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Crypto Customer Service Growing Pains – What’s the Antidote?

Customer service6 MIN READFeb 22, 2022

Klaus crypto


While it seems like cryptocurrency is paving a road ne’er before traveled, this isn’t true in every respect. Although striking renegade financial ground, the industry bares many similarities to other hypergrowth companies. But crypto has suffered worse press when it comes to customer service. 

Coinbase was condemned for a poor response after users lost thousands of dollars; Binance & Kraken have not escaped the wrath of bad reviews either. 

Time to mop up the damage. 

Robinhood added 24-hour support after negative reviews and launched an on-demand service to handle criticisms for their slow response time. But as a whole, crypto companies need to do a lot, and fast, to keep up with the adoption rate.

Klaus crypto

Pains in the Blockchain

No longer on the financial fringes, crypto is becoming a defined asset in many investment portfolios. Over 8% of Americans now own some amount of crypto – a number set to grow.

But with growth spurts comes growing pains.

1. Regulation

As opportunities evolve, so does regulation: regulators don’t want to unnecessarily stifle financial digitization, but as it gains ground they need to mitigate risks for economic protection. And for user protection. 

“Due to the specific characteristics and risk profile of crypto-assets, the information obligation should apply to crypto-assets transfers, regardless of the value of the transfer.”

EU’s report on anti money laundering proves their unwillingness to make exception for even small-time investors – a decision crypto companies are less enthused by. 

This means, for many crypto companies, that onboarding new customers is troubled terrain. For customers, the appeal of crypto is often that it is free from the ties that bind traditional banking. But this appeal wanes when the compliance processes are still as lengthy. It’s customer service teams who are often left to assuage customers. 

cryptocurrency regulation

This is a road many fintech companies have similarly had to weather. Browse through Wise, Revolut, and Starling to find extensive help centers with carefully constructed FAQs to guide users through the initial headaches of compliance. 

Our Benchmark Survey report showed that 85% of customer service teams offer proactive help to relieve the burden of repetitive questions for their support team. Keeping an up-to-date knowledge base warning customers of current compliance procedures is crucial to protect crypto customer service teams from being overworked. 

2. Education

Customer support in these realms is not just about troubleshooting. The ever-developing landscape of crypto makes education a constant. 

Hordes want to jump aboard the fast-moving bandwagon, but are unsure how. Support teams have the fun of bridging the gap between knowledge and desire.

A damning piece, wonderfully researched by Kimberly Gedeon, tested the mettle of four of the biggest players in crypto – Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, and Kraken – and found their support centers severely lacking when she posed even basic questions to their support teams. Knowledge bases were not optimized across jurisdictions, and backup support fell short. 

Developing a quality assurance program earlier in the day is a shortcut to avoiding these pitfalls. Only well-trained, educated customer support agents can educate customers. 

“I’d suggest starting a QA program in the early stages of your team, even if it’s a small one! This would leave time and space to define what is important for your customers, and establish standards from the get-go.”
Elif Koral, Head of Customer Experience at Livestorm

Read more: How to manage your customer service quality.

3. Hiring

Unfortunately, the intention is only half the battle. Even for crypto customer service teams that strive to meet customer demand, the supply of willing and able support reps is not plentiful. 

A unique challenge for crypto is that employees still don’t see crypto as a secure enough environment in which to work. 

Marco: hiring for customer service crypto

Bitcoin’s volatility makes headlines more than its success: “Cryptocurrencies tumble” cries CNN, “Bitcoin continues to bleed” from The Economic Times, and cautions the “Crypto price plummets”. 

These news sites aren’t lying – but skepticism should also be taken with sprinkles of salt. Where fiat is on rocky ground, cryptocurrencies are proving the more secure option:

  • Cryptocurrency is proving a lifeline in nations of economic instability – Lebanon, Venezuela, and Ukraine in particular. 
  • Eric Adams – New York City’s newly elected mayor – is accepting his first paychecks in Bitcoin. He also has ambitions to make the city a crypto capital.
  • Google is making moves to insert itself more solidly into the realm of financial services, including fintech and cryptocurrencies. 

Crypto is not about to disappear, but support representatives are less eager on the uptake than customers. 

So how can crypto companies attract customer support talent?

Some are forced to solve the matter by offering much higher salaries than their counterparts. Others, like CoinTracker, are looking instead for seasonal workers to stem the gap when free coin campaigns overload existing teams. 

The wave that companies have to inevitably ride is that of time.

crypto customer service

It might be a while before crypto can expand without offering higher incentives to support agents – but, to pardon an oft used expression in this arena, the job seekers who are getting in now are the early birds catching the worms. Their skills working in crypto customer service are easily transferable to fintech and traditional financial services. 

The fact remains that crypto investments continue to beat the stock market by no small margins. 

Takeaway tips for struggling crypto teams: 

  • Keep extensive, up-to-date help centers which explain compliance procedures. 
  • Set up a QA program to find out where your team has knowledge gaps. 
  • Value and invest in your customer service reps so you can avoid high turnover.

Learn more: Listen to our podcast with Clemens Behrend for insider advice for crypto companies on outsourcing, AI, creating a customer community, and more. 

Written by

Grace Cartwright
Grace is perpetually working on a self-help book entitled ’Where Did I Put My Keys?’. In her free time, she writes for Klaus.

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