As digital customer service channels proliferate, enterprises are discovering new ways to increase customer loyalty and retention by tapping into their valuable data, creating a new focus on the growing importance of cybersecurity.

During the morning session on day two of the CxOutsourcers mindshare event in Windsor, UK, it became clear that these trends are creating new opportunities for CX outsourcers to offer secure, reliable omnichannel services to their customers.

Dealing with Cybersecurity Realities

Maxine Holt, Research Director at Ovum, took the stage to cover the first of these hot topics: trends in cybersecurity. The good news is that the situation is not as bad as the press makes out, but companies cannot sit back and be complacent.

According to an Ovum study of more than 5,000 enterprises, respondents believe that cybercriminals are currently the greatest threats to security, from individual bedroom hackers to sophisticated hacker groups and nation states. Authorized users and employees are considered the second biggest risk, followed by application vulnerability.

While end users, malware, and targeted attacks are considered the top three causes of major cybersecurity breaches, there is still a misunderstanding that technology alone is capable of preventing them.

“If outsourcers want to better handle cybersecurity and fallout from cyber attacks, they need a combination of the right people, processes, and technology to protect the organization, not just rely on technology alone,” said Holt. “No company can prevent 100% of attacks, so focus on how people and technology can detect security breaches and the processes for responding to them while they are happening. Support that with an incident response plan to handle any media fallout.”

The Ovum study also found that the most important enterprise challenges are increasing operational efficiency and revenue budget growth. This is leading to an expansion of the technology landscape through the modernization of legacy systems and the introduction of new channels, so security is becoming more and more important to manage correctly.

Keeping up with Evolving Omnichannel

The lines between real and digital are blurring. Digital has become the single biggest opportunity in our lifetime, but the introduction of new digital service channels comes at a huge cost.

Christine Bardwell, Global Strategy Lead at Oracle for CX, presented her findings on the evolution of omnichannel and how CX outsourcers should be improving their omnichannel strategies.

“With omnichannel, we need to think about customer retention—that is the ultimate goal,” said Bardwell. “Brands need to become hyper customer focused and ensure they remain relevant in every single moment. Being good isn’t enough anymore, you have to be better than good and think about tomorrow today.”

Experts agree that customer relationships have become the only remaining source of competitive advantage, so Bardwell suggests a shift in thinking from omnichannel to ensuring customer loyalty in every single moment.

“After you’ve done everything possible to differentiate, remember that all of your competitors have done exactly the same, so the best approach is to focus on customer loyalty and customer retention,” she said. “BPOs are being told that customer loyalty is dead, but it’s not, we just need to rethink it.”

Thankfully for BPOs, Bardwell reinforced that people are more important than ever, so providers can easily pick up on that opportunity. In fact, 55% of the people surveyed said that in-person contact center support was the most important thing over all other channels.

“People want to talk to people, so human service will continue to be a premium experience,” she explained. “There could even be an opportnity to offer in-person services by sending people out to customers on behalf of brands to offer support.”

Ultimately, while retention activity is not a priority among enterprises, BPOs should be communicating its value and providing the services that will result in more loyal customers.

“Outsourcers need a combination of the right people, processes, and technology to protect the organization, not just rely on technology alone.”