Elevate your customer engagement with modern identity management

Jacob Higgs

Jacob Higgs

Principal Solution Architect Identity, Versent

Many people see identity management as a purely security-oriented function, but its role in engagement and customer satisfaction is equally important.   

Your CIAM (Customer Identity and Access Management) system is vital to engendering user trust for your brand. An apparently unimportant thing like the login form on your front page can significantly impact user experience and conversion rates.    

So, how does digital identity management work in the various stages of an online customer journey? Let’s walk through user engagement step by step and see how IAM plays into that process.     

CIAM can be a user engagement tool    

Brand awareness is the very first touchpoint for most users. Prospective customers either visit a website landing page or arrive at a social media portal where they see your products and services for the first time. The interaction is mainly anonymous at this early stage, so the person’s digital identity hasn’t fully come into play. But there’s already generic web analytics being generated that may be useful at a later stage.     

Product consideration is typically the second phase of user interaction. This phase of the user’s journey often overlaps with the marketing funnel step of lead capture. Users typically have a narrower focus at this point. They may be engaging with lead magnets like downloadable marketing assets, demo offers or news subscriptions. An identity management system doesn’t create a detailed picture of the user at this point, but some basic data points such as an email address may be captured. There’s enough data already for the IAM solution to create an entry in a CRM platform like HubSpot or Salesforce, but not a full credential set as yet. There’s an opportunity to correlate these small data points with web analytics like page views and geolocation, though, so the IAM system is already preparing a preliminary profile of the user. That information will feed into a personalised portrait of the user later if and when they elect to create a complete user profile.      

Converting the lead into a customer   

At the purchase stage of engagement, all the elements of the user’s digital identity coalesce.   

For the user’s onboarding process to be as smooth and easy as possible, data already captured can be auto-filled into their registration form. An advanced cloud CIAM system can also capture user data progressively as they use more advanced features of your vendor platform.    

Passwordless login can take the process a step further by securely authenticating the user without them needing to remember passwords.      

Another possibility for frictionless sign-on is social login. New users can log in to their social media account, granting access to the relevant details and accelerating their sign-on process. This interaction can also feed important information to your CIAM system.   

It’s crucial that a given user needs only one sign-on interaction to use all of your company’s services and that their interaction balances security and simplicity. A convenient Single Sign-On (SSO), combined with robust credential-based security, gives the user a positive, personalised experience and visibly reassuring security.

Secure engagement: friction vs safety  

For higher-risk interactions where security is particularly vital, a stronger user authentication method, such as MFA (Multi-Factor-Authentication), may be required. This presents a challenge because it inherently introduces friction; however, modern approaches such as push notifications, U2FFIDOFIDO2, and WebAuthn simplify the process for users.     

Data breaches and cybercrime attacks can be very costly. Hacking can result in the exposure of sensitive information, which will severely harm your company’s reputation. Robust user authentication protects your online systems, helping to build a trustworthy public image and reassuring customers when they enter sensitive data like credit cards or phone numbers.    

Where restrictive firewalls once hobbled accessibility of online brands, contemporary IAM capabilities allow your organisation to transcend the limitations of perimeter-based security and offer safe, secure services in the cloud. Compared to traditional firewalled perimeters, even the most robust cloud-based identity management presents a relatively friendly face to users.

Evolved user management in the cloud   

Cloud-based digital identity’s streamlined, user-friendly mechanism provides a better customer experience and powers better user metrics at the same time.   

The rich data capabilities enabled by modern identity management can give your enterprise tools actionable behavioural data that can predict customers’ future interests. Equipped with that understanding, you can deliver customised services to individual users and make more astute strategic decisions.     

Cloud-based identity management allows full integration with frameworks such as the Australian Consumer Data Right and the Trusted Digital Identity Framework. This interoperability makes standards compliance much simpler and ensures adherence to privacy principles that are close to the hearts of consumers. 

CIAM + data = better customer service  

Versent applied modern CIAM and data analysis principles to transport provider Vix’s cloud transformation. Vix can now look at passenger movement data and overlay information that may impact use, such as major sporting events, weather patterns and public holidays. This granular detail allows informed decision-making around the frequency and timing of transport options.   

“We can now give our customers insights through data visualisations, which we have never been able to offer before. This sets us apart in the market, meaning we can have more insightful conversations with new and existing customers, and really understand their needs and spot opportunities.” – Sean Langton, Chief Technology Officer, Vix Technology.  

CIAM for modernisation  

Government agency Service NSW (SNSW) provides various administrative and informational services from drivers’ licenses to business certifications and COVID-19 information.    

SNSW’s various departments and agencies required citizens to use different identification methods to access its various services. SNSW has more than five million users, so it decided to partner with Versent on a digital transformation project to connect its multiple platforms in a unified customer identity management system.   

In 2018 Versent simplified the user access systems to provide SNSW customers with a more straightforward and secure sign-in process.   

SNSW’s new cloud-based system not only enhances user engagement but is also estimated to cost 25% less to operate in its transformed state.   

User-centric CIAM is good for business     

Better customer experience is the central motivation for most business transformation projects. Customers are increasingly sophisticated and demanding, and the online marketplace makes it easy for dissatisfied users to take their business elsewhere.    

Digital interactions are now the primary way users engage with brands, products and services, so those online relationships need to be secure, streamlined and rich with personalisation.      

Identity management is one of the cornerstones of successful cloud transformation. It provides a secure environment for users and gives them an experience that better meets their individual needs.   

Good customer service has always been a vital factor in any company’s success, and digital identity management is the key to providing that personalised service online.    

If you’re considering your digital transformation options, make sure that CIAM is a priority for your business. After all, your customers and the way they interact with your brand are the foundation of your success.  

Want to learn more about evolved identity management?    
Talk to an expert Versent advisor.