Today’s customers have come to expect personalised experiences when interacting with a brand or organisation. To facilitate this, companies utilise both first and third-party information they’ve gathered to tailor interactions with each customer.
There’s a fine balance to be found between a basic message, “You’ve bought X from us before, you may like Y,” and, “You’ve Tweeted about needing product Y; would you like to buy it?”. The former approach may be less personal but fails to differentiate a brand from a dozen alternatives; the latter could be perceived as ‘creepy’ or invasive.
The customer experience balancing act
There’s no perfect balance point at which a brand can position CX (customer experience) based on the information it has about any customer, as each one will differ regarding what they consider to be bland/impersonal and perceptive/invasive. Any company with more than a dozen well-known customers will always wrong-foot itself with many customers and prospects, making CX a hit-or-miss exercise at best.
The answer is to allow customers to dictate exactly what information about themselves they wish to share with any organisation with whom they interact. Like in the initial stages of a human-to-human relationship, the exchange of information may be low-key: a ‘customer’ may offer their age but not date of birth; they may state which city they live in but not their address.
As the relationship progresses and trust develops, more detail can be offered. In business terms, that presents a problem. An online order for goods, for example, requires certain verifications, especially around identity (KYC), financial transactions (anti-fraud), and geography (delivery address, for example). Customers are expected to take a leap of faith early in the relationship with a brand, providing information that they can only hope will not be misused, poorly guarded, or monetised without their agreement.
That means many relationships between individuals and organisations begin on the back foot, and a real bond of trust between the parties – one that is to both of their advantages – takes much longer than it should to develop.
Keeping trust safe
Commercial companies and public-sector organisations are also responsible for keeping the data they gather securely and within statutory boundaries. High-profile hacks and accidental data leaks have undermined consumer and business confidence, straining the fragile bonds of trust essential for interactions and trade between organisations and their clients.
For business professionals developing more personalised CX, the challenge is in balancing the desire for in-depth customer information with a responsibility to protect sensitive data and maintain trust. Both sides of the practical data conundrum present their own challenges.
Empowering trust with Affinidi
This is where Affinidi steps in, bridging the gap between personal data security and customer experience. Affinidi produces a suite of products that together make the Affinidi Trust Network. It’s a market-changing solution that places data ownership with the end-users or customers, who are free to discover, collect, store, share, and even monetise specific information with anyone, including organisations with whom they interact.
From that cornerstone concept, issues around trust, data sovereignty, security, and privacy are solved. And there are other benefits, including the building of trust; the foundation on which CX is constructed.
Affinidi’s concept of Holistic Identity Management means that end users are in control of their data and have a 360-degree view of their digital selves. End users or customers have the power to share any information they wish in accordance with their preferences.
The business gets rock-solid assurance of a customer’s identity, their payment method, and criteria necessary to trade (a customer’s age or country of residence might be issues, for example). This process takes place without the brand ever seeing or possessing information the customer does not feel confident sharing, data that would typically have had to have been encrypted, stored, and protected by the organisation.
Both sides of the relationship can rely on the authenticity of the data as information exchange is always with a user’s explicit consent. With approved data shared by their customers or prospects, companies can query these decentralised, encrypted, and assured data resources.
Develop and trust
Affinidi leverages open standards, Open ID Connect (OIDC) and uses decentralised identity management technologies such as OpenID for Verifiable Presentations (OIDC4VP), Verifiable Credentials (VC), and Presentation Exchange (PEX). These decentralised identity management solutions enable versatile applications ranging from single sign-on in corporations to complex procedures in e-commerce, healthcare, and more. The approach grants individuals and end users’ greater control of their data, ensuring security and verifiability across different systems.
The implementation of these technologies offers a secure, privacy- and user-centric solution for digital identity management. During the COVID pandemic, these solutions were used to verify the vaccination status of travelers at border crossings in Singapore without intrusive, privacy-invasive information gathering.
Holistic Identity is discussed in more depth on these pages, here, but to summarise, the concept means a brand will no longer have to rely on fragmented and disparate representations of an individual drawn from multiple sources. Instead of having to rely on tracking cookies, metadata, or behavioral guesswork, companies develop a true picture of their customers, formed of information the customer willingly gives or consented to.
That allows the building of truly personalised customer experiences based on consented driven data from users and not privacy intrusive or unconsented surveillance data collected from the web/internet.
We’ll explore some of the other products of the Affinidi Trust Network in future articles, like Affinidi Concierge, a personalised AI to optimise data management, Affinidi Connector, to integrate multiple data sources, Affinidi Messaging, and Affinidi Login for passwordless authentication and more.
Check back soon for more details, but if what you’ve read so far has sparked your interest, head over to this page to read on.