Biometrics to prevent fraud help ensure seamless digital customer experience and keep company competitive.

July 21, 2021

4 Min Read
Customer Experience CX

By Brett Beranek


Brett Beranek

Is it time to evolve your company’s CX strategy? The short answer is likely yes.

The longer answer is this: It’s no secret that many organizations still work off legacy systems and old workflows, often creating disjointed experiences for customers. However, customer service has been evolving for some time, and the pandemic accelerated those trends further. Today, consumers utilize more digital channels and demand more personalized services than ever before. And so, telecommunications firms and their partners need to prepare to offer seamless customer experiences (CX) to remain competitive.

Entire Organization Responsible for CX Journey

New research from Nuance and Microsoft reveals an alarming data point: among mobile subscribers who had recently changed providers, 17% said they did so because of a customer service or billing issue. Zendesk reports that 50% of consumers would switch to a competitor after only one bad experience. The flip side of these data points, however, is more encouraging: the second most popular reason people stay with their mobile provider is good customer care.

McKinsey has written that a successful CX strategy “starts with an aspiration centered on what matters to customers and empowering frontline workers to deliver.” Ultimately, that means channel partners must recognize that the entire organization is responsible for CX, and so ground-up transformation of your CX may be in order — but it must be done in a way that doesn’t compromise on security.

Friction-Free CX Starts with Authentication

To start the CX journey off on the right foot, customers require seamless, frictionless authentication processes, which are possible with integrated AI and intelligent automation tools. We know that traditional passwords, PINs and security questions add frustration with the authentication process because they rely on the customer’s memory. In the case of a forgotten password, agents must then effectively interrogate customers to authenticate their identity. It’s not only an ineffective and inefficient process for the agent, but it can also have a direct impact on the CX and, therefore, customer churn.

Instead, a growing number of organizations have begun adopting biometric authentication. From voice and behavioral (e.g., how a person types) to fingerprint and other modalities, biometric authentication can provide more secure authentication with less customer and agent effort. In fact, the authentication process often can be completed in less than 10 seconds while an agent is speaking with the customer, speeding up the amount of time it takes to resolve the customer interaction.

Because of its inherent ability to streamline authentication, biometrics have become the new standard in a range of industries, including telecom.

Beyond Seamless Experience: Fraud Detection and Prevention

Biometric technologies do more than start the CX journey off on the right foot; they also help companies deal with the current uptick in fraud. Data from the Federal Trade Commission shows 2.2 million fraud reports in 2020, amounting to more than $3 billion in losses – a figure that’s up from $1.8 billion in 2019.

Biometrics help by analyzing behavioral, voice and other biometric characteristics continuously and in real time to affirm that callers are who they say they are. Suspicious changes in vocabulary, switching to a recorded voice and other anti-spoofing technologies help stay ahead of the fraudsters.

While scammers may be able to purchase credentials on the dark web, they won’t be able to communicate exactly like their victims. Moreover, an AI-powered solution enables the telcos and channel partners who adopt it to blacklist the voice and phone prints from known fraudsters. Because about 70% of contact center fraud is perpetrated by the same actors, this is a particularly useful fraud detection and prevention measure.

Preventing fraud is important, and not just for your customers. It’s also important for their customers, who demand that the company protect their accounts, funds, personal data and more. And when a company deploys biometrics solutions as a means to providing frictionless authentication and preventing fraud, they also create a seamless, personalized CX journey from start to finish.

Brett Beranek oversees the security and biometric business at Nuance Communications as vice president and general manager. Prior to joining Nuance, he held various business development and marketing positions within the enterprise B2B security software space. Beranek has extensive experience with biometric technologies, in particular in his role as a founding partner of Viion Systems, a startup focused on developing facial recognition software solutions for the enterprise market. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @NuanceInc on Twitter.

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