Agent Motivation

CX & Fintech: Meeting the Shifts in Customer Expectations

71% of bank customers use online banking regularly, according to ValuePenguin. Customers now expect immediate transactions, and this ‘age of instant’ ushered in by digital transformation over the last decade extends to customer experience (CX). Historic financial institutions and scrappy startups are all reshaping CX in financial technology, or ‘fintech’ for short, to meet customer expectations.

Freshworks invited Stella Connect to join the discussion on this topic as our clients are disruptors in several industries, including fintech.

Justin Cruz, Director of Customer Success at Stella Connect by Medallia, appeared alongside Freshworks’ Mario Volante and XoxoDay’s Suhas Gujarathi for an in-depth roundtable that covered the shifts in customer expectations, what businesses are able to do to improve CX, and the role that digital-first solutions play in catering to customers. It served as an opportunity for other leaders in the fintech industry to realize just how important it is to deliver proactive, personalized CX.

Let’s take a closer look at some areas of interest that Justin, Mario, and Suhas discussed during What Customers Want: BFSI & Fintech Edition.

Embracing Humanized Interactions & Empathy

In every industry, customers want to feel safe and taken care of. Justin noted that, while customer service acts as a key differentiator, empathy must exist to provide impactful, tailored experiences across the customer journey.

Customers want an effective answer above all else, but they also want to be valued. Static interactions, such as with an online chatbot or Help Center article, may return an answer quickly and still the customer walks away underwhelmed. Without a human-to-human interaction, customers lose a degree of personalization that could otherwise be offered by a customer service team. CX also becomes proactive once you integrate humanized customer service throughout the customer journey.

“Not having that humanized interaction can definitely make [a customer] feel like they’re a little bit further from the brand.”

– Justin Cruz, Director of Customer Success at Stella Connect by Medallia

 

Mario added that fast-growing startups aren’t alone in reducing or forgiving fees. Financial institutions in the 20th century have also decided to embrace empathy through CX.

Customers appreciate this — for example, a missed payment or lowered account balance won’t take money out of their pockets. In return, fintech companies earn trust with customers and increase satisfaction.

Suhas stressed that companies shouldn’t ignore ease of access, which he views as a global trend in fintech as well as other global industries. “Customers are more demanding in terms of do-it-themselves features, so they’re asking for self-service options today,” he said. So even with a customer service team available to empathize with customers in real-time, customers should also be able to discover information and answers on their own with minimal friction.

Leverage Data to Educate & Motivate CX Front-Line Teams

With the ability to leverage data, fintech companies are all-in on adopting tools to embrace digital transformation. Customers, meanwhile, see actual benefits in their interactions with these brands. As startups continue entering the industry, financial services are undergoing democratization that opens access to people who were previously underserved and had limited touchpoints to banking resources.

Data-rich insights are why financial institutions and startups in fintech decided to shift in this direction. In the roundtable, Justin discussed that data first found itself leveraged in an operational and transactional way. Businesses now, however, want to dig deeper and view data with a different lens to improve CX.

Customer service teams should be able to access data, too. It serves as an educational asset for front-lines to be informed while receiving training and coaching.

“Make the team at the front-lines have more visibility. If you’re bought in at the front-lines instead of just at the leadership level, digital adoption tends to really go through the organization and that change happens a lot faster.”

– Justin Cruz, Director of Customer Success at Stella Connect by Medallia

 

When an excellent CX moment occurs, leadership needs to recognize and reinforce that type of interaction for the rest of the team to see as an example.

“Don’t only look for the things that aren’t working. Look for the things that are working and spotlight those through recognition programs and rewarding so the team knows what that looks and feels like,” Justin said. Over time, this leads to a more motivated customer service team delivering world-class experiences to customers.

In its own digital transformation, Freshworks decided to automate processes for agents on the front-lines so that they could spend more time on interesting tasks. Freshworks’ agents are no longer bogged down by administrative tasks that lack any significant impact on CX, lifting employee morale.

Prioritize Improving (& Humanizing) the Customer Experience

Looking ahead, the panelists agreed that humanization cannot be lost and remains a key element to CX as digital adoption increases. Not all customers feel comfortable sharing account information or financial numbers over an online chatbot.

If a customer instead communicates this data in a real conversation with an agent, they’ll get empathy and a personalized interaction with an opportunity for the agent to build rapport and credibility on behalf of the brand. It doesn’t feel robotic as an agent listens closely to offer a proactive, personalized CX experience generating higher customer satisfaction.

Earnin, for example, used Stella Connect to humanize CX and deepen connections with customers. Customers interact with an agent from Earnin in real-time who can identify their needs and act effectively to reach a resolution.

Watch What Customers Want: BFSI & Fintech Edition

Proactive, personalized CX should be part of every fintech company’s strategy. As discussed in the roundtable, the entire industry has embraced the transition to digital omnichannel transactions. Customers complete transactions in-person or digitally, and yet fintech companies surface anywhere in the customer journey to deliver a seamless experience.

Interested in the complete discussion? To learn more, click here to watch the What Customers Want: BFSI & Fintech Edition event.