This week we asked FinTech Leaders how they can keep looking after their clients and maintain good relations when none of us can be available in person.
“Frankly, the FinTech industry should be a masterclass in managing relationships remotely,” comments Katharine Wooller, UK and Eire Managing Director at Dacxi, a crypto exchange operating across the globe. Among its users are what it calls “crypto connoisseurs” as well as those just dipping their toes in.
“The good news is that everyone is in the same boat; stuck at home and relying on Zoom,” she adds. “Therefore, accessibility to key decision makers has never been better, with travel commitments and time wasted (‘meetings for the sake of meetings’) now out of the diary.” The caveat, however, is that showing ‘value add’ has never been more crucial. “What can you do for your clients to provide an extraordinary product or service in these extraordinary times?” Wooller continues.
Fred Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Credit Kudos, agrees that everyone is in the same position and FinTechs are pretty well placed. “Technology has always been an integral component of Credit Kudos’ operation and we recognise the huge value it provides to businesses such as time savings, improved communication and, of course, enabling new ways of working,” he adds.
Credit Kudos is headquartered in London but its range of clients spans the UK – like Mojo Mortgages in Macclesfield and Serve and Protect Credit Union in Birmingham. “We have long used digital tools to enable close client relations,” says Kelly.
He adds that having digital solutions as a key part of operations already has made the transition smoother, ensuring clients can still feel well looked after. “Tools such as Slack, Zoom and Google Docs represent a significant portion of our day-to-day operations with customers, making it easy for our clients to communicate with us anytime, anywhere. Fortunately, this focus on digital communications has meant we luckily haven’t felt any disruption in spite of the current lockdown.”
Moneyhub is another FinTech that has long championed flexible working. “When we work with an enterprise client, we look become an extension of their own team,” outlines COO Dan Scholey. “We build ‘virtual teams’ so we can work together, drawing on all our experience to create the best product possible. Staying in contact and working with your client, as you would another colleague, is the best way to retain that relationship.”
For Scholey, it’s important to walk a mile in your client’s shoes when considering digital solutions. As a FinTech you’re probably well-versed in tech and using collaboration tools may be second nature, but this won’t be the case for every client. “Some organisations are more comfortable with remote working than others so it’s important to be aware of this.
“Making sure your client is familiar with the conference call set up ahead of any virtual meetings will help them go into the call prepared,” he advises. “Staying conscious of timings and objectives for calls will also help them stay productive – remember what your client has their own pressures and challenges at the moment.”
Contis, too has to think of a range of clients in the FinTech sphere and beyond, and Chief Commercial Officer Andy Patton offers some practical advice to keep everyone happy. “I’ve found that holding frequent calls just to ‘check in’ can be really valuable,” he suggests. “No need for a set agenda – a casual chat not only builds the relationship, but also gives insights into their issues and priorities.”
Patton says organisations should think about the impact Covid-19 may be having on a client’s business and be proactive in suggesting new ways to support their strategy. “Positive touch points are also key,” he adds. “For example a good news article can be a great reason to get in touch and congratulate a client.”
However, the most important thing is to remember the social aspect of human interaction, says Patton. “We’re all adjusting to new, more isolated ways of working. I make sure to ask about health and family – showing care for the client as well as their business. We’ve even got a few social drinks booked in on video chat, and if a silly hat makes an appearance, so be it!”