Why resilience is your new competitive advantage

The coronavirus has permanently changed the way businesses think about security, identity, and trust. In the past, many businesses had a perimeter mindset. They wanted to build protective walls around their businesses, employees, and customer data. But that’s no longer sustainable. 

“The perimeter does not exist anymore,” explained Merritt Maxim, VP and research director at Forrester, at Kount’s Fall 2020 Digital Protection Summit. “Your partners are mobile and interacting in different ways. Your customers are the same way.”

According to Forrester’s research, in 2020, organizations saw the biggest changes to customer engagement models, business planning, the macroeconomic environment, and their workforces. Even amid changes, one thing became clear: Resilient businesses come out on top.

Resilience prevents fraud and reduces customer friction

“The traditional disaster recovery and business continuity part of the business was viewed as a not-very-exciting part of the business,” Maxim explained. “Now, there’s a realization that business resiliency is absolutely essential.” 

For example, a company that moved call center reps to work remotely may have realized that workers with unreliable internet access couldn’t take calls. That would lead to longer wait times and decreased customer satisfaction. 

With the accelerated adoption of digital channels, customers expect safety and convenience. Digital touchpoints can help businesses get to know their customers better. But customers are more aware of their data and privacy.  Businesses must find a balance between verifying a customer’s identity and minimizing customer friction. According to Forrester, reducing customer friction is the most important factor in customer acquisition and retention. 

“Fraud and security are all part of resilience,” Maxim said. “The risks to customer loyalty can be significant because customers are paying more attention to data and privacy. If you can demonstrate to your customers that you’re doing a good job with privacy and consent and how you manage their information, you’re more likely to retain those customers. They’ll feel confident that you understand how to do that.”

3 ways to increase resilience and boost customer confidence

The shift from in-person to online commerce has placed further stress on security, marketing, and business operations. As more businesses and consumers adopt digital channels, they’re met with more cyberattacks from account takeover fraud and bots. Both of which can erode customer confidence. Maxim says businesses can win, serve, and retain customers by optimizing their digital experiences.  

1. Invest in bot protection

Bot protection isn’t about stopping all bots — it’s about having a solution that discovers and classifies bots. Businesses can protect themselves from bots that perpetrate fraud while allowing good bots to drive the customer experience.

2. Protect the entire customer journey

Fraud affects a business’s profitability and reputation and can have compliance implications. So businesses will want to predict fraud as early as possible in the customer journey. The best fraud prevention solution can protect customers who are creating accounts as much as it can protect customers who are making purchases.

3. Consider a chargeback solution

A chargeback solution can help businesses minimize chargeback losses from criminal fraud, friendly fraud, and legitimate disputes. Not to mention, it can help retain legitimate customers. Chargebacks and related fees and penalties can affect a business’s bottom line. And they lead to an increase and manual reviews. Those reviews take valuable time and resources many businesses can’t spare. 

As many businesses found in 2020, their existing identity infrastructures crumbled under increased demand. But resilient businesses have made themselves essential to everyday consumers. Today, businesses can help ensure their survival by giving customers confidence in their ability to adapt to change. 

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