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Why good cyber security is good customer service?

Please bear with me but I want to start with a true, if apparently slightly random, story.

I was recently flying home after a business trip. With COVID, the norms of flying are slightly altered so the usual mobile app check in had to be skipped in place of an old fashioned at-desk check in.

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Arriving at the desk was when it started to go wrong. The check-in staff said the booking was corrupt and they couldn’t check me onto the flight (turned out, despite what the online booking was showing, no ticket was attached to the booking reference for the return leg!). As I was flying from a secondary (possibly even tertiary) airport for the airline, all ground functions where outsourced and there were no airline employees onsite. All the contract check-in staff could suggest was for me to phone customer services.

Customer services struggled to help and one agent even gave up and ended the call. Eventually, 90 minutes later, as check-in was closing, the booking was sorted. One quick run through the airport later and I was on the plane home.

Things go wrong occasionally, good service is all about having the correct tools and processes in place to own the problem and to put things right. In this case, the processes didn’t work and customer experience was poor.

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I’m not going to name and shame the airline, though, and I will continue to fly with them, happily. Why? Well, I’ve been flying with them regularly for 10 years. This is the first truly bad experience I’ve had. 10 years of good experience has built up a lot of trust.

Trust is an emotional attachment that can be considered “customer retention credit“. Keep the balance positive and customers will keep coming back. If that balance drops below zero, customers will look for a new provider.

In many ways, good cyber security serves a similar purpose to good customer service. It gives enterprises the tools to firstly stop things going wrong and secondly to act quickly when they do.

In a mobile first world, customers need to trust the mobile app – it is their primary interaction point with the services you provide.

Every interaction that is smooth and secure builds a little bit of trust credit. One data breach can quickly wipe out the accrued “customer retention credit”.

Verimatrix’s Shielding products provide our customers with the tools to build secure mobile apps. The work we do may be technical and quietly happening in the background hidden away from the app user, but the trust we help build is an exciting emotional attachment that drives our customers’ successes.

As for the airline, I’d prefer to tell you about the 100 times they got me home safely and on time, than the one incident it went wrong – the “customer retention credit” is still positive.

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