Despite a recent dip and the general volatility of the market, cryptocurrencies, on the whole, are gaining ground. According to the International Monetary Fund, by September of 2021, the market value of crypto assets had increased ten-fold since early the previous year, taking it above $2 trillion. But, as with any business that is scaling up at such a rapid rate, customer support needs to be scaled up too. Otherwise, the market can quickly crash as dissatisfied clients abandon ship.
Customer Support—Does it Really Matter?
Disgruntled customers in the digital economy do not simply stay quiet if they cannot access the support they need from a company. Instead, they will often take to public social media platforms to complain and, in doing so, draw comments from others with an axe to grind. This creates a reputational damage ecosystem where negative commentary feeds itself. There are clear examples of this phenomenon in the cryptocurrency world.
In some cases, cryptocurrency companies have offered support via email or over the phone, but it has been limited to the extent that it simply exacerbates dissatisfaction. Being put on hold, or having emails go unanswered, are the death knell for customer support, as some companies have learned the hard way.
Cryptocurrency Customer Support Gone Wrong
Online publication DataDriven Investor describes the problem in no uncertain terms: "Customer service in the cryptocurrency world has a dreadful track record. Moreover, the emergence of decentralized exchanges has added to the problem."
Two case studies highlight where the gaps lie.
Case Study: Coinbase
Coin base is a classic example of a cryptocurrency exchange that scaled up so rapidly that it could not serve its customer base adequately, and its growth thus backfired.
According to CNBC, Coinbase had more than 68 million users in 100-plus countries and more than 2,100 full-time employees in 2021. Things turned sour between March and late May of that year when hackers breached security and stole from the accounts of at least 6,000 Coinbase customers.
According to Reuters, "Unauthorized third parties exploited a flaw in the company's SMS account recovery process to gain access to the accounts." That was just the beginning of the disaster. What followed was a very weak customer support service that was unable to handle the crisis. An earlier decision to change customer support from live chat to an automated FAQ model had already eroded the quality of its customer service, and the crisis only added fuel to the fire.
CNBC reports that since 2016, "Coinbase users have filed more than 11,000 complaints against Coinbase with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau." The majority of these are related to customer service. When the hacking scandal unfolded, and customers could not find a human being to help them, they took to social media.
A Facebook group, for example, sprang up and quickly drew around 1,000 members, all complaining about poor customer service in the wake of the hacking scandal. Coinbase is now associated not only with the scandal but how the scandal revealed the major gaps in its customer support.
Case Study: Robinhood
By its own admission, cryptocurrency broker Robinhood suffered major reputational damage because it could simply not keep pace with its own growth regarding customer support. Alex Mesa, the company's head of customer experience, was quoted in mainstream media as saying, "If you, overnight, have an increase of 350 percent of volume, there's just not enough humans to throw at the issue to be able to deliver effective support." That excuse did not sit well with customers, however, who are the ones that have fueled the growth and expect support in return.
Many took to social media, saying the company had 'ghosted' them when they sought support, and the crisis came to a head. In June 2020, a customer of just 20 years of age, Alex Kearns, committed suicide after being misled into believing he had suffered enormous losses on options trades.
According to the Daily Mail, "Robinhood long offered customer service only via email, and Kearns' family said in a suit that he had sent three desperate emails to the company but received only an automated reply." With totally inadequate customer support, Kearns and thousands of others were left high and dry. They had nobody to guide them through a fairly new branch of the digital economy.
The Importance of Omnichannel Customer Service and Multilingual Customer Support
Omnichannel Customer Service
The case studies above illustrate how a lack of omnichannel customer support can have disastrous consequences. The very nature of omnichannel support can accelerate service delivery exponentially, so customers are not left out in the cold.
Whether customers are reaching out via phone, email, live chat, WhatsApp, or some other method, they can rest assured it is all on one platform and that it will be an integrated experience. This is also regardless of what touchpoint they have used. Both Coinbase and Robinhood might have increased the reach of their customer support had they opted for an omnichannel service.
Multilingual Customer Support
Cryptocurrencies, by their nature, and unlike traditional currencies, are not bound by national borders. They are global currencies and also have diverse customer bases within a single country. That means various languages come into play, and customers seeking high-quality support will expect to find a provider who can speak their language.
Multilingual support is becoming the norm in other digital economy sectors, and cryptocurrency companies are not exempt from this expectation from customers. It increases brand loyalty, makes customers feel valued, improves reviews and the feedback loop, and sets companies apart in a saturated market.
Setting Your Cryptocurrency Company Up for Success
Having a customer support plan can set cryptocurrency companies up for success. Most often, this means outsourcing that support to a dedicated team of experts with the time and skills set to fulfill its mandate. This approach can help companies support continued growth, even at a rapid pace, without limiting access to support. A deep advantage lies in outsourcing customer support to a partner that understands the importance of blending human contact with AI.
If you're looking for a partner that can take care of customer support to foster loyalty, contact Helpware.com. By partnering with Helpware, you can offer customers the secure omnichannel and multilingual support they need without having to build an expensive team in-house.