By Victor Procopenia, Founder, Capital.com
The result of which? One thing is clear in the current accounting survey released this month – the fintech industry is causing major disruptions to high street banks. Online distractors such as Sterling, Manjo and Triodos topped the survey with customer satisfaction scores above 80% – while traditional banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC were at the bottom with scores of only 56% and 57%, respectively. .
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that older banks are doing what they can to compete and keep their customers on board: 88% of existing financial institutions expect to lose part of their business to independent fintech companies in the next 5 years. In response, 77% are looking at new innovations that will focus on retaining their existing customer base.
This may not be surprising, but it is a reminder that in order for companies to survive, the user base must be at the forefront of the strategy. In the words of retail magnet Harry Gordon Selfridge: “The customer is always right.”
This feeling is as true today in the technology industry as it was on the store floor 100 years ago. Research continues to suggest that prioritizing consumer feedback is an excellent business practice. Reports suggest that 72% of users will only respond after reading a positive review, and for 9 out of 10 people, an online review is just as important as a personal recommendation.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to prioritize customers, such as investigating all remaining comments and reviews for an app or seeking regular feedback from those who have used a product. Constantly working on feedback is one of the most reliable ways to ensure the best user experience. The ability of business leaders to understand and respect the opinions of their users in a crowded and competitive market cannot be underestimated.
Something that many businesses fail to realize is that a genuine and successful attitude of respect for their users cannot be realized unless the same attitude is reflected in their workplace. If a business wants to be centered around the best customer experience, an important aspect will be how their team members interact with each other and are treated by the organization.
A technology company may hire the best programmers in the world, but if they lack respect for others in the office, they are not going to contribute positively to customer service. An environment where people are impatient, short-tempered or easily frustrated will ultimately be reflected in the way their employees treat their customers – and when the customer is a priority, it cannot be accepted.
Customer prioritization and therefore employee behavior is an attitude that leads to success in all sectors, not just fintech. Take the UK supermarket Waitrose, which regularly tops the industry survey for customer service. Waitrose customers see time and effort as a major concern, so it is a priority for businesses. On its website, there are a number of features designed to save time, such as online ‘Trolley’ which includes links to favorite products, useful shopping tips and an import tool that allows you to transfer shopping lists from other supermarket websites or from Waitrose receipts. Business responses from customers are also intensively tracked, and employees are trained to go out of their way to make the shopping experience at Waitrose as simple and personal as possible.
Waitrose treats its customers well, but it also takes care of its employees. The people who work for Waitrose are part of the John Lewis Partnership, the largest employee-owned business in the UK. When employees are respected, so are customers.
This does not mean that there needs to be a successful business partnership, but only that employees who are treated well behave well with customers who also communicate well.
There are other business benefits to prioritizing the way employees interact with each other in the office. A study of 20,000 employees worldwide conducted by Harvard Business Review found that the single most important feature of business leadership is the ability to show respect. High levels of respect translate into more committed and employed employees, and importantly for productivity, more committed employees make 60% less mistakes than those who refrain from their work.
At Capital.com, our customer’s first method has won us numerous accolades, such as the most innovative technology by Trading View in 2022. Other achievements include ranking among the top 5 brokers by BrokerChoser and getting top ratings for client satisfaction by investment trends. We’re proud of the strong user reviews online – including an impressive 4.7 out of 5 on average in the App Store with over 10,000 reviews. By engaging with businesses in this way, we will continue to provide the best service for our customers, as well as ensure that our employees are in an environment that facilitates their best work.
In recent years, the entire fintech sector has seen tremendous success in making life easier for users through technology. The new generation of banks understands what customers want – an easy to navigate technology that responds to problems. Gone are the days when the only way to solve a problem was to hang up for 30 minutes after calling customer service or go to a busy bank during your lunch break. Problems can now be easily solved from our smartphone app.
As the rising cost of living begins to cause financial concern for consumers, such advances in consumer-facing technology will only become more important. Fortunately, technology and consumer internet companies account for 40% of all capital raised through IPOs on the London Stock Exchange in 2020, in which case there is an appetite for continued growth. Companies in the fintech sector need to ensure that customers are supported and that customer service is strengthened in an effort to retain more than ever before.