Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez
The impact FinTech is having on the way we live and manage our finances cannot be overstated: from mobile apps helping us with our budget to platforms that revolutionized how we make and receive payments; the way we interact with our money has changed, to the point that is pretty much unthinkable to not have access to these financial services anytime we need them, with customer support that matches it.
The critical role of Customer Support
Now we can bank, invest, and make payments 24/7 from the comfort of our own homes, and with a few clicks of a button, transfer funds overseas without having to pay high fees or wait for days for the transaction to clear. Moreover, many banks have started offering free or low-cost mobile banking services to compete, giving us more choice than ever when it comes to finding the best financial services.
However, this rapid change in how our personal finances work has brought a challenge; the customer support in these FinTech applications needs to be top-notch, making the user feel secure and welcome, ensuring they have everything they need, and enabling them to take full advantage of what these platforms have to offer.
After all, good customer support is important in any industry, but it’s especially critical in the world of FinTech, a relatively new field still growing and evolving, which means that there’s still some uncertainty around it, and customers rely on companies to provide a clear and helpful service. In addition, FinTech products are often seen as complex and confusing, so a good customer support flow can help to build trust and confidence and can help to differentiate one company from another. In a crowded and competitive market, good customer support can be a key advantage. But what is the best approach to it?
A task made for AI?
As businesses increasingly adopt AI technology, the question of whether or not to use it for customer support is becoming more relevant. There are some clear advantages to using AI for customer support, such as around-the-clock availability and the ability to handle large volumes of inquiries, which are uniquely important when it comes to FinTech applications. With AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, they can provide 24/7 support without the need for human employees, and these automated systems can often handle simple inquiries more quickly and efficiently than a human agent. In addition, AI can be used to analyze customer data and identify patterns that may help these platforms to improve their services.
“Customer support is one area where AI can play a significant role, helping automate support tasks like answering FAQs or processing customer requests”, says Rod Aburto. “In the future, AI may even be used to proactively detect and resolve potential customer issues before they cause problems and analyze customer behavior and preferences to provide personalized recommendations or advice. So, where we stand now, the possibilities of AI are promising, likely making customer support more efficient and effective.”
However, AI also has important drawbacks. Chatbots and virtual assistants are often unable to handle more complex questions or requests, which can frustrate customers and lead them to seek out human assistance anyway, defeating the purpose of these solutions, and AI systems may not be able to replicate the empathy and personal touch that humans can provide, increasing the potential for miscommunication, running the risk of alienating users.
Consequently, as businesses weigh the pros and cons of using AI in customer support, they will need to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks, and ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use these technologies for customer support comes down to what is most important for the business. If speed and efficiency are the primary priorities, then AI may be the best option, but if the human connection is key, then a traditional customer support approach may be preferable. With that in mind, what are the expectations of the user base about customer support that you should integrate into the overall service? What is the image of “good customer support” people have in their minds when they think of FinTech?
A sense of control:
According to Zendesk, “People want to feel a sense of control about their money and financial transactions. The same could be said about their customer support experience. Data shows that 69 percent of people prefer to resolve as many issues as possible on their own before contacting support”, and the proper help and support, having all the information they will need in a single place, is how you empower your users and make them feel in control of their money.
Consistency of the service.
This encompasses everything from a consistent message in every channel (avoiding conflicting information that might frustrate a user), fast and agile response times with little variation, safeguards in case of server problems, and clear communication and transparency with every issue that might become present. What you want here is a specific experience that the user can expect when having any questions or issues.
Clear navigation paths.
Be it automated chatbots, FAQs, hotlines, tutorials, or even a simple account activation, the customer journey should be planned upfront, and every platform should offer clear labeling with as few steps as possible to ask or troubleshoot something, open to user feedback, that has available all the information expected from them. “If your user has to go to outside sources to solve an issue, your customer support has already lost”, explains Rod Aburto about the critical importance of this point.
The option of human interaction.
Although most of these points can be supported by good design and virtual assistants, having the option to talk directly to a person is something still valued by most users, especially if they have ongoing questions and concerns about the service. Having someone on the other end capable of answering and explaining the finer points of an inquiry is still unmatched in customer support.
Keeping the best of both worlds
There’s no question that AI is reshaping the customer support landscape; by automating simple tasks and providing access to vast amounts of data, AI can help businesses deliver faster, more efficient customer support, but that still leaves some things that only humans can do, as our last point shows. Traditional customer support teams bring a deep understanding of the customer experience, alongside the ability to build personal relationships with customers, which are invaluable in the delicate work FinTech applications often do. So a mix of both approaches, as the Helpware blog notes, might be the best course:
“For AI in clients’ support, you will not substitute people but leverage AI to expand the services. The sporting chance for customer support companies is to combine AI and the workforce. Merging autonomous programs, speaker recognition, and online with people-based client support leads to customer retention. Therefore, AI in clients’ support needs to work together with rather conventional domains.”
As we have discussed elsewhere in our blog, AI is a tool that, while capable of automating many daily tasks, shines when paired with an expert that can utilize its benefits to their maximum advantage. And when these two approaches are combined, businesses can create a truly world-class customer support operation, where AI can handle simple tasks quickly and efficiently, freeing up human agents to focus on more complex issues, and also providing the personal touch that automated systems can’t match.
“It’s not uncommon to receive automated customer support when calling a company these days, but it can be frustrating when you need to talk to a real person, which is why this provides the best of both worlds: the speed and efficiency of automation, with the human touch of a real person, allowing companies to offer a more personalized service, with AI gathering data about customers that can then be used by support representatives, so they can offer unique insights into the needs of customers. Overall, this is a win-win situation for both businesses and customers.”
After all, what good customer support should offer, in both FinTech and elsewhere, is the ability for the users to feel a certain degree of protection, with the tools and processes necessary to make the whole experience as smooth as possible. And with the rapid growth of FinTech platforms and the increased accessibility that comes with it, these kinds of services are more critical than ever; a lot of the users will be accessing financial services for the first time, so questions, issues, and challenges are to be expected. Because FinTech is doing more than revolutionizing how we think about our money; it’s safeguarding our finances, and the responsibility that comes with it cannot be understated. And sometimes, all that is needed is a friendly voice willing to help on the other side of an app.
The Key Takeaways
- The revolution of FinTech is changing how we think about finances, making services more affordable and accessible than ever before.
- However, this popularity of FinTech solutions also has challenges, especially for the users accessing these kinds of products for the first time, with customer support being one of the most critical.
- AI can be a great tool to deal with customer support, offering availability and quick responses in almost any area, but it probably be not enough at this point; human-based customer support will still be important.
- That’s why a mixed approach might be the best choice, empowering human agents to help customers better and faster, with all the details handled by an AI assistant.
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