To Grow, Cryptocurrency Companies Need Better Customer Care
Many people are intrigued by cryptocurrency. But the thing that stands in the way of mass adoption is something that most crypto providers viewed as an after-thought – customer care. The lack of clarity and information, along with few places that the novice Bitcoin customer can turn to for support, makes cryptocurrency platforms appear volatile and unreliable. If the market wants to gain a competitive edge and woo customers away from traditional banking and investments, they are going to have to offer the same level of customer experience as their larger, more established banking counterparts.
The Case of Coinbase
If you were in the Twittersphere back in 2015 you probably would have felt the frustration leaping off the screen as customers of Coinbase, one of the largest and fastest-growing Bitcoin exchanges, angrily sounded off over the company’s lack of customer support.
As the company quickly scaled, they didn’t have the staff to properly answer customer inquiries or manage technical issues and people were waiting days to hear back from inundated support teams, if at all.
Coinbase suffered an extreme loss of customers, until the company made a commitment to improving their customer care. Now, they are one of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges, often chosen by new and experienced adopters of cryptocurrency, because of their superb customer experience (CX). This includes 24/7 phone and email support, and a large, searchable database with common FAQs, allowing for quick self-service.
What was once a liability for the company turned into a market differentiator. And it worked. Proving that if blockchain and Bitcoin are going to go fully mainstream, cryptocurrency providers will need to offer the same level of customer care.
Though self-service may be the end goal, before new customers feel comfortable enough to guide themselves through the process of investing in cryptocurrency or using it for financial transactions, they will need to be educated on the basics. Companies need to offer FAQ sheets, resource libraries, automated self-help options, or live agent support.
To reduce the burden on in-house phone and email support teams, and to keep costs manageable, companies can always choose to bolster their customer experience delivery by outsourcing some or all of their support services.
Mt. Gox: A Cautionary Tale
In 2014, Mt. Gox, a popular crypto exchange, experienced a second security breach that resulted in a loss of 774,000 BTC (Bitcoin) or what today, would amount to about $4 billion U.S.
Shortly after the breach, the company went dark. Its exchange went completely offline almost overnight. Even their Twitter feed was scrubbed of all messages. Eventually, the company went into bankruptcy, signaling the end of one of the most public and well-known brands in the Bitcoin exchange market.
Almost 1 million customers were left in the cold, with little recourse to get their money back, and unanswered questions about their options. This loss rocked the Bitcoin world so deeply that it led to a widespread mistrust of cryptocurrency markets in general, resulting in a crippling Bitcoin price drop that took years to recover.
Though it’s understood that financial institutions are always subject to cyberattacks, it was the way customers were handled that did such a disservice to the cryptocurrency industry. One wonders if there had been a robust customer communication strategy, or at the very least, an online FAQ sheet or digital self-help center to support customers through this loss, would Mt. Gox have suffered the fate of bankruptcy or would the cryptocurrency market have been spared its disgrace.
If the company had invested more in customer care as they scaled and grew in popularity, they would have already had the proper support staff to handle the barrage of customer inquiries that perhaps, in truth, the company didn’t want to face. But had it communicated more effectively with its customers during the crisis, the company could have perhaps salvaged its reputation.
Customer Experience the Key to Crypto Adoption
Whether in boom or bust, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology providers will need to reassure the public that they are as reliable and trustworthy as traditional institutions, if they want to fully reach the mainstream.
As Vasja Zupan, President of Matrix, a blockchain AI developer, said in a recent article, “Simply put, we must begin to do better as an industry... Delivering good customer service is simply a matter of sustaining growth. A client who exits crypto due to an unfortunate experience… inadvertently hinders this growth, while a customer who has [their] issue fixed quickly and effectively may bring their friends into crypto too, thus amping up this growth.”
But this growth can only come from offering the best user experience. Since cryptocurrency exchanges run non-stop, with customers spread around the world, not only is 24/7 phone and email support necessary, but companies may also want to consider adding more instant communication methods, such as 24/7 live chat support.
Hand-selected agents who understand and appreciate the very nature of cryptocurrencies can share their enthusiasm and passion for this industry with your customers, which can further boost business growth. Making mass consumer adoption much more likely for the industry as a whole.
Thinking about outsourcing your CX? itel can offer you 24/7 multilingual customer support across multiple geos, giving you access to the right people with the right skills for Fintech and crypto providers. Contact us to learn more.