By Dorota Nosal-Butler, Head of Customer Enablement at Tuum
For several years, fintech has been one of the best-funded and fastest-growing sectors in the startup world. But breaking through the barrier of initial growth to create sustainable scaling is challenging – especially in a tough, complex, and established ecosystem such as banking and finance.
Creating robust Customer Success (CS) teams is vital at this point. It ensures customers are onboarded effectively and solutions are created to best suit their needs, but also gives direct insights into customer feedback. For any fintech wanting momentum, having these insights is invaluable to feed into product improvement and innovation.
Fostering these teams and readying them for periods of intense growth isn’t always easy, but there is a playbook.
Here are three lessons I can share from nearly a decade leading fintech implementation projects and CS teams:
1. Knowledge is power
CS teams can often lack specialisms or depth of knowledge, focusing purely on relationship management. But in fintech, this can quickly create challenges and frustration for customers if the team isn’t able to engage meaningfully on business, technical and operational challenges.
Teams need to be structured with cross-functional experts that can cover all aspects of the product and relationship with the customer. This means when implementation teams are partnered with subject matter experts on the customer side who are familiar with their business, products, and processes, it’s a perfect match. Both sides can engage in a proper conversation and ensure that customer needs are properly met, and any challenges are understood and resolved. Knowledge = meaningful conversation = maximum value.
This structure also provides a solid foundation as the business expands into new functions and adapts to changing customer needs. Investing in proper training and coaching for teams is powerful and easily makes a return.
2. You guessed it – agility!
Okay, admittedly ‘agility’ often goes without being said in the fintech and start-up world, but it is worth underlining what that means for the teams that are leading implementation projects, not just those pushing the boundaries in R&D.
Being agile as a CS team means you can start with any set of requirements and work in collaboration with the client to configure the system to meet them. And, as those requirements change or new requirements come up, you repeat the process: analyse, configure, test, adapt. Building agility into all your training, documentation and discussions with the CS team can ready your team to face and keep facing whatever’s thrown at them.
We talk a lot about product and technical expertise in the fintech space, but where CS teams really make a difference is in relationships. I’ve overseen dozens of SaaS core banking implementations in my time and the most successful by far are those where every member of the CS team feels an extension of the customer’s team.
Ultimately, it’s not about implementing as quickly and efficiently as possible, it’s about taking a consultative approach and working with the customer to maximise their success. When they grow, we grow.
Caveat – consultative doesn’t mean always agreeing to the customer’s requests. Often, consultative means pushing back on requests where it makes sense and having conversations to work towards solutions that work for both sides. Teams require constant mentoring to be able to do this effectively – there is an art to disagreeing for sure!
Ultimately, the goal of CS teams is to be so good it does our sales and marketing too, with customers becoming our advocates. We cannot underestimate the nuances of the fintech and banking space, and investing properly in a team that can make customers feel seen, heard, and confident makes unstoppable momentum.
Get in touch to find out more.