Optimising the Customer Journey Beyond the Pandemic

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The world economies continue to grapple with lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses that are laser-focused on and actively investing in digital transformation will be in a better position to thrive — in fact two-thirds of global executives (61% of UK Executives) surveyed are already indicating increased investment*.

A friction-right consumer experience (CX) that captures new customers and fosters loyalty is key to driving profitable growth for your organisation. Successful growth plans involve creating and implementing strategies that optimise digital customer journeys. This supports acquisitions, streamlines onboarding processes and ultimately delivers better outcomes for your business and consumers. Discover more about digital onboarding and Customer Experience in our Global Digital Trends in 2021 and Beyond insights guide.

This article highlights how innovation, the pandemic and regulation are changing the design of customer journeys and forcing decision-makers to evaluate digital strategies more deeply. It also provides insights that can help turn challenges into growth opportunities.

Smarter customer acquisition

Marketers and decision analysts have long sought to understand consumers through data, and technology has evolved to help meet that goal — from CRMs to ID graphs that connect and resolve identities. The deprecation of third-party cookies has further pushed the need to effectively collect, manage and activate first-party data.

Competition for new customers in 2021 and beyond is likely to be fierce. With more digital advertising spend pouring into the market and Global digital ad spend expected to reach $389 billion in 2021**, it’s imperative to optimise investments by finding new ways to gain actionable customer insights.

Considered targeting and appropriate messaging to increase prospect and consumer digital engage is key - TransUnion’s CAMEO provides different levels of segmentation to understand and target consumers and optimise campaigns.

Use Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions to optimise onboarding and conversion rates

Globally, data and credit regulations are evolving at speed as governments look to better protect consumers. This is placing increased and new responsibilities on businesses.

In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in 2018 is widely seen as the forerunner for data rules across the globe. In the US, California (the world’s fifth largest economy) adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) to give consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them. Whilst in the UK, the pandemic ushered in new regulations around creditworthiness and the Woolard Review focused on the growing Buy Now Pay Later market. This review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market could have worldwide ramifications. In addition, globally in 2021, Apple and Google made significant changes to how consumers are tracked, impacting how campaigns target consumers.

With acquisition activities under pressure, there’s a greater emphasis on delivering an optimal customer experience during digital onboarding. Thus, processes that convert more genuine customers by providing a high degree of confidence in accurately verifying their identities will lead the way. That means the KYC process of identifying and verifying the client's identity at account origination will need to be optimised. This could be achieved by using configurable identify proofing solutions, such as email verification, facial recognition or document verification to create a friction-right onboarding experience.

Being able to positively identify and let genuine customers through whilst detecting and countering fraud threats is the optimal. Our sophisticated identity and fraud solutions, providers an accurate and comprehensive picture of consumers, can quickly assess associated risks and support the automation of the application process. 

Gain a better understanding of emerging technologies and their associated risks

Global research by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by TransUnion* has analysed key trends driving digital transformation and how businesses can build trust in a digital consumer landscape.

The study surveyed executives across 12 countries, including the UK, and provides perspectives on potential changes to customer journeys beyond the pandemic. Two key callouts are:

  • Continued interest and uptake of artificial intelligence across a range of security and CX domains in diverse contexts and settings — from insurance and banking to ecommerce.
  • Super-apps and digital wallets are going to continue to be disruptive — over three quarters of those surveyed globally predict super-apps will have a positive impact on their organisation’s revenue in the next five years, and 82% think the same about digital wallets.

The adoption of super-apps and digital wallets is changing the digital landscape globally, altering long-established customer journeys and disrupting the relationship between businesses and consumers. The pandemic clearly accelerated wider, faster customer adoption of digital channels.

Both innovations offer consumers convenience and an easier path to purchase. Globally, businesses in Asia (87%) and Latin America (82%) are more confident in the how super-apps can help grow revenue in the next five years compared to North America (60%), Europe (62%) and South Africa (77%). The success of Alipay (in China) and Gojeck (in Indonesia) demonstrate the power of platforms that combine marketplaces and services, and potentially inform the direction of similar platforms in the West.

The main barriers to adoption expressed by global executives are concerns about security, privacy or fraud (48%), and regulatory limitations on data sharing with third parties (37.5%) slightly higher in the UK at 40%. In fact, these concerns were the top reported potential barriers to super-app adoption in every region the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed. On an industry level, interestingly it is retail global executives who showed most concern for privacy and fraud at almost 53% compared to financial services who showed a concern of 51%. In terms of regulatory limitations, you would be forgiven for thinking that financial services would have the highest concern due to their heavily regulated environment. However the survey revealed that it was telecommunications executives who showed a slightly higher concern with 44% compared to financial services executives with 43%.

Despite barriers to super-app integration more than half of all UK industry executives across the sectors surveyed think it is highly or somewhat likely that financial transactions will take place through a single super-app: financial services (68%), consumer lending and credit card issuing (68%), retailers (80%), gaming (77%), telecoms (80%) and insurance (52%).

As businesses optimise digital experiences, it’s imperative to understand the risks that might be present with new technology, and the layers of identity proofing and fraud controls that can be used to mitigate those risks. While offering convenience, super-apps can be a risk especially if all the personal information is stored in one place. Meanwhile, digital wallets are tied to bank accounts and credit cards which means the potential losses for consumers and the extend of the widespread financial damage are higher if an account is taken over. One consideration to help mitigate account takeovers is to implement device-level checks that could impede fraudsters even if they have the correct login credentials.

From a UK industry perspective***, the theory that physical paper cash will no longer in be in use over the next decade to some degree was thought to be highly or somewhat likely by all sectors executives - financial services (64%), consumer lending and credit card issuing (72%), retailers (20%), gaming (77%) and telecoms (64%). Alluding to the acceptance that there will be wider adoption of digital currency and naturally with this there is a need to secure those digital transactions.

Strengthen your onboarding experiences and business performance

For businesses wanting to optimise the entire customer lifecycle from acquisition to onboarding to account management, our solutions and hands-on expertise can help give you a more competitive edge. Find out more on TruValidate, our holistic fraud solutions, and get in touch to find out how we can help your business navigate the ever-evolving digital economy.

* New Dimensions of Change: Building trust in a digital consumer landscape, Economist Intelligence Unit, October 2020.
Full survey results based 1,600 Global executives, of those 180 UK executives.
** INVOCA, 30 Statistics Digital Marketers Need to Know in 2021, June 2021
*** New Dimensions of Change: Building trust in a digital consumer landscape, Economist Intelligence Unit, October 2020.
Full survey results based 1,600 Global executives, of those 180 UK executives. displayed results based on 25 UK Financial services executives, 25 consumer lending and credit card issuing executives, 25 retailers, 30 Gaming & Casinos executives 25 telecommunications executives and 25 insurance executives. All findings are considered directional due to small sample sizes.

If you’re a consumer with questions or issues related to your personal credit report, drivers history report, disputes, fraud, identity theft, credit report freeze or credit monitoring services, please visit our Customer Enquiries page for assistance.

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