking for a contact approach that engenders trust and confidence. We know, too, that queries coming into the contact centre are getting more complex and this increases the likelihood that agents will need to access a customer’s personal data to come up with a solution. This need to share data is further exacerbating the trust issue.

At the same time, consumers are looking for a smooth and easy experience when they get in touch. They don’t want to have to repeat their details time and again (66 per cent say this happens often), and they find multiple steps of identification and verification irksome (60 per cent say it takes too long to identify them) — and yet they want reassurance that their personal data is being handled securely throughout the transaction.

With consumers placing the responsibility for solving this conundrum firmly on businesses, your starting point is to work out your current position: do you have a complete understanding of what customer data comes into the contact centre, and what steps do you take to ensure the security and privacy of that data? How can you better manage the storage and access of data in the contact centre between channels?

Look to new identity and verification technologies

Consumers are ready to embrace and trust new technologies if they can make the contact experience easy and swift in a way that both feels, and is, secure. And the prize for businesses getting this right is huge — more business and increased customer loyalty. An impressive 75 per cent want technology to secure card payments over the phone, and 50 per cent say they would have bought more over the phone if payments had been secure. If your financial transaction platform doesn’t take transactions into a safe environment, now is the time to change that: both customers and PCI-DSS compliance demand it.

0 %
want secure payments over the phone

Intervention-less authentication methods have strong potential to meet consumer demands for easy yet secure identification and verification. From fingerprints and facial recognition for in-person authentication, through to voice recognition in the contact centre — consumers welcome single-step verification approaches, with 81 per cent wanting voice biometrics.

0 %
of consumers welcome voice biometrics

The psychology of the consumer will be important though: businesses will need to watch that the very ease and invisibility of voice recognition as a security process doesn’t undermine customer confidence in the security it delivers. Also, there may be some emotional resistance to biometrics because of a perceived loss of control, with consumers feeling their verification has been ‘taken’, rather than ‘given’ with consent.

Explore how your customers feel and your options for change: are your customers getting frustrated with your identification and verification process when they call you? And how can you implement voice biometrics to improve this experience? What are the current security limitations of your contact channels and are you set up to take payments with PCI-DSS compliance?

Businesses must solve the trust problem in 2020, finding a way to deliver the consumer’s need for easy security. Discover the insight you need to get your strategy right by downloading our latest white paper, ‘The Autonomous Customer 2020’ and watch our webinar.