Industry Expert Series
Senior Vice President, Research
What are the digital threats to the business that your industry should worry about?
Digital Clarity Group advises large and medium enterprises and government agencies about how customer experience management fits into a digitally-oriented organization. We look at customer experience in its totality– not just the channels that customers typically engage with a company. We look at how requests are processed throughout the organization — everything from marketing and sales, to customer support, to manufacturing, shipping, delivery, etc. and we do it in a way that enables us to identify and advise the company on where its vulnerabilities are and how to address them.
What we are seeing, particularly in large enterprises, is that the customer experience management responsibility typically resides in organizational stovepipes that focus on customer interaction through specific channels or in support of a business function. These big organizations are not equipped to think through the entire end-to-end process of supporting the customer. We are seeing many disconnects between traditional customer experience functions, such as point-of-sale and transaction processing, and the digital and cyber security issues –fraud and identity theft in particular — that can impact them. These digital and cyber issues are typically not part of the customer experience management leaders’ domain but they are very real issues that these leaders need to better understand from a digital risk perspective. (hyperlink to Connie 2 part blog on the DRMI website).
We are pleased to see how the Digital Risk Management Institute is now providing a framework that brings together people, processes, and technology with the goal of identifying and qualifying vulnerabilities that could impact any and every facet of the customers’ experience..
What initiatives are you spearheading?
We are currently researching challenges associated with new digital products that need to balance delighting the customer with features that might also increase digital vulnerabilities. Some examples are wearable devices and watches that are really cool and delight customers but may also pose a risk as they expose sensitive data by making it visible to those in the immediate vicinity. We see evidence that these products are new points of digital vulnerability that are increasing the chances of fraud for those customers.
For example, take the recent high profile security breaches at Anthem, OPM, and Target — all of which featured serious cyber security problems that impacted customer experience in a big way. And we see, based on how they handled their responses, or lack thereof, that these organizations are not making the connection between the customer experience and digital and cyber vulnerabilities.
Digital Risk Management is an emerging area that large organizations need to explore to understand their digital risk profile as it relates to the customer experience and the ability to weigh the impact of key vulnerabilities on both the customer experience and the bottom line. .
What is missing in helping companies tackle digital risk?
When a customer experiences a major security breach that involves his confidential and/or financial data, and the company responds by sending out generic form letters, this is the worst form of customer experience. Misuse of confidential data is where the customer’s experience of a company or government agency rises to the utmost, maximum importance but in many cases the customer experience leaders may be completely uninvolved in how the company’s response is handled.
We are currently preparing research based on interviews with a variety of executives responsible for digital risk that will address issues such as cyber security, privacy, fraud detection, etc. We will interview them to see what their priorities are, where they believe their vulnerabilities are, and if they are thinking about them from the customer experience perspective. And more importantly, have they engaged with the customer experience leaders in their own organizations?
We will also interview customer experience leaders to see to what extent they are aware of the digital risks in their organizations. How would they respond, from a customer experience point a view, to things like a major security breach? What would their involvement be? Would they be hands off or would they let the digital risk specialists handle very delicate communications with the impacted customers? Would they be willing to collaborate with digital risk leaders on how to communicate with customers in the event of a breech, or collaborate on integrating customer experience and security technologies to begin with? These are the million dollar questions about collaboration that we believe is the missing ingredient for optimizing customer experience management.
We are partnering with the DRM Institute to offer a clear path of best practices for benchmarking and methodologies, for scoring vulnerabilities, and for quantifying a wide range of digital risks to an organization and we look forward to working closely with them as we expand our research initiatives.
What do you do to “unwind” and have fun?
I unwind by being active in the community. I serve as a director for the boards of The Waterford Foundation and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. I am an elder in the Presbyterian Church. I am passionate about reading and I am also writing an autobiographical book. I enjoy antiquing and gardening and am particularly proud to be a Loudoun County Master Gardener.