Gaining customer trust in today’s digital world challenges tech leaders to responsibly harness disruptive technologies.
Trust is a new form of corporate currency, and with high-profile data technology failures, misuses, and data breaches, it’s becoming harder to attract and retain trusted customers. Customers want to feel safe and comfortable during digital experiences. The modern consumer wants a personalized, dynamic technology experience, while at the same time knowing their digital identities and personal privacy aren’t unwillingly exposed. Leading companies understand these expectations and garner customer loyalty by building technical trust into the core fabric of digital products and services.
The value of customer loyalty and how to earn it
A lack of global trust costs brands nearly $2.5 trillion dollars annually, but leading companies prioritize their customer. It is generally accepted that customers form a perception about a brand or organization over time and through experiences, and customers use that perception when assessing new products and services. However, the most valuable companies today understand that technology is a primary influencer of brand perception, and they leverage trusted technology to build a platform for a loyal customer base.
Technical trust, or a set of principles and standards that generates a positive technology experience, helps to create repeat customers. Fostering technical trust starts internally with the idea that the organization’s technologies must adequately serve the growing needs of modern customers, e.g. provide a fulfilling, seamless digital experience. Next, the organization must leverage this technology to protect the customers to help ensure they don’t feel unsafe or exploited. Finally, once technology is serving and protecting the customer, the organization must have a strong governance model to monitor the technology risk environment, maintain compliance and regulatory requirements, and remain agile for optimal customer engagement.
Advising the board
With digital technology serving as the backbone of modern business, tech leaders are uniquely positioned to help executive committees and the board define how technology risk and governance is intrinsically linked to customer trust. From the front office to the back, tech leaders, especially CIOs, can become advisors to the board and introduce new ways to govern, develop and deploy technology. With better marketing and internal practices come better customer experiences, and leveraging tools and enablers across the organization allows tech leaders to standardize practices and ensure the customer experience is protected and digital relationships are used responsibly.
Adopting disruptive technologies
Leading companies find great value in implementing disruptive technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and blockchain. An IoT product can collect an incredible amount of behavioral data, create dynamic experience through artificial intelligence, all while having digital credentials managed via the blockchain. However, an organization’s ability to responsibly innovate, demonstrate and provide lean fail-fast (yet fail-safe) approaches with these new technologies, is critical to achieving the desired business outcomes. Organizations need to consider the impact of these technologies on the risk environment and appetite, especially since a recent KPMG study found that 92 percent of C-suites were worried about reputational risks from data mistrust.
Three key steps to building technical trust
Gaining a competitive advantage through technical trust begins with a sound strategy:
1) Focus on responsible innovation and disruption to reach the desired business outcome—a better customer journey and trusted experience.
2) Embed foundational risk, security, and privacy requirements by design into technology architecture and development lifecycles.
3) Apply continuous monitoring and governance structures to promote early identification of emerging risks within highly-connected digital ecosystems.
Implementing this strategy and building customer trust is the foundation for customer retention and sustainable business growth. Learn more by listening to the podcast: “Building technical trust: The digital age is raising the stakes on trust.”