Delivering on the Promise of a Great Customer Experience

January 30, 2015

Today we're going to kick off a series focused on every organization's most important asset: customers.


Customers are more than just a username and password. Unfortunately, most enterprise identity and access management (EIAM) solutions have grown up treating customers as just that - a faceless entity needing access to a specific application or service. But what happens as the enterprise and their customers evolve?

Today's environment poses two distinct challenges:


  1. Increasingly savvy and busy consumers who demand a frictionless experience across every channel.
  2. An enterprise with an increasingly complex set of applications and services residing on-premises and in the cloud that must be delivered across multiple channels.


Leading us to the state of customer IAM today:


  • Frustrating policies leading to poor customer experiences
  • Access isn't just about web applications anymore
  • Applications are no longer exclusively inside the firewall
  • Customer's identities don't live in a central location
  • Customer access points can't be controlled


So how does today's focus on customer experience influence IAM, and where should you focus your efforts in order to deliver security AND a great experience?

Take a step back and view the experience through the eyes of your customer. How can you orchestrate every step (and channel) along their journey to deliver an experience that is seamless, integrated, and consistent? For many companies, their UX team has this pretty well nailed. Now it's your turn to think through each of those steps from an IAM perspective. Where do you fall short of the ideal customer experience today?

This exercise requires us to step back and look at a broader scope of customer engagement. Think about it; your customers' digital world is exploding. The number of connected devices they touch in a given day continues to drastically increase. Not long ago, a generation of interconnected devices emerged-each with their own IP address. Now these devices not only have discrete IP addresses, they will all need their own identity, and your enterprise will need to understand how those identities relate to your customers' identities.

What began as a straightforward effort to improve customer experiences through single sign-on has grown rapidly over the past decade, at a rate that continues to accelerate with mass consumer adoption of mobile and the API economy. While we used to just be concerned with how a customer moved through the web experience, we now have to extend that to a fluid experience across all channels and support it in terms of an authentication experience. Customers should be able to maintain states as they shift and do different things across those different channels.

In our next post, we'll examine the critical role a unified view of your customer plays in delivering the optimal experience. Watch the webinar replay to learn from Wawa, Inc. how they are responding to today's industry trends and preparing for tomorrow's opportunities with a new consumer identity management architecture. See registration information below.

For more about how identity impacts your customer experience: