The Cryptoeconomy has a customer experience problem.
“I need to unlock my account. Please reply to my emails and give me solutions. I can’t lose my money!”
“Multiple issues over the last month which cost me $$$ several open cases and 0% response?? When are you going to help me or is it easier to just forget? Will be following up with [SEC] soon.”
These are just two examples of irate users of a major crypto platform panicking and pleading for help on Reddit and Twitter after trying to contact the company on many other channels.
The cryptocurrency business is nothing short of a global phenomenon. But it’s also a business that raises many questions in customers’ minds due to the industry’s infancy and complexity. Customers face technical issues that induce panic when they miss trading opportunities, can’t buy or sell, or access their accounts. And when an issue arises, digital currency and financial exchange platforms have often failed to deliver the support that their customers expect. Without automation, supporting a growing global customer base is extremely difficult, which is why crypto companies are adopting chatbots to scale immediate, meaningful support across channels, time zones and languages.
“We know that we have let many of you down and we are doing everything in our power to turn the page,” Casper Sorensen, Vice President, Customer Experience at CoinBase, wrote a post to apologize after one instance of public backlash1.
Why is crypto customer experience failing?
In a New York Times article, Casper Sorensen, the vice president for customer experience for cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, said the company was grappling with a “24/7 crypto economy, which, combined with a substantial increase in demand, has created a unique set of customer experience challenges.2”
The cryptocurrency market value topped $2 trillion, a 180% increase year-to-date, for the first time in April 20213. However, with mass adoption, rapid growth and heightened customer interest, it’s been a challenge for most crypto companies to provide the customer support that users expect. An influx of tickets from both new and existing customers, spikes in demand that can happen in mere minutes, and the fact that there’s a global user base that has questions 24/7 are just the tip of the iceberg.
In one example of the challenging environment, Coinbase saw a 295% jump in transaction volumes in a single month in late 20174. The company had already grown its support team by more than 60% that year, but the company still wasn’t prepared to manage the rapid growth and subsequent customer support issues. Angry customers fled to online forums and social media to publicly shame and complain about unresolved questions and long wait times. “The [customer support] team was left feeling like we were bailing out a sinking ship with pots and pans,” Coinbase’s general manager, Dan Romero, said at the time5.
To build and maintain user trust, cryptocurrency companies and exchanges must have solid customer service intact which prioritizes responsiveness across channels and getting back to customers quickly. In Coinbase’s case, the company didn’t offer live support, and phone support was only available to those with frozen accounts6. It got so bad that one customer pleaded: Please hire me for FREE so i can help some people here with their #cases can’t see this **** anymore some dude was on brink of suicide due to his account being locked7.
The anxiety people feel when something could affect their finances is significant and providing fast answers is essential. This creates the perfect situation to use an AI chatbot to offer immediate support in some cases or at least acknowledge that a person has reached out and their issue will soon be addressed.
What are the pillars for a successful crypto CX automation strategy?
AI-powered chatbots can help relieve stress from overloaded support teams by automatically resolving many everyday customer issues and triaging more complex issues before passing them to a human agent. This frees up human agents to focus on more complex cases and helps to reduce resolution time across the board. AI chatbots can also help reduce “ghost contacts”, which is when the same person reaches out on multiple channels with the same issue.
When introducing customer service automation, there are a few key things that every cryptocurrency company needs to deploy:
- 24/7 resolutions: Global trading happens 24/7. Crypto companies need to combine human and AI teams to answer questions as soon as they arise, especially on time-sensitive issues related to accounts being locked or potentially hacked.
- Omni-channel support: Customers also have different preferences on where they’d like to receive support. So deploying a chatbot across email, messaging platforms, live chat, social, SMS and more can help to increase customer satisfaction while removing friction.
- Natural language understanding: At the very minimum, AI chatbots need to be able to understand customers regardless if they talk in natural or unnatural language, use emojis, or slang. Chatbots that are unable to process a customer’s question can do more harm than good and lead to even more frustration. Modern NLU technology can accurately decipher a person’s intent – even if it’s in long-form text – as opposed to simply matching keywords.
- Sentiment analysis: AI chatbots should be able to recognize when a person is angry, upset or distraught so they can immediately be routed to a human agent – regardless of their issue.
- Intelligent routing: When a person is routed to a human, crypto companies should route to specific agents based on areas of expertise as well as whether or not they’ve dealt with more challenging cases that day. This type of routing can help to improve agent happiness and reduce turnover in the customer service team.
- Multilingual capabilities: Crypto has customers around the world who want to get support in their native language. Studies have shown that 42% of customers never buy products and services in other languages8. Therefore, enabling someone to get answers to questions in their preferred language is key to building trust and confidence, while also paving the way for new customers.
- The strictest security standards: Crypto AI chatbots need to meet all regulatory requirements and abide by the strictest security standards to protect customer data and build trust.
What are the top use cases for crypto chatbots?
Not every issue is right for automation. Theft, cyber attacks, “account takeovers”, and withdrawal requests, for example, should always be managed by human agents. However, chatbots can automatically resolve many everyday tickets. Here are the best use cases for crypto chatbots:
- Trade confirmations: Letting a person know if a trade has gone through or some error occurred.
- Education: Answering questions related to the crypto market, evolving laws and regulations, policies and comparisons between digital currencies.
- Account creation and guidance: Helping users create and verify accounts, and add payment methods. Chatbots can also guide people through the process of learning how to use a platform.
- Locked accounts: Automate the first level of support when a person is barred from their account by troubleshooting common issues.
- Managing accounts: Common questions related to updating payment methods, transferring funds, verifying identities and more.
- Taxes and other forms: Helping people navigate to where they can access key documentation on their account.
When it comes to people’s finances, unresponsiveness can breed mistrust. With a growing array of competitors in the space, poor reviews about the inability to get answers when needed or the overall experience can directly impact the value of a cryptocurrency. In an environment defined by heavy market movement, huge rallies and dramatic sell-offs, cryptocurrencies need to have automation in place to provide the best customer experience and keep resolution times low even when there are unexpected spikes in ticket volume.