3 Reasons Behind Deficiencies in the Crypto Customer Experience and How to Fix Them
The mainstream status of crypto hardly surprises anyone anymore. If you weren't lucky to purchase bitcoin a decade ago, now's the time. But first, here’s something to consider that could make or break your experience with cryptocurrencies; the customer service the platform offers.
This article covers why the gap in crypto customer experience is increasing and how crypto platforms can bridge it.
When cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum become popular, customer service sometimes struggles to meet every customer's needs. This became apparent after Google recorded a 60% increase in queries from customers looking to contact one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase.
For those who've been with BitPrime for some time, you'll be aware we once experienced these same struggles! At one point, we had no choice but to turn off our live chat feature to prioritise urgent queries flooding our inboxes, such as technical wallet issues, helping with retrievals for customers who mistakenly sent coins without tags/memos, and other such examples.
This rift in crypto customer experience has inevitably endeavoured crypto platforms, BitPrime included, to up their customer service game.
Common issues with typical exchange platform models a customer can experience are higher prices than initially stated, denied access to funds, and delays associated with withdrawing digital currencies from hosted to non-hosted wallets (note: these examples don't affect BitPrime’s retailer-type business model). But this isn’t where problems end with typical exchanges. Technical bugs are common, as are ignored support tickets, server outages etc.
Before scaling our operation, problems BitPrime customer's experienced included slow transfers due to the sheer volume of orders received. Lengthy verification times. And, non-urgent queries being relegated to the bottom of the email list. You were disappointed by this and we were frustrated with not exceeding your expectations!
1. The scaling up of customer service couldn’t catch up with the growth in crypto popularity
No one could’ve predicted the skyrocketing growth of crypto. To some, it seems like it blew up overnight, which definitely justifies the slow scaling of customer service. Regardless, huge demand resulted in customer service teams not meeting customer expectations.
The outcome - disappointed customers with a strong urge to leave for the competitor (who was likely experiencing the same issues themselves!). New team members couldn't be trained fast enough to promptly reply to customers and troubleshoot issues before they arose.
Combine understaffing, lack of training time and a complex industry to learn, exponential growth made keeping up with demand difficult.
For BitPrime, we had a tiny team of four staff trying to deal with 1000s of orders each day, 100s of new people wanting to sign up to our service, and an unfathomable amount of emails, social media messages, chats etc. coming through. An impossible task, to say the least! Couple that with us attempting to hire and train new staff in a field that leaves most scratching their head at the same time as this sudden surge in interest, and it's safe to say things were pretty hectic for a time!
2. Customer support agents didn’t deliver on their promise
Customers have long been complaining about issues like Binance and Coinbase turning down requests to withdraw funds or even the absence of a customer support representative to contact. When this criticism reaches publications such as NY Times and CNBC, it’s clear that the quality of the customer support isn’t on par with customer expectations.
Add occasional cyber-attacks and technical glitches that are often left unaddressed, and you’ve got a good case for a faulty customer experience.
If it takes customer support agents several business days or longer to get back to the client experiencing issues with the platform, it’s safe to say that the company operating the said platform isn’t doing a good enough job. This is particularly true in times of heavy market movement when people are snapping up crypto left, right and centre and the number of orders is higher than the staff can keep up with (unfortunately, this point applied to BitPrime before we successfully scaled up in the past year).
3. Cryptocurrency regulations aren’t the same in every country
Governments across the globe view cryptocurrency differently, which means that trading doesn’t look the same in, say, the more laissez-faire USA and a more controlling-on-the-organisational-level UK. The deviation in regulation makes it tricky to develop a single customer support framework applicable to most crypto exchange platforms.
Take Japan’s new laws regarding crypto exchange operators that were enforced in 2019. The government ordered exchanges to start managing users’ assets with greater attention and care following the hefty theft of crypto. An incident like this ruins the reputation of crypto exchange platforms and attracts regulator attention.
As for the regulations in New Zealand, they're still very much in development and you can learn more in these three articles:
Solutions to the Increasing Gap in Crypto Customer Experience
It isn’t enough to know why the gap in crypto exchange experience is increasing - it pays to use the awareness to help bridge it. There are a few ways to facilitate better customer service in the crypto sector.
1. Offer a detailed FAQ page (available in a variety of languages if applicable)
Today’s customers are independent enough to find the information they need without contacting customer support. That said, if there isn’t a comprehensive knowledge base to refer to, there’s a good chance that they’ll reconsider doing business with you before you even get the chance to redeem yourself.
