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Cyber Security and Customer Experience: An Introduction for CX professionals

By September 14, 2020 No Comments

Published by Anita Siassios CCXP – 14 September 2020

You’re logging into the computer to start your workday when you see an email subject line that makes your heart drop: “Customer data breach at [your organization]: Our response.”

While the email has a lot of information about new security protocols and technologies, you’re thinking about the implications to the results of the upcoming customer survey you are planning.

After all we all know that customer experience equates to customer expectations and realities.

Fortunately, cyber security initiatives are an excellent opportunity for CX teams to deliver even more secure, trusted and enjoyable experiences. Indeed, prevention is the key to deliver great customer experiences in a cyber security context.

As Greg Bell, the U.S. leader at KPMG Cyber, put it: “In too many industries, information security is still seen as a technology risk to be minimised instead of a business issue to be optimized.”

In part one of this four-part series I’ll provide a brief overview of what cyber security is and why investing in cyber security can benefit business’ customer relationships and bottom lines.

Let’s start off with a definition of what cyber security is.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security involves protecting business systems and intellectual property, internal documents, and other sensitive information from attacks.

Cyber security is also concerned with protecting customer data and preventing customer experiences against harm or disruptions and attacks on digital experiences. This is often referred to as cyber jacking or click jacking.

There are a variety of cyber threats  that can disrupt the customer journey and business operations overall, from malware attacks and data breaches to customer journey hacking (for a complete list of cyber threats and preventative measures for small businesses, check out this small business cyber security guide).

70% of organizations have experienced a malware attack. Malware is a piece of software designed to disrupt another program or network. A recent example is the resurgence of email-based Emotet malware attacks that contain malicious attachments or links that the receiver is encouraged to download, originally  designed as a banking that attempted to sneak onto your computer and steal sensitive and private information.

Botnet attacks, or attacks by a large number of connected devices, are also a common type of cyber attack, as are attacks from a disgruntled employee.

Fortunately, businesses have many options for protecting themselves against cyber threats. Besides the obvious benefit of not having internal operations disrupted, organizations have much to gain from a business operations, CX, and revenue perspectives, as well.

Let’s now take a deeper look at the benefit of adopting a stronger approach to cyber security.

Why should businesses invest in cyber security?

If an organization wants to:

  • Protect customer and employee data
  • Secure intellectual property (IP) and other sensitive information
  • Retain customer and employee trust
  • Avoid disruptions to internal business operations
  • Avoid costly and reputation-damaging lawsuits
  • Take a proactive instead of a reactive approach to managing risks

then they should invest in cyber security.

In other words, investing in cyber security comes down to prioritizing managing customer relationships and proactivity mitigating the risk cyber-attacks pose.

A more robust approach to cyber security gives brands an opportunity to enhance their customer relationship.

85% of consumers worldwide said they wished there were more companies they could trust with their data, for example. Another 60% of consumers said they expected an organization they do business with to face a data breach one day.

Unsurprisingly, 48% of people stopped using a service when that company disclosed a data breach.

Investing in cyber security initiatives can help businesses to maintain existing customers’ trust in a company and even encourage longer-term relationships with that brand. Developing a reputation for protecting customers’ data could also help to attract future clients.

Protecting customers is just one benefit of adopting more cyber security measures, however. Considering that data breaches cost an average of $3.86 million, taking a proactive approach to cyber safety could save businesses millions in lawsuits and lost productivity.

Although IT will be concerned with an organization’s cyber safety, cyber security should be a concern for those outside of technical teams, as well.

CX teams should contribute to cyber initiatives that can not only retain customer trust but make sure each step in preventing and managing attacks is designed for customer satisfaction.

I’ll wrap up our introduction to cyber security with a brief overview of why CX practitioners should consider cyber security when revamping customer experiences.

Why should CX professionals care about cyber security?

CX professionals should participate in cyber security initiatives so they can craft better customer experiences.

For example, 27% of consumers want compensation after a breach and 22% want to be notified about what happened and how it’s being resolved.

CX teams can lean on voice of the customer (VOC) programs to understand how customers  would prefer businesses to respond after cyber breaches and collaborate with colleagues to deliver on those expectations.

Doing so can not only make sure that internal efforts meet customers’ needs, but that customers feel cared for and valued throughout the process.

To make the most of your customer insights, enrol in Managing CX’ upcoming Customer Experience Excellence Course for a deep dive into how CX teams can harness voice of the customer and other core CX competencies.

We’ll take a deeper dive into why customer experience teams should be concerned with cyber security in the second part of the series, but suffice to say that CX teams should view cyber security as yet another opportunity to gain customers’ trust and loyalty.

Cyber security and customer experience: An inseparable pair

Cyber security involves taking steps to protect businesses’ data, networks, and online activities from internal and external attacks.

While cyber security does involve initial investment in terms of new initiatives and technologies, it can save companies millions in terms of potential disruptions to their businesses, as well as savings on potential lawsuits and fines.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of cyber security and its importance to business, we’ll turn our attention to why CX practitioners should care about cyber security in the second part of this series.