How fintechs can leverage outsourced customer support for more than cost savings

To Sagar Rajgopal, co-founder and COO of Ubiquity, outsourcing isn’t just about arbitrage: It’s about knowledge consolidation and the provision of streamlined solutions, especially in highly complex, compliance-driven environments. Ubiquity, a customer experience outsourcing provider, sees its place in fintech and financial services landscapes as a knowledge-capital platform for fledgling startups focused on growth and customer delight. Now 10 years old, Ubiquity has served some of the largest fintechs and startups, including Robinhood and Marqeta.

In an interview with The Financial Revolutionist, Rajgopal describes the bidirectional benefits of outsourcing, provides examples of the insights customer-experience experts can offer fintechs, and outlines the future of outsourcing in the face of volatility.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The Financial Revolutionist: What compelled Ubiquity’s founding team to start the company?

Sagar Rajgopal: Ubiquity was founded on two primary insights. We saw ourselves as coming in and helping provide not just cost arbitrage, but actual value creation driven by insights and expertise focused on a more complex compliance and heavily regulated environment—fintech and financial services.

The second element was that when we surveyed the outsourcing landscape, which all the founders grew up in, we were seeing a slow and steady industrialization of that sector. In other words, with scale, there was a drive towards efficiencies, processes, and policies at the expense of human interaction. With that move, granular insights that drive interactions at an individual level were getting lost. We realized that outsourcing customer support could be done meaningfully better by bringing humanity back to these conversations, while also doubling down on strategy and data intelligence to actually learn and improve the customer experience—and the bottom line for the company we’re representing.

FR: So Ubiquity sees compliance assistance and driving textured conversations between clients and customers as two USPs. Are there specific use cases or roles where you really add value?

SR: In every single case where we’re coming across clients who want to achieve cost efficiencies or reductions, we make sure that we educate clients about the fact that yes, those measures are important, but additional elements that go into the business are equally important. Looking at things like customer retention, share of wallet, ease of transaction; and identifying potential points of friction whenever a customer reaches out to a client, and then leveraging a partner to help solve for that.

A lot of organizations are in firefighting mode—different fires being fought, and they’re all being fought simultaneously. We act as that first level of interaction directly with the consumer: There are a ton of insights there that either are trapped or are lost, and we come in to help ensure that there are mechanisms put into tapping into that and then feeding insights back—sometimes into product, sometimes into marketing, sometimes into the customer support process itself.

We think the need for a human being will always remain … The easy stuff will get automated away. The tough stuff remains, either because of complexity or because of the need for conversation or interaction. That has to be delivered by a person.

Sagar Rajgopal Co-founder and COO, Ubiquity

FR: What do those mechanics look like in terms of turning CX into UX, or into product insights and marketing insights?

Customer journey mapping as a practice has been done for years, but what is interesting is how frequently it’s not done with the level of detail required. In many cases, the challenge really is in fixing the car while you’re driving it. So we can identify pain points, seeing if a process or policy issue causes someone to send a chat or pick up the phone for support, and we can outline how solvable it is.

In some cases, it’s something that’s a design opportunity or a redesign opportunity in terms of what the customer sees on an app or on a website. A lot of our insights are around making sure that clients are providing information, feedback, or tools to allow for self-solution on the customer’s end.

It’s important to point out the problem. But it’s even more important to point out potential options to resolve the problem. That’s how we approach it.

SR: In the face of volatility, have you seen an uptick in demand from the consumer side, and have you seen clients looking to jump ship in order to cut costs?

This kind of environment almost has a greater opportunity for the right outsourcing partner to deliver value. Our clients are thinking about what’s done in more expensive geographies that they can move offshore or nearshore to an outsourcing partner, especially one that provides the efficiencies of scale that they themselves don’t have.

Beyond the cost savings element, we help clients keep an eye on the cost of customer acquisition and retention. We have a way for clients to quantify that and identify what is sucking up a lot of effort. It’s that dual-pronged approach of making sure that we have options and solutions that do allow them to reduce their cost exposure, but not at the expense of some of the fundamentals of their business. If anything, we try and help them strengthen some of their fundamentals or provide greater insight.

FR: Where do you see Ubiquity and the financial space headed in the coming years?

SR: The element of technological intervention into some of these workflows will come to the fore. Realistically, you will not be able to have 100% of a particular issue type automated away, but you can do like 60% or 70%, making the individual human being who was helping resolve that particular issue either more empowered with more information or able to solve it more quickly.

We think the need for a human being will always remain, and it will be the more complex stuff that lands on an individual person’s plate to resolve. The easy stuff will get automated away. The tough stuff remains, either because of complexity or because of the need for conversation or interaction. That has to be delivered by a person.

Read the full interview.

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