Cryptocurrency exchange platforms aren’t an exception. Customers expect them to give answers to all of their questions and, in some cases, in multiple languages, too. It could be an article about what you need to know to become a skilled trader or a collection of abbreviations explaining each digital currency and the industry's jargon in detail.
The more opportunities to answer questions and solve issues you provide to your customers, the better the odds of them staying with you for the long haul.
Luckily, this is an area that BitPrime excelled in long before we were flooded with orders, queries, and applications! However, the problem we faced here was teaching our customers to look for the answer first before asking for help. I’d easily estimate that over 90% of the emails we were receiving related to a troubleshooting article already published in our Knowledge Base or Blog section!
2. Invest in highly qualified customer service personnel
Having skilled customer support agents on board translates to fewer mishaps and more satisfied customers. In the crypto industry, it’s that much more vital to hire personnel that can operate quickly and efficiently without compromising the quality of the care provided. This is due to the volatile nature of digital currencies and a high number of green traders, very few of which have done extensive research beforehand.
Highly qualified customer service staff also means staff from every corner of the world. Crypto trading platforms tend to have users from all over, so it’s only fair to offer customer support in multiple languages. The wider a platform’s reach is, the more it requires a multi-faceted approach to customer service.
3. Set up a 24/7 customer support
Just as customers typically come from different parts of the world, they’re also located in different time zones. When one trader is sleeping, another needs a helping hand with their wallet now. A well-functioning digital currency exchange platform will ensure that there’s 24/7 customer support available for both clients (which BitPrime has!).
It’s also smart (and a legal requirement in many jurisdictions) to set up a complaint process so that every customer has the opportunity to express their discontentment with a platform’s feature or two. This solution demonstrates that you care about your customers and want to help resolve any issues - instead of viewing complaints as negative, view them as an opportunity for improvement.
The fundamentals of customer experience are rooted in the trust that a customer places in a brand. Trust that an organisation will be true to its word, live up to its brand promises, provide the product or service as specified and not let the customer down. - Magwin Alok, Resonate Solutions.
4. Employ AI-based technology for better automation
Customer experience and tools for automation go hand in hand. With the rising demand for instant replies and multiple channels to communicate with customer support agents, incorporating instruments like chatbots, AI analytics, and an omnichannel strategy is necessary. In an unpredictable industry like crypto, it’s that much more important to use software to facilitate more efficient customer service.
Chatbots, for instance, are great for handling repetitive queries that don’t require explicit and personalised responses. They also help build relationships with customers as they free up more time for solving more complex issues.
AI analytics takes care of the bigger picture by analyzing customer conversations and using them to improve the overall experience. The intelligent machine learning mechanism significantly cuts down the time it takes to go through every interaction and figure out where the customer service is lacking.
Integrating an omnichannel communication strategy should also be a priority for cryptocurrency exchange platforms. With a typical client expecting to have multiple ways to reach the company, including social media, email, and an online form, among others, employing an approach that would allow for coherent communication across them all is a must.
The future of cryptocurrency can be bright!
Despite the relatively recent surge in popularity, cryptocurrency is merely at the beginning of its journey of turning the world of transactions upside down. We’re merely witnessing the kick-off of the digital currency that has the potential to replace money as we know it. Taking it further will require honing every aspect of a crypto exchange platform, including customer service.
Customers can’t afford to lose money (or potential earnings) if the site goes down, gets hacked, or is rendered unusable due to software bugs. To strengthen positioning as a go-to platform for digital currencies, crypto companies need to rethink their approach to customer support. This will also make it easier for them to compete in the crypto industry and establish themselves as a trusted platform for trading cryptocurrencies.
All it takes is to offer a thorough knowledge base, be available for every customer query and complaint around the clock, and be as professional as possible in addressing and fixing the issues. The rest - happy customers and a thriving business - will follow.
About the Author:
Mikkel is passionate about customer experience in every colour of the beautiful customer engagement spectrum. He loves building great connections with his customers, which often lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime and inspire his work. Driven by the belief that CX is the pivotal force driving successful business, he's currently at the helm of Dixa’s customer experience strategy.
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. Do not take this as personalised financial advice or investment advice. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the opinion of BitPrime.
Last updated: 04/11/2021