The crypto market has witnessed unprecedented growth over the last couple of years. As of March 2022, the global crypto market cap value stood at over US$2 trillion ($2.74 trillion). Blockchain data platform Chainalysis also reported that Asia accounted for over 43% of global crypto activities, with 3.1% being Malaysians.
It goes without saying that crypto is a novel asset class, one of the biggest investment opportunities of the future, the fundamentals of which are difficult to grasp. And at the core of the crypto customer experience are the major exchanges globally and in Asia — Binance, Kraken, Tokocrypto, Luno and Sinegy, to name a few.
The industry is certainly witnessing exponential growth with more customers embracing crypto. Case in point: Malaysia-based Luno has seen an increase in users by 233% from 180,000 to over 600,000 in just one year.
However, the sector as a whole continues to face a major challenge of subpar customer support processes. Many cryptocurrency exchanges lack sufficient resources for customer service, which eventually affects the overall customer experience (CX) on the platform.
Rapidly developing exchanges in Southeast Asia are unable to keep up with the number of users coming on board, resulting in a gap that needs to be addressed immediately. Moreover, each customer comes with a set of unique, complex and personalised queries involving high-value transactions, making delivering consistent and elevated CX a big task.
The current regulation standpoint of crypto activities across Southeast Asia makes it difficult for exchanges to build a healthy framework. The volatile nature of crypto with no adequate support from customer service also results in poor reviews, which then affects their reputation and garners the attention of regulatory bodies.
Recent crypto scams in Asia — including one that cost a woman $1.2 million in Singapore and the “pig-butchering” scam conducted by Chinese investors — have alerted regulatory bodies to keep a watchful eye. This further accentuates the need to focus on creating an effective CX blueprint for the industry as a whole.
Customer experience for crypto
In an era where customers expect a seamless integration of services across multiple platforms, a majority of crypto ex- changes still provide basic CX support through traditional methods of communicating: phone and email, with a low response rate. More often than not, users are forced to rely on FAQs provided on crypto forums.
Moreover, engaging with more live agents for support could potentially result in higher costs, which are detrimental to growth and do not necessarily work as an advantage. This has increasingly been the reason why customer service is in a poor state within the crypto market, resulting in an industry-wide state of dysfunction.
Given the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, what is needed is a highly agile, and scalable, customer support mechanism that would be capable of resolving simple to complex customer queries. To address this gap, crypto firms are now paying attention to the needs of customers, and seriously considering the voice and chat experience — two key ingredients of a conversational AI strategy.
The way forward: Conversational AI
Under circumstances where crypto ex- changes and allied businesses need to scale fast in order to meet rising customer demands, what measures can they undertake to mitigate this challenge?
We have seen mainstream banks that adopt conversational AI able to deliver streamlined AI customer support, positively impacting customers’ experience. Being in a young and emerging finance stream, crypto exchanges could benefit from examining the success of these banks and be inspired by their CX model.
We are already witnessing crypto companies taking steps towards adopting different platforms and modes of engaging with their customers. For instance, Tokocrypto has the option of a live Facebook chat to connect with customer service in real time apart from the traditional means of email and call. Having said that, the possibilities presented by conversational AI remain largely untapped.
Powered by conversational AI, crypto exchanges can engage their customers anytime through seamless and interconnected omni-channel customer support. This elevates the crypto customer experience and enhances the real-time 24x7 support needed to gain customers’ trust and loyalty to the platform. Think about having an advanced virtual assistant that can handle customer service requests, addressing monotonous transactions like balance inquiries and password resets without having to go through the process of any downtime.
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Moreover, with time, these advanced assistants become capable of handling even more complex queries given the self-learning loop that increases their accuracy. The powerful NLP (natural language processing) engine enables them to not only understand human language but also go a step ahead and decode user intent and sentiment.
For example, when a customer asks the question, “I received a blockchain notification that my funds had been transferred from one wallet to another, but I see no change in my holdings. What does this mean?”, the dynamic conversational AI agent breaks the query into “funds had been transferred from one wallet to another” and “no change in my holdings” to understand the user intent and help them with the next course of action.
Besides that, these agents are also equipped to seamlessly escalate customer queries to live agents whenever necessary, leading to appropriate resolutions and happier customers.
Given the crypto boom in Southeast Asia, customer experience is expected to remain one of the top priorities for the industry. More so because the industry is frequently impacted by regulatory changes and market uncertainties.
A robust conversational AI strategy can help crypto exchanges effectively triage inquiries and improve the overall customer experience. Additionally, it can give a major thrust to build moments of trust with customers, which can help promote a wider adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Rashid Khan is the co-founder and chief product officer of Yellow.ai