Consumers now expect a frictionless experience in their interactions with their favorite brands. Companies using biometric authentication have redefined expectations for digital customer experiences by delivering frictionless, contactless, and highly secure transactions between people, data, and systems.
What Is Customer Friction?
Friction occurs anytime in your customer’s journey when they encounter an obstacle, delay, or disruption preventing them from completing a task reasonably. For example, friction is experienced when customers:
- Can’t see your website on their device because it’s not sized for their screen
- Can’t find what they’re looking for on your website
- Have trouble logging into their account because your security procedures are inefficient
- Have difficulty completing a shopping cart checkout
- Have to wait a long time to reach a customer service representative
As these examples illustrate, friction can occur at any point in your customer’s experience. In this article, we’ll focus on friction caused when customers encounter security procedures that keep them from authenticating their identities and completing transactions on time.
Why Should You Provide a Frictionless Experience?
Providing frictionless delivery of your products and services benefits your customers and your company. As technology has made consumers accustomed to instant transactions, customer expectations have grown increasingly high. Customers expect transactions to be conducted quickly without a hassle. Any barriers to a frictionless experience cause frustration which can lower customer satisfaction. Providing a frictionless customer experience is essential to maximizing customer satisfaction. While occasional friction may be inevitable, if your customers regularly encounter hassles when engaging with your brand, this will cause your customer satisfaction to drop.
Customer dissatisfaction, in turn, can cause problems for your company. Dissatisfied customers are less likely to become repeat buyers, more likely to churn, and more likely to spread negative word of mouth about your brand. All this translates into lower revenue for your business and a poorer reputation for your brand. Moreover, if your customers constantly encounter issues, your service team can get overwhelmed with unnecessary support tickets, wasting time and resources.
On the other hand, when customers encounter a smooth, frictionless experience with your brand, they’re more likely to remain loyal customers. As loyal customers, they’re more likely to buy from you again, purchase additional products and services, and refer others to your brand. All this helps grow your brand’s reputation and revenue. Plus, less hassle for your customers means fewer support tickets your team has to field, increasing your efficiency and freeing up resources for use where they’re truly needed. In short, providing a frictionless experience for your customers is simply good business.
Prioritizing a frictionless experience is particularly important when designing your security procedures. On the one hand, you’re responsible for providing your customers with a secure experience that protects their vital and financial data. You need to take steps to authenticate users’ digital identities and ensure identity thieves aren’t trying to access your customers’ accounts. But on the other hand, if your security checks are too slow or complex, they can slow down transactions to the point your customers feel frustrated. A frictionless security experience needs to combine strong protection with fast authentication.
Three Paths to a Frictionless Customer Experience Using Biometrics
What can you do to provide customers with a frictionless security experience? Here we’ll look at three methods that employ biometrics security procedures: facial recognition checks, fingerprint scans, voice recognition, and retina scans. To illustrate these methods, we’ll use frictionless customer experience examples from three different industries where they’re widely used: banking, hospitality, and gaming.
1. Using Biometrics to Optimize Customer Touchpoints
One crucial way biometrics can reduce friction is by speeding up the customer security experience at key touchpoints where customers need to authenticate their identities when interacting with your brand. These touchpoints can be optimized online and in person. Let’s look at some examples:
In-person bank transactions can be slow and inconvenient. Biometric authentication enables quick entry into the bank’s system. Onboarding is immediate using this technology, saving customers time and effort over legacy approaches, which require customers to physically bring their driver’s license or social security card to be verified and copied during an in-person appointment at the bank.
Biometric technology also can be used to authenticate the identity of mobile customers and ATM users. Smartphone cameras make it easy to check customer identity through facial recognition, fingerprint scans, or voice recognition. Similarly, banks can set up ATMs to authenticate customers easily through facial recognition, fingerprint scans, or retina scans.
Creating a contactless customer experience will be a crucial differentiator for hotels in the hospitality industry. Biometric authentication can play a significant role in fostering that experience and optimizing customer touchpoints. Biometrics enables self-service contactless check-ins and checkouts; hotels can instantly register guests and verify their identity as they walk through the front door.
