Financial Services Remains a People Business: What Global Customer Relations Managers Need to Know

Financial services manager

Tom Meder, Managing Director at ViewTrade Securities explains why artificial intelligence will never be able to replace humans in driving results in the financial services industry.

It is the twenty first century, though no matter how much technology you put into the hands of your business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) clients, we cannot ignore the tremendous value of the human element in driving results.

Coming out of the pandemic, financial services remains a people business. In fact, across our industry the demand for human interaction has only increased over the past year.

Of course, over time we’ve seen human interaction for many day-to-day transactions become unnecessary. Trading, cashiering and more have all become automated. However, there is no substitute for having a live, knowledgeable person to contact when you need to fill the gaps in a process or when things inevitably do not go quite as you expected. While artificial intelligence is a powerful tool, a machine will never be capable of replacing a human in this regard.

True Measure of Quality

The true value of service is how well a service provider reacts to an issue when it arises. And the way a support platform or help desk responds when an anomaly occurs is the true measure for the quality of an institution, especially when you take into consideration the intricacies of working with clients in different countries.

Machines cannot make subjective business decisions based on history or based on the future potential of a client to build relationships. People need direct interaction to properly resolve the extraordinarily complex situations this industry can (and does) encounter.

As a Global Customer Service Representative, here are four elements you should consider in order to provide the best service:

1. Communication is critical. It must be timely, come from a knowledgeable source, and be honest. The ability to receive rapid, efficient, and competent responses to transactions, inquiries and problems is invaluable to any client. Additionally, whether you are in one office or have offices globally, taking into consideration your client’s location and time-zone is important to ensure you have representatives available during their business hours.

2. Great service will always win. Even if the commitment to great service comes at a premium to your clients, it will pay for itself in the long run. The question service providers need to ask themselves is “Do you work for yourself and your own career, or do you work for your clients?” If you work for and serve your clients, the rest will take care of itself, and you will see more client retention.

3. People make the difference. Problems these days can be heavily complex and impossible to get sorted out over email or in a chat room. Regardless of how much technology is introduced into our industry, people are required for problem resolution, fostering relationships, maintaining compliance, delivering business continuity and cultivating innovation. While English is the universal language, there will obviously be language barriers and it is imperative, as a global firm, to have service providers who are fluent in the languages of the countries you operate in to avoid confusion and accurately service their needs.

4. Human intelligence is invaluable. The experience and expertise of the service provider, especially when it comes to compliance and regulations, can help a client avoid the mistakes he or she has seen others make (which could be costly or even fatal to an entrepreneur’s lifework). This is all part of the service deliverable which benefits any client on any platform.

Ours is a relationship business and nothing replaces a knowledgeable person who is willing to help when something unprecedented occurs, a new business direction warrants discussion, or a new-found product line is launched.

About the Author

Tom Meder is Managing Director at ViewTrade Securities.

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