Noel K. Tshiani is the founder of Congo Business Network. Since April 2019, the network has worked with fintech startups, banks, the Ministry of Entrepreneurship, the National Agency for the Development of Entrepreneurship in Congo, the Ministry of Telecommunications, and consulting firms to develop the fintech sector in Kinshasa with the goal to boost financial inclusion and develop the culture of digital payments.
Fintech startups in Africa continue to attract the majority of money raised from international investors as entrepreneurs work to launch a series of innovations that are transforming Africa’s financial services industry by making transactions for payments cheaper and faster for consumers. But startups often struggle to provide excellent customer care due to some factors, including:
- Lack of resources: Fintech startups often have limited resources, making it difficult to invest in customer service.
- Lack of experience: The majority of fintech startups in Africa are new to the market and may not have the experience or expertise to provide excellent customer care.
- Lack of focus: Fintech startups are often focused on testing the market by developing new products and services, and they may not have the time or resources to dedicate to client service.
Despite these challenges, there are some things that fintech startups can do to improve customer care, such as:
- Invest in infrastructure: Fintech startups need to invest in the infrastructure that will support excellent customer care. The minimum includes a call centre, a website chat feature, and social media support.
- Invest in software and tools: Several software and tools can help fintech startups to provide excellent customer care. Priority should be given to customer relationship management (CRM) software, knowledge bases, fraud detection, risk management, and ticketing systems.
- Train customer service employees: Fintech startups need to train their customer service workers to provide excellent customer care. Training should cover customer service best practices, product knowledge, conflict resolution, reputation management, and problem-solving skills.
- Focus on customer satisfaction: Fintech startups need to prioritise customer satisfaction. It means listening to customer feedback, resolving customer issues quickly, and going the extra mile to make sure customers are happy.
Excellent customer care can contribute to business growth and success for fintech startups in different ways. First, it can help to attract new customers. When customers have a positive experience with customer care, they are more likely to do business with a company again.
Second, excellent customer care can help to retain existing customers. When customers are happy with the level of service they receive, they are less likely to switch to a competitor or speak negatively about a startup. Third, excellent customer care can help to build brand loyalty. When customers have a positive experience with customer care, they are more likely to recommend a company to their friends, family, or co-workers.
Fintech startups can take the following actions daily to ensure outstanding customer care:
- Be responsive: Customers expect quick and accurate responses to their inquiries. Make sure you have a system in place for handling customer inquiries in a timely manner.
- Be knowledgeable: Your customer service agents should be knowledgeable about your products and services. Well-trained employees will be able to answer customer questions quickly and accurately.
- Be empathetic: Customers want to feel like they are being heard and understood. Your customer service personnel should be able to empathise with customers and offer solutions that meet their needs.
- Be proactive: Don’t wait for customers to come to you with problems. Reach out to customers to see how you can help them and follow up to make sure a customer does not have unresolved needs.
- Be positive: A positive attitude can go a long way in providing customer service. Your customer service team should be friendly, helpful, and positive.
In conclusion, by investing in world-class customer experience, fintech startups in Africa can improve their chances of success because excellent customer care can help to attract new customers, retain existing buyers, and build brand loyalty.
In the highly competitive world of financial services, paying close attention to customer service will contribute to increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and higher profitability that many entrepreneurs are now seeking to achieve across Africa.
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