Facial recognition technology also can contribute to a frictionless customer hotel experience. Facial recognition checks can unlock guests’ rooms, eliminating the inconvenience of carrying physical keycards and bypassing the need to visit the front desk to replace lost cards.
US casinos require physical identification for guest entry, jackpot collection, and the purchase of alcoholic beverages. Biometric verification simplifies and improves the accuracy of the age verification process.
Biometric tools such as facial recognition checks and fingerprint scans can quickly verify casino guests’ identities. At the same time, this reduces the need for customer interactions with casino staff, freeing your personnel up for other duties.
2. Using Biometrics to Personalize the Customer Experience
Another way biometrics makes security more frictionless is by enabling a more personalized approach. You can set up your security system to only trigger biometric checks when the specifics of a customer situation warrant it. For example, if a customer typically logs in using a specific device but a user attempts to access their account using a different device, this might trigger a biometric check. Additionally, the physical nature of biometrics identifiers makes them uniquely personal.
Moreover, beyond security, biometrics enables you to quickly identify customers so you can pull up their account information and provide more customized service. Let’s look at some specific ways biometrics can provide a more personalized experience for customers:
In banking, providers can make biometrics more personalized by setting up identity authentication criteria that only invoke biometric checks when the situation warrants it. For example, you might require facial recognition checks only when a transaction is of a specific type, exceeds a specified amount, or exceeds other risk-scoring criteria. This criterion saves customers time on unnecessary checks while allowing checks that genuinely are necessary to be performed efficiently through speedy facial recognition procedures.
Attaching customer needs and preferences to the stored ID can help create personalized experiences for hotel guests, such as their preferred room type. Also, with a digital ID on file, hotel guests can avoid verifying their identity or pulling out a credit card for each activity, whether having a poolside cocktail or purchasing a sandwich in the coffee shop.
In gaming, facial recognition can serve as a security measure and a means of identifying customers to provide them with more customized service. For example, once a customer has been identified through facial recognition, your system can pull up their gaming history to offer them more customized gaming options. Similarly, casinos can use facial recognition on slot machines to identify VIP players and interact with them accordingly.
3. Using Biometrics to Maximize Customer Security
Biometrics can maximize security for your customers while minimizing friction. Biometrics security credentials are difficult to duplicate, so they provide strong security. At the same time, they can be checked quickly, saving time. Let’s consider some specific examples:
In-person bank transactions leave customers vulnerable as a fraudster can duplicate a card and utilize the PINs. When transactions are accomplished via biometrics, customers’ financial information is protected.
Hotels can use biometrics to ensure greater customer security while minimizing friction. For example, using facial recognition to unlock hotel rooms ensures that only authorized guests can access the rooms. Hotels also can view the biometric data of staff members entering guests’ rooms if there is a question about who accessed a specific room.
As technology advances, fake physical IDs have become more challenging to detect. Using biometric verification, the managers of gaming ventures—virtual or in-person—can avoid run-ins with law enforcement and gaming commissions by ensuring that a fake ID is not accepted and all players are 18 years of age or older. All attempts to use fake IDs are instantly and efficiently detected. Digital IDs also leverages a database of individuals barred from venues that is updated in real-time, keeping the venue’s security intact.
Facial recognition also can be used to enforce restrictions on banned players. Slot machines can be equipped with facial recognition to identify banned players and lock their machines.
Create a Frictionless Customer Experience with Incode
Moving forward, the businesses that can provide customers with the best experience, both digital and physical, will emerge as the market leaders in their industry. Whether in banking, hospitality, gaming, or another industry that requires security checks, adopting biometrics now will position you to stay competitive as customers increasingly expect a frictionless security experience.
Incode’s Omni platform empowers you to deliver a frictionless customer experience using the latest technology to provide customers with rapid, reliable identity authentication. Incode Omni is an end-to-end solution that keeps your network secure at every point of contact across your customers’ channels. The Omni platform combines biometrics with artificial intelligence to let you perform instant facial recognition checks by simply having customers take a selfie. Omni comes with pre-built products and a flexible implementation solution to make adoption frictionless for you and your customers. Request a demo and see how Omni can provide your customers with simple, fast, frictionless onboarding and authentication.