On-demand Access Is the New Customer Trend

October 13, 2016

Identity management was set in concrete way back in the 1960s when passwords and usernames were designed for mainframes and computer logins. Back then, ease of use was completely irrelevant.


Customer interactions have changed drastically in a handful of decades. But what's changed just in the last five years? Well, Uber didn't even exist. We weren't using Waze to tell us it's time to leave for an appointment or how to get to work. You couldn't deposit a check on your smartphone. We weren't ordering tall lattes from Starbucks before walking in the store. All of these interactions have absolutely changed. And as consumers, our expectations have changed. Now we're using tiles, and icons, and gestures, and spoken commands. And we expect on-demand access to the information we need.


These expectations have changed in three ways that have greatly impacted how we do business.


  1. We expect rich digital experiences that are intuitive and frictionless. This requires that businesses focus maniacally on customer engagement and loyalty.
  2. We expect fluid interaction between devices. We no longer just have smartphones. We have iPads, computers, wearables, and connected devices. As we move between these, we expect our identity to follow with us and for the experience to go between the devices and adapt to the device in use but still be personalized and customized. The implication of this is that it puts tougher demands on how enterprises need to really understand technology and the importance of identity across these channels.
  3. We expect our identity to be understood between devices and across channels to get a more personalized, valuable experience. The structure of the entity that we're interacting with shouldn't matter. This is all about intelligence and about the information on the consumer, and how we use this information to enhance their experience. For example, take my name, Christine Bevilacqua. This is the same as Christine B and C Bevilacqua. These are all the same person, so there's a level of intelligence that has to be understood.


Sounds easy, but is it? Marketing wants an exceptional experience and IT is tasked with securing identities to avoid a potentially catastrophic security breach. This is one of the hottest topics in the identity space today, and it's something that Ping Identity has been focused on for over a decade. How do we shift to customer-centric identity models?


An example of a company getting it right is Chick-fil-A. They've wholeheartedly embraced the customer experience. This summer, they launched a new application that allows customers to choose their meal and then order and pay for it in advance on their smartphone. They then walk into the store, skip to the front of the line and pick up their food without actually having to interact with anyone.


This app leverages data and marries the customer data and their identity with elements of gamification. They're able to surprise customers with promotions and offers (like free food) based on previous orders. As users purchase through this app, they can track their progress for their next free offering. In this case, a customer-centric IAM solution shifts the user experience away from identities toward more of a "what I need, when I need it" experience. A consumer doesn't have to think about their identity. They just expect it to be understood and to move between these spaces freely and uninterrupted.


What have you done to ensure a customer-centric identity experience for your customers? Is your current IAM solution doing anything close to this?


To learn more about providing a fluid customer experience while keeping identities secure, check out this 5-minute reference guide, Selecting a Customer IAM Solution.