In highly regulated industries that handle the most private customer data, a great customer experience starts with great security. But that’s not the whole story. While you can easily become bogged down in security and privacy concerns—resulting in websites that are dull and boring at best or make users jump through hoop after hoop for security purposes—the best customer experiences happen when security is present but invisible. But heightened security can’t be your end goal.
At the most basic level, customers expect you to keep their information secure and meet all regulations; then they expect brands to go above and beyond to deliver outstanding customer experiences. In fact, within the next year, Gartner estimates that 89% of businesses will be competing based on customer experience. Thus, despite burdensome security regulations, you can’t afford not to optimize your user experience—no matter how regulated your industry may be.
Great Customer Experiences Are Not Optional
Brands such as Amazon and Nordstrom may not seem like your competitors. Still, they set the baseline for how customers expect to engage with brands. Customers are used to sharing private data, having it stored securely, and having a personalized user experience. Brands that aren’t delivering on all fronts—no matter what regulatory issues they face—simply aren’t meeting their customers’ expectations.
Of course, both security and regulation-compliance are core parts of a great experience—starting with regulations such as SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO, FedRamp, and HIPAA. But there’s more to it than just this.
It’s also important to have eyes in place to notice when something doesn’t look right. To do this, organizations must have security programs and personnel in place that will constantly be looking for, prioritizing, and tackling threats based on which are most harmful; keeping up-to-date on the latest issues that could threaten users’ security; and, ultimately, putting processes in place to help them stay ahead of the security game and quickly react to protect.
Some things you can consider implementing to ensure you’re hitting these baseline goals include:
- Weekly risk-management assessments to determine where you may need improvement;
- Compliance initiatives;
- Scheduled practices that look for ways to minimize potential downtime for services; and
- Adequate communication with customers regarding potential risks and how to prevent them.
Regulation tends to be a slow-moving process. Thus, brands that are in a highly regulated industry often feel they are restricted from making innovative changes. However, with the right risk assessment, regulatory processes, and security practices in place, you can move on to develop customer experiences that will create happy, brand-loyal customers.
Technology Helps Brands Deliver Great Customer Experiences Despite Heavy Regulations.
Using technology to create a baseline for security frees you to deliver a great user experience. With the burden of security off of their shoulders, marketers are free to innovate. They can make user-experience changes, such as not requiring the same form fields to be filled out ad nauseam, as may be required when managing multiple systems across sites or apps. This allows marketers to focus on user experiences first without constantly thinking about regulations. It also requires executives—and, potentially, even board members—to be on board.
It’s important that this is not just your brand talking the talk—you also need to walk the walk. Tie your customer experiences to your business goals, KPIs across all functions, performance assessments, and ultimately, compensation. Without tangible metrics that impact your brand, your employees, and your culture, change will not happen.
A Little Goes A Long Way
Making great customer experiences—from optimized security to personalized, targeted content—a core part of your company’s culture is the best way to really make change happen. This is especially important in highly regulated industries. It can be easy to become so focused on meeting regulations that innovation and a customer-centric approach fall by the wayside. By changing how your company views customer experiences and putting the right supporting technology in place, you can bring innovation—and great customer experiences—back to your brand. Great security is only a part of the experience your customers expect.
The good news is, creating personalized customer experiences in highly regulated environments poses big challenges for all brands, and many brands are failing. An already-low bar means that those companies that take the initiative—even small steps—to implement a customer experience-focused strategy will move the needle in a big way.