Customer Support Can’t Become Crypto’s Achilles Heel
By Vasja Zupan, President of Matrix
One of the main selling points of the cryptoversy is how it solves the problem of middlemen. Do you want to transfer Bitcoin abroad? No need to turn to a business entity like Western Union, just pay the gasoline fee and put the transaction on the blockchain. Need a loan? There are DeFi services that can distribute one to you, no bank needs to get involved. But too often, something else accompanies this decentralization, namely the lack of sufficient customer support. In the cryptoversy, no one can hear you screaming on your monitor.
In August alone, a crypto exchange found itself facing a deluge of public criticism on its customer support practices following hacker attacks on its users who have exhausted their accounts. The saga always go on today, despite the company’s laudable efforts to step up customer service. And the word “business” is quite important in this context, as it refers to a registered business entity with a physical seat. When using the services offered by such a traditional entity, customers are undoubtedly quite reasonable to expect traditional support on its behalf. The same isn’t necessarily that easy when it comes to a blockchain-based algorithm, as it’s hard to imagine software hiring a support center on its own.
Of course, however, no algorithm is written by itself, and humans who build decentralized projects usually go to the effort of making the end product user-friendly, or at least usable. The internet, however, is teeming with customer service complaints targeting a multitude of other protocols, centralized and otherwise, with users stuck in lengthy email exchanges on everything from a dysfunctional referral code to blocked withdrawals. Testimonials on how deal with customer support can be difficult for crypto owners, points out a challenge that must be addressed head-on by the cryptoverse.
Why good customer support is essential
Simply put, we need to start doing better as an industry, making sure customers always know the service provider is backing them. There are a multitude of reasons for doing so.
First of all, the crypto ecosystem, as a whole, tends to operate like something reminiscent of an insider club, where the most exciting projects are built by developers for developers, in the hope that everything everyone knows what they’re doing. The problem is, however, that if the ordinary public is more and more open to get involved in crypto, the required knowledge just isn’t there. Along with a bigger push for crypto literacy, this requires better customer support put in place to accommodate instances where a customer’s crypto enthusiasm exceeds their crypto consciousness.
So there is a business case for customer support: As more and more people become interested in crypto and start investing in digital assets, it makes sense to welcome them with open hands. More investors bring more funding to projects and developers to innovate, fostering long-term growth of the entire ecosystem. Providing good customer service is simply a matter of sustaining this growth. A client who exits crypto due to an unfortunate experience with a buggy password restore form ultimately inadvertently hampers that growth, while a client who resolved this issue quickly and efficiently may also bring their friends into crypto, thus amplifying this growth.
Reputation is also at stake here, not only for specific services, but for the cryptovers itself. In recent years, crypto has achieved a staggering public relations victory. Once seen as a marginal and obscure ecosystem for hackers and criminals selling all sorts of things that shouldn’t be sold, it now serves as an asset class that large institutions line up to enter. As important as institutional membership may be, it doesn’t make sense to snub Main Street, and ordinary people looking to get into crypto should have every chance to do so with minimal headaches and maximum confidence. The money of the future must have a user experience to match.
Getting the skin in the game
The main takeaway for the industry from all the recent buzz is how important it is to make sure your users never feel like you’ve left them behind. The next logical step from there is to realize, as early as possible, that going beyond the simple aspiration to actually provide good customer service requires a significant investment.
This is where the diversity of the crypto space comes in. In this industry, you have more or less traditional centralized business entities that work alongside international groups of enthusiasts pursuing a common vision and encouraged to contribute through tokens. native. Either way, customer support should never be an afterthought. Centralized crypto projects should allocate appropriate funds for customer support upfront and ensure that support staff are provided with the resources needed to be efficient on the job.
For less conventional projects and teams, there are always ways to run tech support efficiently. The tokenomics behind any given project should include allowances for customer support as part of the assets forming the project budget. Ideally, projects should also design mechanisms to reward developers, volunteer support workers, or even regular members of the community for helping users who need help. Such tools would only help build user engagement, giving enthusiasts an additional opportunity to earn rewards for their positive contributions to the community.
The cryptoverse is already integrating itself with the mainstream, heading into a glorious future with more and more users and new use cases. He certainly doesn’t need anything that might distract potential users or hinder his progress, and one of the ways to make sure that doesn’t happen is to get the right customer support.
About the Author
Vasja Zupan is the president of Matrix, the first MTF (Multilateral Trading Facility) and custodian of virtual assets to be launched under the regulation of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market). Prior to joining Matrix Exchange, he was COO at Bitstamp, the EU’s first and oldest licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and managed the turnaround of the ailing multinational Kolektiva Group on behalf of German Rebate Networks VC.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.