Challenger Banks and the Challenge of Scaling Great Customer Experiences

Infographic for challenger banks Infographic for challenger banks

Digital-first financial services providers attract customers with a great user experience, but it can be tough to scale that experience when growth explodes.

By Corey Besaw, Chief Innovation Officer

Neobanks or so-called challenger banks are not new, but significant fundraising, unicorn valuations and customer acquisition to the tune of thousands in a single day, mean they’re getting more attention than ever.

The Financial Brand describes these challengers as “aggressive, app-driven, CX [customer experience]-obsessed upstarts looking to tear up the banking industry,” and estimates that there are at least 40 digital-first challenger banks in the U.S. The U.K. has more than double that. But as these challengers grow, scaling the superior customer experiences that attracted their customers in the first place isn’t always easy.

Meeting the Standard You Set

In a 2018 FinTech Futures’ blog, consultant and digital banking thought leader Leda Glyptis, describes the difficulties she had when she got a new phone and had to be reauthenticated in the six banking apps she uses—a process that for one challenger bank included waiting for 16 hours on a “not-so-live” chat.

The stakes are high when it comes to providing excellent service amid growth because consumers know they can go elsewhere.

“You mess this up,” Glyptis writes, and, ”Joe Bloggs walks to the nearest bank that can get it right the first time or at least solve issues fast. Because your early self that didn’t take 16 hours to respond to live chats set a standard we are all now held to. Including you.”

Partnerships Made Perfect

Ubiquity has become a partner of choice for innovative payments companies, including several neobanks and challengers, because of our track record and focus on financial services. But it’s also because we are nimble and scalable ourselves. We know what it means to be a startup and a profitable enterprise that continues to innovate.

Outsourcing customer care can be scary, especially if your brand promise centers on providing superior customer experiences. But trying to do everything in-house can prove too costly and cumbersome as your business grows. What’s more, growth, particularly if it’s explosive, can cause fault lines in your infrastructure to show and stretch operations beyond their limits.

We provide the core competency around managing the business of customer care—recruiting, forecasting, staffing for seasonal spikes and unprecedented growth—while you focus on delivering exceptional products to more and more customers.

Our specialty is driving satisfaction on the consumer-facing side of the business while driving efficiencies on the backend. Our partners see an average 13 percent increase in customer satisfaction. For some, their Net Promoter Scores have doubled, while their average service cost reduction is 32 percent.

Data analysis is critical to our ability to achieve those metrics, but our analysis begins before we ever take a customer call. We sit down with our partners to review their existing processes and look for opportunities where changing process design can reduce costs and improve the customer experience.

But our focus on data doesn’t stop there. Being on the front lines of customer interactions, we are able to respond to the data gleaned from those interactions rapidly. We can identify breaks in the customer journey, or the potential for such breaks, and address them before they become a major problem.

We Know Your Pain

No matter what sector a client is in, our first priority is to understand their business and their pain points. With financial services, we have a head start because of our legacy in delivering CX solutions to more than 40 companies in the space. Many of us were together in the early days of prepaid, an industry that is a precursor to digital banking as we know it.

That foundational knowledge at the leadership level flows down through operations, workforce management, team leads and even to some of our agents, who have been with us since the beginning. (We’ll talk more about why they’ve stayed in another blog on employee engagement, or you can get a glimpse here.)

We continually invest in our people and in the advanced technologies, including real-time agent assistance artificial intelligence, that will help them perform better every single day.

Serving customers well is what we do.

If you’re in Singapore for Money20/20 Asia, stop by our booth (F42) or email us to schedule a time to talk. I look forward to learning about how you are challenging the status quo in financial services and how we can help.

Corey Besaw is the chief innovation officer at Ubiquity Global Services, a multinational business process and call center outsourcing organization that helps more than 40 financial services partners improve customer satisfaction while reducing operating costs. Corey also serves as the chief product officer for Aigent, a fully held subsidiary of Ubiquity focusing on the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning for the BPO industry.