Delivering an outstanding customer experience is crucial to the growth and success of any business particularly fintech companies as they deal directly with ensuring the safety of customers’ funds. 

Intercom is a software company that specialises in  building customer engagement software for messaging between businesses and their customers. The company hosts a monthly youtube webinar series—CX for Growth—which focuses on different customer experience topics with the objective of helping startups drive growth in their businesses. In the latest episode of the webinar series, customer operations executives from two of Nigeria’s leading fintech companies, Norah Ikoh, head of CX operations at Kuda Bank, and Olaseike Ibojo, customer success manager, disputes at Paystack, shared their thoughts on scaling fintech customer support operations for growth.

The discussion focused on three major questions:

– What are the self-serve support foundations you need to start?

– Where and how do you embed automation, personalisation & proactive approaches?

– How do you develop your culture and team to scale?

With over four million customers at Kuda Bank, Ikoh kicked off the conversation on self-serve support foundations considering the large scale of customers the bank deals with. “When Kuda Bank started, we noticed that whenever customers reach out to us they always request self-help solutions to fix their issues themselves without having to reach out to us at the slightest inconvenience. This prompted us to launch a self-help feature.” 

The Kuda self-help feature allows customers to restrict and unrestrict their accounts on suspicion of a hack, fraudulent activity or unauthorised transactions. With the self-help feature, customers can block the account and change their password to regain control of their account. There are also chatbots that respond to customer enquiries to rectify simple issues and this gives the bank agents ample time and bandwidth to respond to the more complex ones. Intercom produced a Starter Kit that will show you how to build a help center that will make your customers self-sufficient, read the kit here.

While Ikoh interfaces directly with customers a lot at Kuda, Ibojo explains the self-help dynamics at Paystack which mostly deals with businesses or merchants. “What we’ve done in the last few years is, we’ve taken advantage of workflows and automation that exist on our tooling. Secondly, we use the human resources at our disposal to create self-help content and articles. Thirdly, internally, we created a workflow that recognizes keywords in an email such that the first response the customer gets is an article that talks about what they’re trying to resolve, and the responses have been very positive about how helpful the feature has been.”

Additionally, Paystack introduced dashboard support where businesses and merchants can find articles, video content, documentation guides, etc as they interact with the product. Lastly, on self-help support, Paystack reviews data on reported issues every week, and in doing this they discovered that a lot of people were asking why Paystack debits them. Hence, they created a tool called the transaction lookup tool with which customers (businesses and merchants) can search for why they were debited and other follow-up questions after imputing a few card details. This particular feature has been very helpful based on feedback and according to our data, it is the sixth most visited page on the Paystack website.

On deploying automation and personalisations, Ikoh explains how Kuda Bank is able to sound personal when interacting with their over four million customer base using automation.

“Basically, we send birthday and anniversary messages to customers when they clock one year with us, and we’re working on adding more milestone celebrations. We started by sending customers the same messages for these celebrations. Last month, we switched things up and started sending different messages to different customers for these milestones such that five customers have different messages, and the feedback so far has been really good.”

Kuda also recently introduced chatbots, which is still being tested internally. The chatbots will help in resolving hundreds of thousands of card disputes experienced by the bank by picking transactions from the CRM tool, logging them against the service providers, and providing feedback with which bank agents can respond and sort out complaints and eventually close the ticket. Automating this process reduces the human involvement in fixing issues, prevents burnout of the team members and affords them the opportunity to focus on other issues that can only be resolved by human intervention and interaction.

Meanwhile, according to Ibojo, at Paystack all support issues require an element of human interaction depending on the stage and the age of the tickets. “If an agent is having an email conversation back and forth and up to four or five mails have been exchanged, it’s high time you pick up the phone to have a phone conversation and explain things.” 

Another example is, if a merchant or prospective business wants to integrate Paystack into their system, at some point the not-so-tech-savvy merchants or businesses will need technical help from Paystack to understand the need of the merchant and how to go about the integration. This can only be achieved effectively through a phone call or interaction with our technical team.

In the final part of the discussion which focused on scaling the team and developing CX team culture, Ikoh points out that culture plays a very big role in developing a team, and that the culture of a team is determined by how team members engage with each other and do their work. “I built my team structure in a way that I’m able to pay attention to their needs, hold periodic one-on-one sessions with them, understand their pain points on the job, their goals, where they’re coming from, where they’re going to and how I can help them achieve it.

“I also communicate back to them, listen to them and try to understand them to ultimately help them do their work better. This helps my team as I don’t have to micromanage them because I have built a relationship with them and I continuously engage them,” Ikoh added.

In addition, Ibojo highlighted the importance of capacity building. As building capacity in your team and playing to the strength of every team member can help them specialize.

The webinar concluded with Ikoh and Ibojo sharing some KPIs used to measure their team’s performance and customer satisfaction. The first thing is to be sure that customer’s complaints are actually being resolved and that it is done politely; this is at the core of customer satisfaction, they said.  Secondly, the response and complaint resolution time has to be good because customers want their issues resolved immediately. Finally, clearing backlogs and customer retention, especially for the customer onboarding team is a  measurable performance metrics to be paid attention to.

Intercom powers more than 25k businesses worldwide like Amazon, Coda, Notion, Living Spaces and others to build better relationships with their customers. If you are a Startup you can apply to join the early-stage program and get 95% discount in your first year. Apply to join here. 

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