Even though it’s been spurred on by Covid-19, digital adoption is here to stay and businesses are simply having to adapt quicker.
A big challenge, especially in the financial services market, is to maintain trust in a digital setting. Humans trust other humans, so achieving a human relationship through a website or app is vital. We asked four FinTechs how they are achieving this in 2021.
“Given the rapid acceleration to digital products in finance over recent years, staying in touch with your customers is more important than ever,” says Jack Collier, CMO at NatWest’s business offering, Mettle. “We put a big focus on our tone of voice to ensure we communicate with our customers in a straight-talking, human and real way.”
Mettle, which was developed to serve everyone from side hustlers to small businesses, aims to offer a balance between the human and the digital. “Whilst our product is user-friendly and intuitive to use, which meets our customers’ needs, we also have real people on hand through our in-app chat if needed,” Collier explains.
“Having a deep understanding of your customer base is crucial,” he adds. “By knowing their key challenges, obstacles and needs, and providing them with products and tools that support them, you can fast become the service providers they cannot live without.”
Michael Donald, CEO of ImageNPay – a FinTech offering digital prepaid cards – says maintaining the human touch when it comes to voice response and chat bots is “no mean feat” and presents challenges for new startups and global brands alike.
“Our approach with ImageNPay is built around authenticity, informative and conversational styled social media, and a human message. In every internal meeting, from marketing to programming, we use the old adage: ‘think of yourself as a customer’. We are truly digital and we aim to ensure every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to create a positive interaction and not a distraction.” He adds that building trust as well as a safe and secure online experience will be vital in building an inclusive payment ecosystem, which is ImageNPay’s key aim.
“Even though we launched in the middle of a locked down global pandemic, we have maintained the human touch by focusing on supporting over 14 charities in the past six weeks and the people that they in turn support,” Donald explains. “This has been achieved through utilising the emotional quotient and the human connection that images convey and the positive connections they create.”
His final tip? To behave like a human, not a marketeer. “You have to think like a consumer and develop services according to their needs.”
Sometimes, the human touch is not immediately obvious. “When you look at brands who are delivering digital-first services you could be forgiven for thinking that the human touch is less important – when in fact it makes it even more vital,” explains Roman Balzan, Head of Brand & Marketing at wealth management FinTech Alpian, where trust is top of the list. “You have to replicate the confidence that clients traditionally get from face-to-face interactions with their bank,” he adds.
A key to building this trust is education “When a client or potential client is engaging with your brand, if you can communicate expertise that will benefit their finances and ultimately their life, you begin to build a more human relationship,” says Balzan. “It’s important not to focus on what your services do, but get to the heart of that wealth really means for the user, whether that’s more time to spend with their family or those extra savings for that once in a lifetime holiday.”
This level of understanding is important in providing a truly personalised service, which is the number one priority for Wealth Wizards. “Paradoxically, it’s the businesses which most intelligently embrace technology that will provide the most ‘human’ experience,” explains Account Director Nick Hall. “New market entrants have a once in a decade opportunity to leapfrog the competition by designing a personalised customer journey for the ‘new digital normal’.”
Adding a conversational platform to a website, when done right, can vastly improve the experience. “An advice platform which can navigate the nuances of your sector will help you understand your customers’ primary pain points, capture customer data, and create a more personalised experience by serving them the right content at the right time,” says Hall. “Meanwhile, by using automated technologies you’ll save hours of needless fact finding and administration by gathering key information on your prospects and clients before they speak with an advisor.”
Hall says that a human touch can be achieved only by looking at the customer journey as a whole, and building the technology stack around those needs. “Now if the time to seize the opportunity to address customer service in the new digital normal,” he urges.