Updated: Nov 7, 2020
In these crazy days of Covid lockdowns and election unpredictability, customer service is high on my list of priorities to get right at All of Us Financial. Why? Because it creates certainty in an uncertain world. When a customer has a question, or needs help, it’s imperative that we have an answer or a helping hand at the ready. It seems this has been a forgotten practice when it comes to platform-based businesses. Most have built their business models sacrificing this mission-critical service because it takes carbon-based life forms to execute and that cuts into the bottom line. Maybe that’s ok if you’re a food delivery service or a ride-sharing app, but when it comes to money and people’s savings and investments, there needs to be someone at the ready to help.
Customer Service isn’t optional
It baffles me that the shiny, new world of fintech startups has treated this practice as optional. Sure, it costs money to provide a service to our customers. It makes margins thinner and profitability harder to eke out but providing confidence to people is not the place to make cuts. In fact, if executed well, it’s the one surefire way to create lasting relationships and grow customer assets. The more people trust us, the more confidence they have in our relationship, the more they’ll trust and do business with us. This is the single most important measure of our growth, and it is the foundation of our purpose, to create true financial empowerment.
Has this ever happened to you?
Imagine this. You have just decided to turn over custody of your portfolio and cash to a new broker. You log on and nothing has shown up because of a back-office delay. Suddenly, you are left wondering where your money has gone. Is it just hung up or have you fallen prey to a scam? What’s the first thing you want to do? Talk to someone, right? Be reassured that you will quickly be able to see your money? After a lengthy search for a phone number to no avail, you fire off an email to customer support. And you get back? Crickets. Sure, the chances are, in a matter of hours, your money will show up and everything will be fine. But in the delta in-between, you suffer anxiety and dread. Probably the two worst feelings to associate with a financial brand. All because it costs too much money to serve you correctly. Which leads to a very simple question. If it costs too much money to service you, should you be trusting that company with your money in the first place? If they don’t value you enough to pick up the phone to talk to you, let alone provide a number to you, should you trust them with your hard-earned dollars?
Everything old is new again
Instead of cutting customer service to the bone, the bare minimum, maybe we as an industry need to prioritize it. Go back to basics. As we’re building our investment platform, we try to always put ourselves in our customers’ shoes when making decisions. We ask ourselves what reaction we would want from a company in every scenario we can imagine. We constantly ask whether the decision we’re making furthers our promise of financial empowerment, even if it costs us money. If the answer is no, we don’t do it. If it does, and we are being true to our vision, it’s an automatic yes.
And so, as of today, we are launching a beta program to radically expand the way we service our customers. Will it be smooth sailing from day one? Absolutely not. Will it be a work in progress that expands and changes form and shape as we grow? One hundred percent. Will our heart be in the right place every time we pick up the phone or email you back? We guarantee it. All of Us was built for all of us, and that means making sure we’re taking care of all of you. Please be patient with us as we work out the kinks.
People over profits
In an ever-shrinking bottom-line driven world, it’s hard to make choices that cut into profits. But maybe that’s the point of our whole approach. People over profits. Emotional well-being over next quarter’s numbers. A humanistic approach over robo-driven decisions and automated responses. When it comes to a person’s money, emotions run high. At the moment of truth, empowerment comes through confidence. In the investing world, that comes from an empathetic voice and a helping hand.
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