Blog Series: Understanding CIAM to Drive Deeper Customer Engagement August 17, 2016 by Jamie Beckland CIAM, single sign-on, social login Omni-channel customer experience is no longer optional – it’s an imperative. In fact, over 90 percent of U.S. households have use the Internet on at least three devices…and that number is climbing. Customers have always expected consistent brand experiences – now, we are obligated to deliver them. In case you still need convincing, fully 79 percent of consumers switch devices mid-activity and they expect brands to keep up. Customer engagement is becoming the driving force behind revenue and growth, which is why customer experience is now a board-level discussion. But, too often, CIOs don’t have the right infrastructure in place to support an omni-channel strategy. This is where a Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) platform becomes essential. CIAM platforms allow marketers to understand and engage customers and equips IT with a scalable platform that is ready to meet the demands of customers. To create new personalization experiences, companies require more nuanced customer information. This means digging deeper than ‘age group’ and ‘country of residence.’ It means knowing the exact age and hometown. CIAM platforms are the best way for companies to gather and use this type of data. Users expect a frictionless technical experience When customers decide to create an account to go from ‘anonymous visitor’ to ‘known user,’ they expect a smooth registration process and would like to avoid yet another step. CIAM solutions help ease this pain point through seamless registration and social login. Registered users expect seamless access to all of the websites and digital touch points across a brand. CIAM platforms enable this uninterrupted customer experience and ultimately, help build trust and increase brand loyalty, with single sign-on. But what if you manage hundreds of registration forms? And they’re spread across multiple geographies with varying privacy laws? And you want to collect different data elements on different forms? That’s where a CIAM platform is most valuable. It can help you configure the parameters to sync and structure data and determine who can access what data elements. Users expect seamless experiences across a brand Most CIAM providers offer social login as a part of registration. This can reduce hassle and creates an easier login experience for customers. By using social login through CIAM, companies can managed improved security, as the right CIAM solution will offer security measures as part of their package. This can be tricky because you have to pass and manage authentication tokens across properties. You have to ensure you’re authenticating the right person, and make the experience frictionless and fast. When running special offers or partner programs, the CIAM platform and identity provider takes care of that work and the associated regulatory and company-policy compliance pains. Storing and managing profile data is difficult If customer data is lumped together, you don’t know where it came from or if it has any restrictions, you’re well on the way to facing significant compliance issues. And if any former employee or partner can access that data, well, your customers and regulators would not be happy. This happened to Rapportive in 2014 when the company did not conform to LinkedIn’s terms of service (TOS), getting them shut down and all customers were abandoned. A CIAM platform gives IT professionals the ability to control or restrict access to data elements on the basis of user, system, property, brand or geography. The ability to control what data is available to which systems and people is what we call scoped access. It’s one of our platform’s primary benefits. Gaining customer insights out of mountains of data With the data of billions of customers available, and more elements pouring in every day, it’s natural to feel inundated with information. CIAM allows business users to manage their own priorities through easy-to-use dashboards and data visualizations. Access to view and export data is controlled at multiple levels within the business, to accommodate a variety of roles across brands and levels of the organization. CIAM also solves other challenges that IT would have to address manually. Registration and login of customers across multiple digital properties becomes easier to manage. Customer data can be collected and dissected by the right people for smarter, faster decisions. And security is stronger and easier to maintain. Understanding these functionalities of CIAM platforms is important as a company grows. CIAM can offer support, organization, function and security when needed most. Go here to learn more about using CIAM to drive deeper customer engagement.