The Journey to Frictionless CX

Posted by Tori Williams | 30-Sep-2021 17:17:21

Delivering frictionless CX has never been more important. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen widespread migration to online-first for customers across the globe. As a result, customer expectations online have rapidly shape-shifted. Today the customer experience really matters: 67% of customers claim they have higher CX standards than ever before. Yet simultaneously, 66% of enterprises say their customers demand stronger security and privacy. This presents a tricky question for business leaders. Should they prioritise a frictionless customer experience or a highly secure one? 

Digital leaders from industries including healthcare, media, finance and pharmaceuticals joined us for an evening of wine-tasting to find out why digital vanguards no longer need to make the choice between a delightful customer experience or a very safe one. 


We kicked off with a scene-setter from Nimbus Ninety’s Founder, Emma Taylor. Emma introduced the evening’s purpose: to understand how customer identification is revolutionising the digital experience. 

To unpack this fascinating trend, participants turned to Jason Goode, Regional Director at Ping Identity, but not before they enjoyed their first round of wine-tasting. This involved a fresh and elegant rosé from the Langlois-Chateau winery in Saumur, France. Participants noted the wine’s flavours, whilst learning that rosé wines are in fact the most produced type of wine in the world. 

Wine in hand, participants heard from Jason, who expertly shared his thoughts on the most effective ways to leverage customer identity specifically to deliver digital innovation. Participants learnt that by having a unified customer identity that transcends multi-channel domains, organisations can prevent privacy breaches, violations and fraud while also delivering a passwordless, innovative and fast CX. 

With this game-changing learning in mind, our participants took part in two more rounds of wine-tasting. Our wine connoisseurs enjoyed a 2020 Alvarinho ‘Granit’ from Quinta do Soalheiro in Portugal and a 2016 Sangiovese, Syrah ‘ Sasyr ’, from Rocca delle Macìe in Italy. 

Following the wine-tasting, attendees took part in a poll to identify the biggest challenge they face currently when it comes to delivering a seamless digital experience. Interestingly, 60% of participants agreed that delivering a consistent experience across all channels was their biggest challenge. 

This came as no surprise to Jason Goode, who noted that all too often organisations have multiple identities for customers spanning across many channels.This can be catastrophic for customer experience. As one attendee noted, when customers move through the customer complaint process from web to chatbot to a customer service professional and have to verify their identity at each stage, this can make for some very frustrated customers. By implementing a single customer identity technology that is multi-channel, businesses can avoid this pitfall and ensure customers only need to verify their identity once, regardless of how many channels they interact with. 

A lively debate then ensued, exploring the difference between customers and consumers. One view was that it is a customer who buys and a consumer who consumes the product or service. By this definition, it’s the consumer that drives brand loyalty and so should be prioritised. The discussion was concluded with a recognition that customer identity technology allows for a single view of the customer to be maintained regardless of where in the buying process they are. This allows organisations to tailor their approach to the needs of customers and consumers. 

We closed the evening’s discussion with an exploration of the ways customer identity can also enable customers to take control of their data. Jason Goode and Lisa Occleshaw of Ping Identity, illustrated the effective ways this can be implemented, even when the customer transaction involves third parties. Customer identity can be combined with APIs and data governance to achieve this, which participants likened to ‘telco scalability with banking-grade security’. 

On this informative note, participants enjoyed their final sips of wine and said their goodbyes, having gained a deeper understanding of why identity is central to the digital customer experience in a post-pandemic world.


The journey to frictionless CX did not end there, with Ping Identity also hosting a breakfast event that produced further insights from attendees. Participants agreed that the pandemic-induced necessity to adopt new ways of engaging with consumers had remained, despite the reopening of society and a semblance of returning to business-as-usual. As one participant stated, users are responsive and will choose what is easier - so there is no going back from that. The digital-first experience is here to stay and organisations must therefore accommodate the needs of all stakeholders who now have new expectations.

The biggest takeaway was the recognition that employees are also customers and consumers. Many attendees were prioritising the employee experience in the wake of the pandemic. Employees are demanding a better experience as the employee experience is often sacrificed for organisational efficiency. Participants agreed that the journey to frictionless CX begins with the internal workforce, then you can move towards end-users. 

Employees not only require the tools and space to do their job effectively but need the same experience while working in a remote working environment. Organisations are grappling with the fine balance of encouraging employee innovation at the edge and security at the core. Although this seems like an overwhelming and difficult task, Ping Identity suggested starting small. What is the priority? What does good look like for this? What data do employees need? Who specifically needs access to this?

All in all, the pandemic revealed a similar security challenge to all attendees on their passwordless journey, with customers demanding across multiple platforms/ brands with a single customer identity. Maintaining the flexible barriers of customer identity while simultaneously fulfilling the obligation to protect customer data has made the frictionless CX journey all the more complex.

Topics: Event reports

Written by Tori Williams

Tori is the Content and Research Manager at Nimbus Ninety. She works with our partners to create content, research and events, designed to help our members grow their knowledge and spark opportunities.

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