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From scripted cordiality to solving empathy. Not as SIMPLE…

In the age of digital finance, customer centricity becomes a key element for success. New, specialized fintech companies are raising the bar in terms of user interfaces and customer experiences. User-friendly applications, simple processes, easy-to-fill forms, customized dashboards…, these are all touch points between customers and the company that seem well-designed to provide a great customer experience. Traditional financial institutions seem to struggle to catch up and provide the same exceptional customer experiences. This is particularly true when customer interactions and requests go as planned in the company’s theoretical and carefully established customer journeys.

But what happens when things go differently than planned? What happens when a customer has a situation not previously anticipated? When there is a request that goes beyond the scripts that call centers have carefully prepared? Automatization works great for scalability, but when things get complex and the customer want to interact with a human, companies should be ready and able to provide solutions.

When things go as expected, the level of automatization that the digital economy brings is great. We are happy, we enjoy the customized experience and we are ready to let all our friends know how silly they are to still work with a brick and mortar traditional financial institution. Yet, the downside of this automatized business model becomes clear when an unexpected event happens and clients face a situation that requires a response that goes beyond what was planned. In these cases, the automated process can be incredibly frustrating. No matter how great the technology is, what a customer will remember is that in a time of need the company was not helpful. I thought about this when reading about the incredibly bad and frustrating experience that our DFI co-founder, Ignacio Mas, had with Simple, a new online banking provider that clearly failed to provide good customer service. You can read the full story here in this post and in its sequel. It’s a sad, but fun read. This story tells us so much about the “dark side” of the new age of digital finance.

 

By Xavier Martin

Xavier Martin
Xavier has more than fifteen years of experience in project management, business strategy, and financial analysis for development and finance organizations across multiple sectors. Track record of delivering high-quality products, creative problem-solving and client orientation in diverse workplaces in more than a 15 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He is a consultant for DFI and is involved in the development and teaching of courses.

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