Customers Don’t Care About Your Regulatory Requirements

by Chris Nguyen

posted on 01-18-2017

In highly regulated industries that handle the most-private customer data, a great customer experience starts with great security. But, that’s not the whole of it. While you can easily become bogged down in security and privacy concerns — resulting in websites that are dull and boring at best or make users jump through hoop after hoop for security purposes — the best customer experiences happen when security is present but invisible. But, heightened security can’t be your end goal.

At the most basic level, customers expect you to keep their information secure and meet all regulations; then, they expect brands to go above and beyond to deliver outstanding customer experiences. In fact, within the next year, Gartner estimates that 89 percent of businesses will be competing based on customer experience. Thus, despite burdensome security regulations, you can’t afford not to optimize your user experience — no matter how regulated your industry may be.

Great Customer Experiences Are Not Optional.
Brands like Amazon and Nordstrom may not seem like your competitors. Still, they set the baseline for how customers expect to engage with brands. Customers are used to sharing private data, having it stored securely, and having a personalized user experience. Brands that aren’t delivering on all fronts — no matter what regulatory issues they face — simply aren’t meeting their customers’ expectations.

Yes, Creating Exceptionally Secure Experiences Is a Must.
Of course, both security and regulation-compliance are core parts of a great experience — starting with regulations such as SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO, FedRamp, and HIPAA. But, there’s more to it than just this.

It’s also important to have eyes in place to notice when something doesn’t look right. To do this, organizations must have security programs and personnel in place that will constantly be looking for, prioritizing, and tackling threats based on which are most harmful; keeping up to date on the latest issues that could threaten users’ security; and ultimately, putting processes in place to help them stay ahead of the security game and quickly react to protect. Some things you can consider implementing to ensure you’re hitting these baseline goals include:

Regulation tends to be a slow-moving process. Thus, brands that are in a highly regulated industry often feel they are restricted from making innovative changes. However, with the right risk assessment, regulatory processes, and security practices in place, you can move on to develop customer experiences that will create happy, brand-loyal customers.

Technology Helps Brands Deliver Great Customer Experiences Despite Heavy Regulations.
Using technology to create a baseline for security frees you to deliver a great user experience. For example, creating a unified website experience — using solutions that consider great security a critical requirement for a great customer journey — can have a major impact in regulated industries, helping companies to move past the burden of security to deliver the experiences their customers expect, because companies only have to authenticate and meet security standards one time. From there, marketers are free to innovate. They can make user-experience changes, such as not requiring the same form fields to be filled out ad nauseam, as may be required when managing multiple systems across sites or apps. This allows marketers to focus on user experiences first without constantly thinking about regulations.

In fact, one government healthcare program recently decided to improve its user experience. This process included the migration of over 10 million pages of active content from 91 institutions. Despite privacy regulations, this government was dedicated to making their website as user-friendly as possible. As a result, it went from having 4,000 sites dedicated to healthcare-related topics to having a single, intuitive site by using Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics. The results: customers can find and access government information and services from their mobile devices or laptop computers. The website is organized by topics and tasks. Coupled with an improved search function, this allows customers to easily conduct business and access the content they need via the website. In sum, the new site will grant easier access to information in English and French, increase security, allow for integration capabilities across systems, and deliver an overall improved user experience.

Great Customer Experiences Start From the Top Down.
To implement a culture that really focuses on great customer experience, this strategy must be driven from the top down, allowing technology to be used across functions and on all levels to deliver the experiences customers expect in a consistent way. Executives — and, potentially, even board members — will need to be on board with focusing on delivering stellar customer experiences.

It’s important that this is not just your brand talking the talk — you also need to walk the walk. Tie your customer experiences to your business goals, key performance indicators (KPIs) across all functions, performance assessments, and ultimately, compensation. Without tangible metrics — that impact your brand, your employees, and your culture — change will not happen.

A leading managed-care provider in the US wanted to reach their $1 billion revenue goal, all while improving customers’ healthcare and well-beings. To do so, it replaced its various point solutions with Adobe Marketing Cloud to ensure it could integrate its marketing disciplines across analytics, targeting, and content management. Because of this unified-platform approach, they were able to gain a better understanding of their customers, including how they came to their websites, whether users were individuals or employers, and how users could be redirected to the resources they needed most. By implementing a strategy that crossed marketing disciplines, they were able to deliver content based on user data — targeting cancer-screening information to high-risk patients or diet information to diabetes patients, for example. This, in turn, helped them to acquire and retain customers, fueling their growth and ensuring that they will remain a leader in the healthcare industry. Creating a seamless, personalized user experience helps customers to engage with your brand and remain loyal over time. This is true in any industry — even one that is highly regulated.

A Little Goes a Long Way.
Making great customer experiences — from optimized security to personalized, targeted content — a core part of your company’s culture is the best way to really make change happen. This is especially important in highly regulated industries. It can be easy to become so focused on meeting regulations that innovation and a customer-centric approach fall by the wayside. By changing how your company views customer experiences and putting the right supporting technology in place, you can bring innovation — and great customer experiences — back to your brand. Great security is only a part of the experience your customers expect.

The good news is, creating personalized customer experiences in highly regulated environments poses big challenges for all brands, and many brands are failing. An already-low bar means that those companies that take the initiative — even small steps — to implement a customer experience-focused strategy will move the needle in a big way, putting them ahead of the curve.

If you work in a highly regulated industry but are interested in improving your security to provide an even better user experience, read more about how security can save you time and money.

Topics: Content Management

Products: Experience Manager