Paul LangJanuary 18, 2022

How Identity Centered Security is Revolutionizing Customer, Agent, and Business Outcomes

For decades, security and customer experience have been a tradeoff: either have a good customer experience at the expense of security or use a mish-mash of point solutions like liveness detection, masking, and purging, and knowledge-based authentication (KBA) that complicate the customer (and subsequently, agent) experience.

Organizations take up too much of a customers time to confirm their identity for most types of interactions – frustrating them and the agents that serve them – all while messing up key contact center KPIs like First Contact Resolution (FCR), Average Handle Time (AHT) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), among others. Identity-centered security addresses these issues, transforming how businesses interact and transact with customers with an easy and elegant user experience. Avaya is proud to be at the forefront of this movement with our partner Journey, a digital identity verification and authentication platform provider that is redefining the customer experience, authentication, and security.

Identity Centered Security provides a secure, encrypted, and ephemeral connection between the business and the customer that allows each party to exchange rich information for any type of interaction. New account creation, caller authentication, and any sort of interaction or transaction like payments, eSignagures, eForms, and document exchange are based on verified identity and take mere seconds to complete, and are ultra-secure and privacy-preserving.

While identity verification and authentication may not be in the purview of the average contact center leader, focusing on these areas with Avaya and Journey will help transform customer and agent experiences while also creating the business outcomes they want: reduced costs, lower churn, higher retention, and greater ROI.  Not only are your efficiency metrics transformed, but also consider how reducing fraud in the contact center and making regulatory compliance simpler will help your colleagues in Security, Risk Management, and Legal.

Heres what contact center stakeholders need to keep in mind…

Customers use their smartphones for everything these days, including calling into the contact center. Make the most of the powerful tool in their hands.

Have you thought through what these powerful devices could do to make your customer and agent experiences incredible? Journey leverages the sensors on a customers smartphone or laptop (i.e., location services, cameras, keyboards, QR code scanning) to prove who that person is faster and with far greater accuracy. All of these sensors make the smart device a valuable source of a vast amount of information and inputs.

Using these inputs, a customer can complete interactions with your organization faster with uncompromised security. For example, they can use the camera on their smartphone or laptop to authenticate biometrically, take a photo of a credit card for secure payments or they can submit a contract for signature - in a single interaction across most customer endpoints. Not only will customers be happier with a faster, more efficient, and less frustrating verification process, but you can collapse the amount of time it takes to get down to business while ensuring secure and private interactions and authentications.

Understandably, some customers may feel hesitant to use, or intimidated by, this kind of technology. Rest assured: the privacy-preserving elements of this technology, even if it includes sensitive information like a face scan or credit card number, are never visible to any party without a need to know. Anything a customer enters on their phone is encrypted and ephemeral, meaning it cannot be seen by anyone (including Journey) in transit and is far more secure than reading or saying - information like a phone number, address, or social security number like we do today. This is done through Zero Knowledge cryptography (more info on this here). Simply put, customers never have to worry about the integrity of their personally identifiable information.

Making better decisions around security improves the entire customer relationship and their journey, from onboarding onward.

A new relationship between a customer and an organization is as important as any first impression. The goal is to make it as simple, secure, and elegant as you can by leveraging consistent, modern technology that captures all the sensitive information you need at the beginning of every customer relationship -  interaction, process, or transaction. Combined, Journeys digital identity verification and authentication platform and Avayas composable contact center architecture allow for a frictionless and personalized experience that is faster, more secure, and compliant with many security and privacy regulations. Here’s a hypothetical example of this in action:

  • A customer is researching a product or service on your website and is invited to a web chat session with an intelligent automated bot. The chat session is elevated to a live agent who can see where the person has been and what information they have been looking at. A secure and private data connection is instantaneously established so that the agent and customer can interact across a Zero Knowledge network link, providing the information needed to conduct business, without revealing sensitive information to either party.
  • At this point, the agent receives contextual information on their composable desktop (such as interaction history, recent purchases, and the like), seeing only the information they need to see to assist, such as a first name. At the same time, the agent receives tips and guidance in real-time as they speak with the customer to assist in ensuring a positive service experience. In the end, the agent helps the customer create a new account or complete a purchase without seeing any personally identifiable information.
  • With this private data channel, verified identity is established between a business and its customer, those identity credentials are seamlessly passed through all touchpoints (including chat, email, voice) and transfers, and creates an identity template for future use. In this way, identity verification is a “one and done” process, allowing businesses to close a deal in a single, well-designed experience. Transactions are always fast, accurate, and secure – creating a better total experience for customers.
  • If the customer your organization helped previously returns to ask questions, order additional products or services, they can automatically authenticate themselves in 1-2 seconds using the identity template: no passwords or silly questions needed. This drives satisfaction and repeats business – win-win!

The use cases for this technology are endless: ordering and refilling prescriptions, retail purchases, logging into media services, signing in to pay utility bills. Together, Avaya and Journey can help highly regulated organizations like financial service providers onboard new relationships like bank accounts and mortgages with Zero Knowledge information exchanges.

Financial institutions can vastly improve the experience of traditional KYC requirements by having customers upload identity documents like their drivers license, eForms to collect address, date of birth, SSN, or any other inputs the bank needs to capture at the beginning of a relationship. Data collection and verification becomes faster, more efficient, and more accurate, improving the customer experience with a more seamless user experience while reducing risk and exposure.

All of this leads to better agent experiences and operational outcomes (improved KPIs, higher ROI, lower costs, and far better security and privacy).

Do you think all of this improves contact center metrics like digital adoption, FCR, AHT, and CSAT? You bet. Customers get the answers they need faster and more efficiently, and agents’ lives are made easier by freeing them from mundane, time-consuming verification processes (especially now during a time of historic staffing shortages). It also increases job satisfaction by placing agents with customers who are generally happier to not have gone through a frustrating verification process. In the background, Avaya contact center analytics capture the end-to-end customer journey to improve these key metrics and ensure everything is right on track.

This will also naturally increase loyalty and profits. New customers are quick to leave if they are asked to jump through too many hoops. Repetitive, time-consuming verification processes make for a poor customer experience, which impacts organizations’ brand reputation and revenue. Being able to onboard new customers in a single session with high veracity identity (accuracy of up to 99.9999%) changes the game entirely.

From a contact center operations standpoint, there is a strong potential for major cost savings. Most regulated businesses take 45 to 90 seconds to authenticate a single customer using outdated methods like KBA. With Journey, organizations can authenticate customers in less than two seconds – saving at least $1 per call in time alone. Improvements in agent productivity and churn can also save as much as $400 per agent per month. This is in addition to the savings on avoided fraud or costly step-up authentication methods.

The future of security is happening NOW.

Avayas composability fits perfectly with Journeys network and digital platform, enabling organizations to create transformative experiences that are simple to design, dramatically increase security, and help reduce costs: remove tools that are no longer needed for masking and purging, and liveness detection.    Supercharge your security for better outcomes with an overall more intelligent security approach and find happier customers and agents in the process.

To learn more, about Zero Knowledge, ephemerality, and encryption download this article.  See related blogs: Why You and Every Organization Should Care About Identity and Identity Centered Security: A Better Way to Protect Customer Data and Increase Organizational Efficiency.

How Identity Centered Security is Revolutionizing Customer, Agent, and Business Outcomes

Paul Lang

Paul leads Contact Center Marketing for Avaya. His career spans 25 years in the Contact Center market with leading roles in Product Marketing and Product Management. Paul focuses on the marketing of the full range of Avaya's Contact Center Portfolio to drive adoption with new and existing customers.

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