Passwords are a necessary part of the online experience. When operating properly they can keep us safe, protecting our valuable data and identities, as well as ensuring peace of mind. The only problem with this is that we tend to use many passwords for different websites and services, some of which force changes at regular intervals. With this concern, lost and forgotten passwords become an inevitability and a problem that can negatively affect both customers and the businesses with which they interact.
In business, the term churn refers to the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. There can be many possible reasons for this, from issues out of a business’s control to deliberately designed elements that users find frustrating. One of the elements that is not so much the fault of individuals but rather the overall market is the password problem. Again, this is generally the result of juggling many passwords with many requirements, where frustrated users can give up rather than keep guessing the details of old accounts. Churn can be the result of many parts of the purchasing process but is commonly manifested as cart abandonment. This is where users fill their orders but get locked out of purchases because of misremembered passwords. Directly costing a business sales, this measurable issue has affected online stores for decades.
When getting locked out of websites due to misremembered passwords, there is usually some form of recovery process available. Unfortunately, these aren’t always reliable and can be confusing, leading many users to turn to live support. Though these live support systems can fix the problems, they’re generally designed to help with more complicated issues, with constant calls about passwords overloading support capacity. This is a problem that has existed for years, with around 30% of all customer support calls dealing with this exact issue. For every one of these calls, another customer risks being left unaddressed, which can again cause lost profit if the user gets frustrated and walks away.
Though complicated password systems are developed to help users, those negatively affected by them tend to blame the website or brand they’re using for the difficulties password systems create. Fortunately, there are ways around this concern through the use of a time based one time password. These passwords use encryption keys to link devices like mobiles to websites and services, allowing the generation of temporary but simple codes. Common names in this realm include the Microsoft and Google Authenticators, which are integrated with many major services. While far from perfect, such methods can save time, and reduce the guesswork and trial and error that can drive users away.
Looking forward, it’s inevitable that better solutions to password issues will become increasingly necessary. Though many services manage this issue, they’re still often underrepresented with the digitally involved populace. With a greater reliance on passwords than ever before and increasingly difficult criteria applied to them, it looks like one-time passwords and specialized password streamlining systems will eventually become the status quo. If you’re constantly fighting against your passwords, consider trying these out, and at the very least you will be left with less wasted time and a smoother online experience overall.