Having a password and a password reset tool are at the fabric of modern internet security. Just about anyone who has used the internet in recent history has used a password. This makes the importance of passwords paramount, and the importance of knowing your passwords even more significant. Unfortunately most people have dozens of accounts with dozens of passwords (even though this isn’t always the case), which makes remembers these passwords very difficult. That’s what makes a password reset tool so important for companies to have on their websites, which in turn illustrates how a password reset tool has quickly become a commodity – a resource that web users need in order to function in their daily lives. There are some serious advantages to instituting a password reset tool for your users as well as some definite disadvantages that arise from the end-user frustration of not having simple password reset available.
Why the Need for a Password Reset Tool?
One of the benefits of having a password reset tool is giving users the ability to go back into their accounts and come up with new passwords if the current ones are forgotten. The key element, however is enabling this functionality in a secure manner. Additionally, a password reset tool (especially one that is self-service) removes the hassle from standard password reset that might require calling out to – or physically visiting – a help desk. At the end of the day, when people create websites they want their users to stay on those websites, often times for multiple different reasons. It might be so that the user can access a portal, or find out additional information about the website. The purpose might even be to get the user to interact with a tool or service that the website provides.
Regardless of the reason, the more work that a user has to do in order to get what they are looking for, the less chance that you have of providing a satisfactory experience with your service. A great illustration of that fact is that a lot of users won’t wait more than three seconds before abandoning a site. Or another example that the time a user will spend on your site could be as low as 15 seconds on average. Basically – web users can be impatient, so if you give them tools that get them what they want faster than you have a huge advantage over you competitors and a much better chance of giving your users a pleasurable user experience. A password reset tool is one method of ensuring a more pleasurable user experience – and increasing user retention.
Experience is Telling
I know from my own experiences that running into user experience problems can be extremely troublesome. Back when I was in college, we had a student login portal that did not have a password reset tool available for most user accounts.If and when I forgot my password – it was quite the ordeal to do even the simplest things like checking my school e-mail. Whenever this sort of things happened – Account lockouts, forgotten passwords, etc. – I would have to ask one of the school administrators to give me access to my account in order to function and access the information I needed. It was a bothersome method, for both the administrator and myself. Since then, my Alma Mater has implemented a self-service password reset tool which has drastically improved user experience (I got a small taste of it before graduating – it was a lifesaver).
It’s not just me out there – right now, there are thousands of other people who have experiences that are very similar to this scenario. The existing solutions to their problems may manifest themselves in many different ways – calling a help desk, talking to an automated machine, e-mailing a technology expert, etc. – but that is a whole lot of necessary work just to get into their own account. Not to mention, each of these scenarios takes time and causes frustration for the user. In today’s environment of universal internet integration, when everything is needed now, right this second, having a happy customer means making sure that you tend to their needs and make it easy for them to get what they want quickly.
It’s clear to me that having an effective password reset tool is necessary for anyone whose users need to login in order to access information or additional resources. Case in point: in a study conducted by the department of human development at Cornell University researchers found that 72% of the participants in their study reported issues in remembering their passwords. This data shows that people are honestly just bad at remembering their passwords and that we should do all that we can to make sure they have the tools needed to access their data quickly, easily, and securely. With simple innovations like a strong password reset tool, we can ensure that we provide positive experiences for users; while at the same time making processes easier for webmasters and IT staff as well who will not have to spend precious time and resources on manually resetting passwords.