What if… Your Customers Could Receive Seamless Service from a Distance?

You and your business have had to adapt in unexpected ways this past year—and so have your customers. 

The option of visiting a physical office, classroom, or store may no longer be available; locations that are open may be operating under strict capacity limits or other COVID-19 restrictions. Increased use of telephone, chat, and email customer service channels has stretched capacity and led to frustrating wait times.

As in-person interactions go online, businesses have to be agile as they navigate a fast-changing landscape while meeting customer expectations. Companies that were ready to embrace modern technology are thriving; those stuck in more traditional ways of doing business are often, frankly, struggling.

And those organisations who had invested in modern identity solutions prior to 2020 were one step ahead—again. Armed with the right tools and know-how, they’ve been able to quickly scale up to provide seamless, secure customer service, even from a distance.

Exceptional customer experience—anywhere, anytime 

Carmax falls into this latter category. The largest used-car retailer in the US, Carmax recognised a few years ago that most customers started their shopping online. The company decided to craft an exceptional car-buying experience that would meet customers wherever they were—at home, in a store, or a combination of both. 

It was a transformative decision, and one validated by the pandemic. “We went from a traditional, established company to a digital, rapidly evolving, startup-like company,” says Shamim Mohammad, Carmax Chief Information and Technology Officer. To achieve their vision quickly and effectively, the Carmax team partnered with Okta to provide the identity foundation for the company’s omni-channel initiative. They chose Okta for its maturity in the market, easy compatibility with a wide range of technologies, and its promise of fast deployment. 

“We needed an identity solution that would give our customers a simple, seamless, efficient way to manage how they access information and how they interact with us,” says Mohammad. “We wanted to strengthen privacy and security without adding friction and complexity.”

Okta was positioned to help Carmax realise those goals. The Okta Integration Network, a suite of 6,500+ ready-made integrations, allowed Carmax to securely connect existing apps and platforms and provide a streamlined user experience. Carmax also employed Okta Universal Directory and Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), for simplified customer management and secure access. 

By turning over identity and access management to Okta, Carmax’s product teams are able to focus on building cohesive and personalised customer experiences. Okta’s advanced behavioural analytics were key to helping the team strategise to deliver that.

When COVID-19 hit, Carmax had already rolled out its new omni-channel experience to more than half of its user base. The team was able to move quickly, accelerating deployment plans and rolling out to all customers a full five months ahead of schedule. 

“When the pandemic hit, we were well positioned to evolve our business quickly to support the way customers and the environment were changing,” says Mohammad. “Okta provides the scale so we can provide the right customer experience.”

Establishing patient trust and data security  

US healthcare system Dignity Health also recently undertook a digital transformation to better serve its expansive and diverse patient base. “Our patients expect that the right care be delivered to them at the right place, at the right time,” says Ranbir Samra of the Digital Division of Dignity Health. “They expect they should be able to shop for care just like they shop for other things in their lives—they expect connected, frictionless experiences.” 

For anyone trying to stay engaged with customers in 2020, meeting those kinds of expectations is familiar territory

The healthcare sector, though, has security considerations and regulations beyond those of most retailers. And ensuring patient trust is crucial. The Okta Integration Network allowed Dignity Health to bridge cloud and on-premises applications, including secure data sharing. Okta also had a ready-made HIPAA-compliant cell for Dignity Health to use as a core part of its platform.

To implement frictionless, secure patient access to health services and records, Dignity Health used Okta’s User Management, Authentication and Authorisation products. “For a single patient we want one login, one password, and one digital identity that unlocks the door to many of the services that the Digital Division provides,” says Samra. 

Now patients can book and check in for appointments, and access health records, lab results, and more, from anywhere—all through one patient portal. Improved access means patients are more engaged in their healthcare; Dignity Health’s modern, secure IT architecture has vastly improved both the patient experience and outcomes.

Ready for an influx of digital users

Major League Baseball (MLB) was also looking to create a frictionless user experience—but MLB’s goal was to enable tens of millions of fans to enjoy baseball whenever, wherever, and on whatever platform they want. 

“It's a high priority for us to deliver our games and the supporting content around it to the fans the right way, at the right time, anytime,” says Neil Boland, MLB’s Chief Information and Security Officer. Boland and his team had worked successfully with Okta to implement Workforce Identity products; so when it was time to implement a new, connected omni-channel fan experience, he says it was a “no-brainer” to expand MLB’s partnership with Okta.

“And so we had to scale many fold to deliver an identity solution for millions of consumers. It was a big-ticket order from the get-go,” says Boland. Okta and MLB worked side-by-side for nine months to be ready to launch the new platform on Opening Day. The team was ready for massive spikes in traffic and user requests—and Opening Day was smooth sailing. 

Although MLB’s massive scale-up happened before COVID-19, being prepared to offer an extraordinary experience to a sudden influx of digital users is a scenario that’s become all too familiar. But it’s not just being able to scale—you’ve got to be able to do it right. As Boland points out, “Okta does a good job of delivering that feeling of safety and security, part and parcel with the frictionless identity component.” 

Take care of your customers

COVID-19 has brought the need for modern, digital technology to the forefront. Never has it been so urgent to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviours and securely increase digital, online interactions without losing customer confidence. Fortunately, the remote work tools you need to move quickly and keep customers happy are already here

Thousands of organisations around the world trust Okta to manage access and authentication, and build secure, seamless customer experiences. Find out how Okta can help you offer the best possible customer experiences, even from a distance. Contact our sales team to learn more.