About the Author: Tom Eggleston (CEO)

Tom Eggleston (CEO)



Categories: Blog, Customer Identity

Customer experience makes a huge difference to the success or failure of the online retail and finance sectors. Research by SuperOffice has found that two-thirds of consumers who find a web experience frustrating have a negative perception of the brand involved. Similarly, 55% say a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to do business with that brand in the future.

From the customer’s perspective, a good experience means a seamless journey through every stage of the buying process, from initial research all the way through to payment and delivery. And while many businesses have managed to get this right in most areas, one stage of the journey where they often come unstuck is during the registration process.

However, while businesses appreciate that there’s often an issue with their registration process, they usually struggle to pinpoint exactly what or why, preventing them from taking the right remedial action. This blog investigates the typical problems with registration processes, why customer experience analytics often don’t shed light on those problems, and the solution that can act as the missing piece of the puzzle.

The ‘black hole’ registration stage

CIAM stands for Consumer Identity and Access Management, and helps refine the user registration, verification and authentication processes within a customer journey. It’s a vital part of the online retail experience, but it’s a part of the journey that can often deliver negative experiences for consumers. The reasons for this are many, and can include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Forms that are too long and too detailed
  • Forms that are poorly designed or have glitches
  • Authentication and verification layers that users find excessive
  • Multiple requests for similar information
  • Inconsistent experiences across different devices
  • An experience that doesn’t give users confidence around security

Ultimately, customers want to deal with a CIAM that’s simple, fast and secure. And when any of these issues occur, they quickly get frustrated and irritated because they’re dealing with a system that isn’t as fast or as simple as they feel it should be. The result is that they either abandon their purchases altogether and buy from a competitor with a simpler experience, or they persevere through the form but feel negative about the brand as a result. Either way, the knock-on effect is lost revenue, both in the short-term and the long-term.

Using analytics can also expedite the act of resolving those issues. Actionable insights mean that it’s possible to run A/B testing of different resolutions and draw meaningful data on the best solution, so that only the most effective ones are implemented.

A lack of analytics tools

When issues around high abandonment rates occur in most other stages of a buying journey, it’s relatively easy for businesses to identify the problem and to do something about it. That’s because they can use their extensive customer experience analytics tooling to examine user activity, spot patterns and pinpoint the areas where customers are having the biggest difficulties.

However, these analytics tools generally focus on core website and eCommerce areas, and don’t extend as far as CIAM components. That’s because CIAM processes can be complex, meaning that analytics tools don’t always have the capability to encompass CIAM, or that website teams don’t have the experience or expertise to incorporate CIAM into those analytics.

While CMOs and customer experience leaders have considered the need to understand the failings within their CIAM processes, they’ve been faced with many barriers, such as lots of moving parts, high volumes of code and a significant amount of custom work. And even if they’ve managed to navigate these challenges, it’s still difficult for them to capture granular, real-time data as they’re able to in other parts of the buying journey. This has naturally led to them seeing CIAM analytics as a low priority.

CIAM: The missing piece in CX analytics

However, times have changed. Integrated CIAM solutions have now developed to the point where they are far more low-code than their predecessors. That makes them much easier to configure, implement and modify, without the need to spend lots of time and resources integrating through custom code.

As a result, in-depth analytics of the registration stage is now far easier to implement, and the inputs and outputs of each user can be reconciled with the rest of their buying journey. This complete view can be collated in dashboards, so that CMOs and CX managers can now see the entire user process end-to-end, and understand exactly where they’re dropping out and why.

For example, the analytics tooling might uncover the fact that users in Florida are taking much longer to complete the registration process, which allows you to discover that the recognition of their state’s driving licence isn’t working properly. Or it might uncover that there is an unusually high cart abandonment rate among iPhone users, which can lead you to find that some of the information on the form hasn’t been translated correctly. These are just two of the examples of the issues that CIAM analytics can identify within registration processes.

Using analytics can also expedite the act of resolving those issues. Actionable insights mean that it’s possible to run A/B testing of different resolutions and draw meaningful data on the best solution, so that only the most effective ones are implemented.

In summary

The idea of using analytics to better understand user activity and buying journey success isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. But it goes to show how much progress has been made with simpler, more integrated CIAM solutions, in that they can enable detailed analytics to cover areas that weren’t practical to cover previously.

A friction-free registration process is pivotal, but often a stage in the customer journey that’s unknowingly neglected. Thankfully, with a CIAM solution in-place any issues or bugs that should arise can be easily identified and ultimately resolved.

Take a more detailed look at how CIAM can make a major difference to your customers’ experiences by reading our guide, ‘How CIAM balances security & CX for a frictionless customer journey’.