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The colossal role CX plays in crypto

4th Jan 2022
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There are TikTok ‘time travellers’ who claim to be posting videos from the future. Their world is empty, the streets and shops have fallen to an apocalyptic silence. According to the TikTok timelords, the future is bleak but still has good Wi-Fi, electricity and even TikTok, apparently.

I am not a time traveller but let me tell you what I think the future looks like. (Whatever happens it’ll be a hell of a lot more accurate than the TikTok predictions, with fewer special effects.)

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Bitcoin is now legal tender In El Salvador, who have this month also bought a whole load more of the digital currency. If this works, and by works I mean avoids impossible obstacles from external agencies, we can quite reasonably expect more countries to follow suit and quickly look to grow digital currency within their national infrastructures. 

Experts are describing this El Salvador moment as a ‘gamechanger’. It seems that the many predictions of crypto disappearing quickly, have themselves disappeared even quicker.  

For those new to digital currency, it's weird to conceptualise at first. Removing the middleman (the bank) from a transaction process is initially jarring. But for millions of crypto users, including the nation of El Salvador, it makes perfect sense. And the process of buying currency through an exchange is also exciting. Yes the potential for making profits is endearing, but feeling a part of the crypto community is just as important. And for this community 'feeling' to get off the ground, the customer experience had to take centre stage from the off within the world of crypto. 

Digital Nirvana is a Seamless Customer Experience 

Readers of My Customer will be familiar with the worthy winners of the recent CX Leader of the Year Awards. A theme between many of the winners was the marrying up of tech and the customer journey. Innovation either holds a customer experience together, or just complicates it. And in the crypto space, unnecessary complications are never well-received within the community. Simply put, if the buying, exchanging or selling of digital currency isn’t a smooth process, crypto owners will be out of there quick-smart. 

While the customer experience across crypto has always been important, there was one area that was massively lagging behind... Tax. With crypto tax, you're faced with a new challenge to the CX, combining multiple currencies and seperate digital wallets in one simple process. When I founded Koinly, I did so because this user experience of tallying up crypto taxes was clunky, and barely a step up from a spreadsheet. With numerous new currencies available, and most people using an online 'wallet' to hold these currencies, the tax process had to be seamless. As a crypto owner myself I knew that if crypto users were inpatient with the experience of a crypto exchange, they’d be even less forgiving with a tax calculator platform. It's tax, after all.

The Cost of a Bad CX

In crypto, getting the basics of the customer experience right is paramount. I’ve seen new companies pop up in the market, offering tax calculator solutions like us at Koinly, but they don’t last long if their customer journey is unclear or doesn't provide what the customer needs in real time. This is invariably the case for physical start ups too. Another challenge for crypto brands is how to add value to the customer experience. In the gaming market, where crypto is making huge waves, it’s fairly simple to add value. Play to earn, competitions, giveaways, are all pretty straightforward. But for a tax calculator platform we had to think creatively. 

Firstly, we had to know exactly what our customer wanted. Luckily as an advocate for crypto, I was the first customer of my own company. I knew that in a new market like crypto, key facts and guidelines were vital for new customers to get up and running quickly. It wasn't long after launching in 2018 that we realised one of the ways we could add value was to offer guides that covered all things tax and crypto in a clear and understandable way. We’ve seen a huge uptake in these guides globally, (as well as a few copycats), and we've made them all free. This was non negotiable because information, particularly around tax, should be in the public domain at no cost to the individual, and written in clear terms. It was a great decision for us, as many authorities across the market use our guides religiously. Added value can play a powerful role in the customer experience.   

CX in Crypto’s Future

So what does the future look like for the new world currencies and their customer experience? We can expect innovation on how currency is purchased, to deliver a more seamless integrated journey in what can still often be an alien process. But beyond the top layer of simply purchasing and selling crypto, the world of decentralised finance will continue to open up like a digital onion. Seamless user experience is already becoming a priority for every inch of the market. In fact, seamlessness will determine which platforms sit at the front of the pack or outside of the pack completely.

What we’ve learned is that to provide a stand out CX, particularly in crypto, often it’s about getting the hell out of your own way. The same rules of customer experience in the physical world apply to the digital, even more so I would argue. What customers hate about the customer experience in a shop, they will also hate in a bad crypto experience. Clarity, incentive, seamless process, they’re old fashioned concepts but they still affect much of the profit margins of digital currency. However, none of this matters if the time travellers of TikTok are correct about armageddon. And in that scenario, we won't have money on our mind, digital or physical. 

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