June 22, 2017

Service Providers Can Use Trust as a Competitive Advantage in the Digital Age

As more information lives online, digital service providers can act as trusted data protectors.

The trusted relationships between customers and service providers are correctly perceived as assets. This is because service providers have to work continuously to maintain customer trust. Meanwhile, digital leaders that directly and openly monetize customer data do not have to work as hard to support trusted relationships. It’s an odd conundrum that service providers face as they undergo digital transformation initiatives; is there a way to address it?

The Trust Conundrum

Service providers work every day to gain the trust of their customers. This includes delivering accurate bills, rapidly responding to customer needs, offering convenient sales and service processes and much more. Trusted relationships with customers exist because a lot has gone right for service providers during the past several decades, despite a common focus on what is wrong with how they interact with and handle their customers. But the increasing awareness of how vulnerable companies are to data theft can work against large brands that hold substantial personal data.

Despite this awareness, consumers and businesses often share personal information with social networks and search engines. Why? Quite simply, they are either unaware or unconcerned about how that data is used. In truth, personal data shared on social networks is often used to sell advertising for some of the largest media companies in the world.

Cracks in Social

Interestingly, social networks have not had to work too hard to earn the trust of their users. And even though consumers and businesses know that their personal data is valuable and that exposing it can make them vulnerable to theft and other crimes, they continue to share data freely with social networks.

Despite this conundrum, the sheer commonality and scope of major data breaches are causing users to see cracks in the social data realm. This recognition means that customers may soon demand verified, trusted providers to safeguard their identity-related information. 

Trust as a Competitive Advantage

Security vulnerabilities in the digital age are continuously being discovered and need to be addressed directly. As a counterbalance to their peers in social media, service providers might consider making trust their competitive advantage. 

When customers suffer from identity theft or cyberbullying, service providers may be able to offer pragmatic solutions that social media leaders cannot. As credential theft becomes more of a threat, service providers can deliver trusted sources and communication methods for multifactor authentication and account recovery.

There is little doubt that identity theft is becoming a bigger threat as the volumes of personal data living online increase. Service providers can respond by providing trusted verification of a customer’s true identity. This will give them a distinct advantage over digital companies that have not necessarily earned the trusted relationships that service providers have worked so hard to build.

Be sure to check out how NEC/Netcracker and Juniper Networks are transforming security services with their virtualized CPE (vCPE) solution.


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