Businesses of all kinds have restructured their offerings to meet the evolving demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers’ desires for safe alternatives to in-person activities heightened the ongoing revolution of convenient online options. Consumers became even more comfortable using their devices to access virtually every part of their lives—from friends and family members to groceries, jobs, and more. And with that comfort came a new set of expectations about the experiences these offerings provide.
Fintechs were ahead of the curve in terms of convenience, offering online banking and financial services well before the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, just having an app or in-browser platform is no longer enough. With the competitive marketplace and rising consumer expectations, fintechs must deliver top-of-the-line customer experience (CX) if they want to survive. A larger, more holistic customer strategy is integral to continued success.
Curating Great CX at Any Size
Fintech leaders must understand that their success—both in the short and long term—hinges upon their ability to exceed customers’ expectations regarding services, support, and personalization. This is especially true in the U.S., where fintechs compete with some of the most mature companies in the market. Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other major players entering the space already have the resources and personnel to scale CX and implement changes quickly. Building an agile CX program starts with understanding the principles that sit at the core of extraordinary CX.
Here are five things fintech leaders should keep in mind when approaching customer service:
- It pays to know your customers. Knowing your customers is the foundation of any good CX. It has always been true, but today’s customers expect providers to have access to data about their habits, preferences, and needs. Investing in data collection and using the right information to tailor services and support can help fintechs anticipate their customers’ needs.
- Options, options, options. Customers have become accustomed to receiving the support or information they need in whatever form they want. Fintechs must rise to the occasion by offering touchpoints that span digital channels. It is not enough to have just a chatbot or phone number. Businesses that want to succeed should provide complete omnichannel support that includes chat functions, support lines, FAQ pages, email contact forms, social media accounts, and more.
- A human touch can make the difference. While many people appreciate the convenience of chatbots or FAQ pages for standard questions, they also want to know that a human is accessible especially for with something as sensitive as personal finances. As such, a holistic CX plan should take those times into account and anticipate when customers may need more nuanced, human help. Investing in language analysis that can flag escalating conversations for intervention from a human service representative can mean the difference between a satisfied customer and a lost account.
- Customer service reps are partners, not adversaries. By the time a customer is speaking to a human representative, it is likely that their problem is complex—and even contentious. When it comes to digital-only businesses like fintechs, customer service representatives are often the only human point of contact. The customer’s sense that a customer service representative understands them and their concerns is crucial to meeting the customer’s needs. To deliver excellent CX, fintech leaders must ensure their representatives are trained and well-equipped to offer collaborative and empathetic service.
- It is OK to get help of your own. Many fintech providers understand the importance of CX, but they do not know how to execute on it—especially as their businesses grow. The best move a fledgling fintech can make is to bring on a CX partner before they think they need it so their CX program can scale alongside their business to meet customers’ needs every step of the way.
Putting People at the Center
The fact of the matter is that CX is the most important aspect of any digital-only financial service provider. Leaders must understand the significant ask they are making when enrolling new customers: trust us with your money.
Without any physical locations, digital CX is the only point of contact available to these customers. Fintechs must rise to the occasion by making significant investments in designing customer experiences that go above and beyond expectations to ensure customers that they will be able to have the access and help they need how and when they want.