Building Security into Your Company Culture Can Improve CX

Customer experience (CX) now drives buying decisions and determines brand loyalty, so building a CX-focused company culture is important for staying competitive. A security-minded culture is critical, too, because data breaches, payment fraud, and false positives spoil CX. Here are some key best practices for building a company culture that strengthens security, reduces fraud, and enhances CX.

A customer-centric culture

The best customer experiences deliver convenience and security, according to a survey of 5,000 consumers across five countries in March 2021. 66% of the respondents — from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. — said convenience was a factor in their decision to shop online rather than in a brick-and-mortar store. However, 47% also said worries about online scams kept them from doing more shopping online, and 13% said they’d experienced online payment fraud in the previous 12 months. Your company can focus on balancing the customer’s desire for safety and convenience across all touchpoints. Two key areas to focus on are payment methods and order screening.

Alternative payment methods

Offering digital wallet payments can make online shopping easier for customers and reduce their security worries. Wallet options such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay don’t expose customers’ card data to retailers during checkout. They also don’t require customers to input address and shipping data, because it’s also stored in the wallet. It’s therefore not surprising that 60% of the consumers surveyed said they always or sometimes pay with a digital wallet rather than a card when they shop online.

Of course, payment methods will evolve, so it’s important to build a culture of innovation and embracing new technology. As more convenient and more secure options emerge, be ready to seek out, test, and implement them.

Provide rigorous but low-friction fraud screening

Customize your order screening criteria, based on your industry risk profile, customer profiles, and expected loss calculations for each order. This data can help you determine what fraud scores merit automatic approvals and which indicate a need for manual review before decisioning. Having an expert review flagged orders can reduce the risk of false declines, which is important when a false decline can prompt up to 40% of customers to boycott the retailer and generate complaints that are shared with the shopper’s network.

A company culture that seeks the best features of technology and human intelligence is in the best position to protect customers without inconveniencing them.

A social media-friendly culture

Social media is an important channel for connecting with customers for marketing, social commerce sales, and customer service. Retailers with an active social media presence can use it to improve CX and security around their brand and customer accounts. Rather than sideline social media, companies should make it part of their culture.

Respond quickly to customer questions and complaints

Actively monitoring your store’s social profiles allows you to build a good reputation for customer engagement and service. It can also help customers avoid phishing sites as they seek answers to their questions. For example, when a customer doesn’t hear back from a retailer on social media to help them solve a problem, they may look elsewhere for answers and find a brand impostor who steers them to log in to a phishing website, enter their credentials, and become victims of account takeover fraud.

Monitor your brand reputation on social media

An active social presence includes “social listening” for mentions of your brand. This matters because the fact is not everyone who talks about your brand online will do so on your feeds. The 2021 survey found that 34% of consumers said they would post something negative on social media about a website if their order were declined.

If you detect complaints, you can reach out to that customer and attempt to make things right with them. This kind of feedback can also help you identify problems with your fraud decisioning process so you can make improvements to prevent future false declines. And, like fast responses to customer questions on your feed, seeking out and responding to brand mentions can help to prevent customers from getting phished by brand impostors claiming they want to help.

Document impostors and share the information with the platform and your legal team. You can also share information on your own social media accounts about how to avoid these impostors — another way to look out for your customers and maintain their trust.

A culture of good data hygiene

One very important behind-the-scenes element in customer experience is the cyber hygiene and data protection practices of the retailers they visit. When customer data is exposed through phishing or ransomware attacks, fraud often follows. Make security awareness everyone’s job in your company in order to secure the protection of your customers.

Prevent ransomware to keep your business running

Your business can’t provide great CX if your website is offline or your customer data is encrypted by ransomware attackers. Ransomware-related data breaches increased by 13% globally in 2021, an increase that the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) described as “a rise as big as the last five years combined.”

Ransomware was found in nearly 70% of malware-enabled data breaches in 2021, per the DBIR. Retailers need a proactive security culture to keep malware from accessing their systems, including email security screening, regular and timely software patching and updating, regularly updated system access reviews, and employee education about identifying and reporting potential malware and ransomware.

Prevent phishing to avoid customer data theft

In 2021, according to the DBIR, 82% of the breaches confirmed worldwide “involved the human element.” In most of these cases, phishing and its close cousin, business email compromise (BEC), led to system access and stolen credentials for financial gain.

Stolen customer data often ends up used to commit card fraud or, in the case of stolen login credentials, account takeover fraud. Both of these scenarios destroy trust between customer and retailer. 83% of consumers are likely to never shop again with a retailer after a fraud experience on their website.

Regular awareness training for email threats like phishing, BEC, and other scams can help keep security top of mind for employees and prevent attacks. However, as email threats become more sophisticated, it’s also important to have an email security solution that screens out as many threats as possible before employees see them.

The steps and examples in this article are a good starting point for building a company culture that meets customers’ safety and convenience expectations. To keep that culture going, make sure employees are rewarded for reporting security and CX issues, offering creative solutions to problems, and going above and beyond to understand customers’ needs.


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