Is Joe Bogus a customer of yours?

Making things quick and easy is a selling point which has become more prominent in this fast paced environment we live in.

There has been a big push in recent years to make the transaction process quicker and easier for consumers across a number of industries. After all, this is good customer service which is critical for any business. Or is it?

This week has seen arrests by US law enforcement agents of senior Liberty Reserve staff in what is being called “The world’s biggest Money Laundering sting”. There are likely to be many legitimate and large financial institutions around the world that will feel the impact as the story continues to unfold.

There are many important lessons consumers and businesses around the world can learn from this. Liberty Reserve made it very easy to establish an account and transact – they made it too easy. The fact that undercover agents were able to register an account and conduct a money transfer for Joe Bogus at 123 Fake Main St in Completely made up City, New York would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

How well do you know your customers?

Striking the balance between an online and offline business model is not that easy but it is very important. At OzForex we believe we have it right with a 24 hour local call number supported by a 24-hour online dealing platform – Monday to Friday when the FX markets are open – we like to call it “Hi Tech-Hi Touch”.

Integral to the high touch part is the fact our accredited dealers place a phone call to potential clients shortly after they register online. Whilst a minority of clients would prefer not to be called and are looking for a purely online money transfer provider this is a critical part of our processes. We do this to not only ensure the very best client experience for the majority of clients, but – equally important to us – to safeguard against the risk of illegal activity.

Businesses with a strong focus on making the on-boarding of new clients and ongoing transactions easier should not lose sight of the importance of knowing your customer. This is critical for a few reasons:

1.         It’s good customer service to actually listen to your customer’s needs – it provides a better overall client experience

2.         Really listening to your customers can help you grow the business in many ways (new products, services and improvements with existing ones)

3.         Understanding the customer’s need can help protect your business from several risks such as financial loss, reputational risk, and legal and compliance risk amongst others

Communication methods

“Customer engagement” has become the buzz phrase for businesses; in essence this means having dialogue with your clients. In recent years the mechanisms for this type of dialogue have evolved to the point where many of the discussions are taking place electronically (Twitter, Facebook etc).

There are many benefits to this approach. However I believe there is still room for a good old fashioned phone call, as there really is no better way to really understand your client’s needs and build rapport whilst minimising some of the risks along the way.

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