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Article 6 min read

Why customer service matters for fintech startups

Customers have lost trust in the financial industry, but fintech startups are changing the narrative. Find out how a strong customer service strategy can help.

By Sarah Olson, Senior Associate, Content Marketing, @seolson5

Last updated July 14, 2022

Personal finance is so important to consumers that more than one third of Americans check their bank account every day. Meanwhile, the rise in popularity of financial technology solutions (fintech) means that more people than ever can make life-changing money moves with a tiny computer in their pockets.

Fintech startups have a real opportunity to transform how customers engage with the global economy, but the stakes are high.

Customers need to feel they can depend on your app (and in a broader sense, your entire team) to provide good financial services, keep their money secure and help them achieve their ideal outcome.

This is where customer service and online customer experiences play an important role. Read on to learn why customer service is so important in building trust between fintech startups and their customers and how it can benefit your bottom line.

Sit Down Startup podcast: how to build a customer-centric fintech

Check out this conversation with Novo, a fintech startup working to improve business banking.

Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcastsor Google Podcasts.

How can fintechs build trust? Good customer service.

Public banks are still working to regain trust after the 2008 financial crisis and younger generations are increasingly putting their trust in tech over traditional banks.

Fintech companies have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from traditional bricks-and-mortar financial institutions through good customer service that allows customers to easily ask questions, manage transactions and flag potential problems.

Every back-and-forth conversation you have with your customers adds up over time, creating a trusting relationship where your customers feel confident working with you and can manage their money with less hassle.

And yes, there’s a return on investment: positive online reviews, word-of-mouth marketing and hopefully customer acquisition.

As your fintech startup is developing your customer service strategy, consider these questions:

  • Where are your customers most likely to communicate with you: email, phone or social media?

  • What information do you provide to customers to be able to problem-solve on their own?

  • How do you enable customers to interface with your team and share feedback?

If you’re a fintech startup wondering about your next move, then read on. We’ve got some ideas on improving customer experience for fintechs like you.

4 ways fintech startups can improve their customer experience

Fintech companies make it easy to complete quick online transactions. So it makes sense that customers want reliable customer service too.

Here are a few tips to improve your customer service experience:

  1. Give your customers greater control

    People want to feel a sense of control about their money and financial transactions. The same could be said about their customer service experience. Data shows that 69% of people prefer to resolve as many issues as possible on their own before contacting support.
    As a fintech startup, you can empower your customers to take matters into their own hands via a help centre.
    Provide as much information as possible upfront in your help centre and make it easy to access directly from your company’s website and app. That way customers can answer their own questions any time, day or night. It’s a small thing you can do to give your customers a sense of control over their money.
  2. Be consistent in everything you do

    One way to build trust is by being consistent in how you help customers, no matter which channel they use to reach out. Recent trends data shows that 40% of customers often use multiple channels for the same issue, so it’s important for teams to be able to create consistency in their experience.
    An omnichannel support solution allows you to consolidate all your service channels (whether that’s just two channels or a full suite) so you can manage incoming requests from a single view, creating greater consistency.
    With a customer service tool like Zendesk, your team can access important customer context (transaction history, account type, pending payments, etc.) in real time. This allows you to be fully present in the conversation so you can provide informed support and anticipate customers’ needs. This is especially important when you’re discussing sensitive topics like personal finance or investing.
  3. Make it an ongoing conversation

    In all likelihood, your customers will have some ongoing questions about their accounts. They’ll want to make sure that they’re doing everything right to get the best value for money, and they’ll inevitably have questions along the way.
    We’re seeing a shift in how customers interact with companies, with more customers favouring messaging channels since the pandemic. The benefit of messaging with your customers is that you can retain your conversation history over time, allowing for more personalised interactions and a deeper connection with your customers.
    In 2020, SMBs saw a 40% increase in messaging requests: WhatsApp increased 55%, SMS/text increased 47% and Facebook Messenger/Twitter DMs increased 37%.

    Messaging tips for startups

  4. Tune into customer feedback (and act on it)

    When you think of customer feedback, you’re probably thinking about surveys but there are many more ways that customers provide feedback beyond the most obvious. A few examples include customer reviews, social media posts, support ticket trends, cancellations, and direct conversations with sales, support or customer success.
    As a startup, it’s important to be tuned into customer feelings about your product. Consider using apps like Airtable or Trello to help you centralise customer feedback and make sure your entire team is in the loop. That will be important as you begin implementing improvements based on customer feedback.

Your customers are worth the investment

As the saying goes, “you’ve gotta spend money to make money.”As a fintech startup, you probably feel the truth of this statement more than most and it’s definitely true for customer experience.

Startups benchmark data shows that fast-growing startups are more likely to invest in CX sooner and expand it faster than their slower-growth counterparts.

We know the value of CX which is why we want to help startups make the investment. Eligible startups can get six months of Zendesk for free and access a growing community of founders, CX leaders and support staff.

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