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Managing customers according to type

“Customer is king”

“The customer is always right”

These two are probably the most popular phrases that companies incorporate as slogans especially during Customer Service Week. This seems fair enough as without these customers, they’ld be out of business. 

I work in FinTech and trust me when I say that this industry demands that you put your money where your mouth is. Here, the surefire way your customers take you seriously is when the efficacy of your customer service/complaints resolution team is second only to that of your Tech team. I believe that the best way to deliver on the customer service bit of this is by dealing with customers according to the stratum which you conclude that they belong to within the first 20 seconds of conversing with them. Remember that it’s not just about solving their problems, it’s also about how you go on about it.

In the next part of this post, I talk about the customer categories I have come up with so far and a little bit about how some highlighted traits help in better managing them and ensuring that their funds are safeguarded in the long run.

THE KNOW IT ALL

This customer thinks he knows all about bank processes and resolution timeframes but his info usually falls short of being accurate. He might have garnered his info through assumptions, misinterpretation or misinformation. It is also not uncommon for this customer to expect less stringency with documentation, I mean it’s a Digital Bank afterall. This customer usually does not mind being corrected as long as these corrections are not made in a rude or aggressive manner. 

THE ONE WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS IT ALL

These customers are extremely knowledgeable and are not shy to let you in on this within the first 30 seconds of speaking with them. They usually want exact details and specifics. They are very inquisitive. I’ve learnt that it’s best to treat them as “adults” as they are quick to take offence if they perceive that they are being babied or if you turn overly apologetic. You also have to be careful not to overpromise as they often come across as intimidating. 

THE ONE WHO KNOWS A BIGWIG

Sometimes you wonder why this customer bothers with contacting customer service for resolution. He usually dwells on naming the higher-ups that are close friends instead of stating exactly what his complaint is. In dealing with them, it’s best to “just respect yourself”

THE ONE WHO SHARES TOO MUCH INFORMATION

It is not uncommon for this class of customers to volunteer their PINs, PANs, CVVs, passwords, OTPs etc when speaking with their bank. This occurs especially when they are reporting failed login, dispense error and card functionality issues. It is pertinent that this customer is properly educated on the dangers of divulging his details over virtual channels. You may also want to advise him to visit a branch when unsure of what info to give online or on a call. If not properly educated, they easily get themselves into the next category.

THE ONE WHO ENTERTAINS FRAUDSTERS BEFORE THINKING TO CALL HIS BANK

If you remember this message, “Dear customer, your ATM card has been deactivated due to BVN. Call Mr John on 080XXX” then you know this category. It’s quite fascinating how easily this SMS gets them to call these fraudulent individuals and provide their card details only for them to turn around and contact their bank 5 minutes later. Needless to say, these calls end in card hotlists. Fortunately, measures such as Card Control and periodic email and SMS blasts advising on non-disclosure of banking credentials seem to be reining in this group somewhat. 

THE (POTENTIAL) FRAUDSTER

This post will become a Long Form if we dwell on this. Just know that when your gut tells you something is off, something usually is.

THE ONE WHO WANTS RESOLUTION NOW

This customer is usually this way out of desperation, delayed resolution or sheer impatience. Most times, it is the thought that someone is doing something differently or going above and beyond for them that helps.

THE ONE WHO JUST WANTS COMPANY

Although rare, this does happen. It dawns on you 3 minutes into the conversation that this customer doesn’t have any enquiry or complaint. The dicey part is gently saying your goodbyes as these interactions always create an impression. Besides, cross-selling and upselling never hurt anyone. 

Always one for intelligent conversation, I’m definitely the customer that actually knows it all. 

What kind of customer are you? Let’s discuss in the Comments section.