I consider it an indicator of how my weekend has gone if I have my weekend to do list accomplished, and dinner prepared by the time that 60 Minutes begins at 7pm on Sunday. I pulled it off this weekend.
The May 1 show had a segment about financial technology revolution (FinTech for short) – the supplanting of some traditional bank services and their arcane processes with new apps and websites. FinTech has received $20 Billion in investments since the financial crisis of 2008.
The two men featured in Lesley Stahl’s story are brothers who founded the company Stripe, Patrick and John Collison. They created a business around an ecommerce tool that allows online stores to process credit card transactions.
60 Minutes suddenly had my rapt attention. I had just used Stripe a couple of days before to setup an online store for the Digital Wrap Conference (more about that to come). Patrick Collison walked Lesley Stahl through how to use the platform. What she discovered is that in 5 minutes of setup, and after copying-and-pasting some code on a website, that she was now ready to start taking online orders. Which was exactly my experience using Stripe the week before. I was thrilled with how easy it was (for someone who lies on the technical spectrum somewhere in the middle between Mom and Brian Smithwick) to set up a secure online store.
“One sector of our economy after the next is being disrupted by new apps and websites”
— Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes, May 1, 2016
Stripe was started four years ago because the traditional process to get a credit card processing account required visiting a bank, filling out forms, submitting an application, awaiting a review and approval, then further waiting for account setup. It was completely out of line with the way that business was happening online. Furthermore, the banking crisis demonstrated that the system and its processes didn’t work. The Collisons found a problem in need of an online solution.
What Stripe did, and what my experience with Stripe proved, is that they put control in the customer’s hands. They created a convenient, efficient, online experience. They integrated with other online technologies through their open APIs… this sounds a lot like a Digital Wrap.
A Digital Wrap in BANKING?
Banking! Think about that. If you had to name sectors where you’re likely to hear “that’s just how we do it,” banking, medical and real estate have to top the list. So learning that thousands of companies in FinTech are peeling off one profitable service after another, and typically offering them for less than the banks, tells us that every sector of the economy will eventually be going through its own revolution. It has already happened in retail, hotel and taxi services. Please don’t think that your services will be any different.
Where Service Companies and Banks Share Challenges
• Stop with the inefficiencies.
I like what Patrick Collison said about this: “It will take a while to adjust, but when you think about the creativity of people, and what they’re capable of, and the aspirations and dreams that they have, the idea that they’re not capable of anything more than performing more than these sort of clerical tasks, I don’t believe that for a second.”
The inefficiencies that techs and admins battle are what brings most companies to ServiceTrade. It’s the biggest pain they see in their daily operations. Solving these inefficiencies frees your staff from clerical tasks to focus on customer service.
• Tear down the barriers in your service delivery.
The 60 Minutes story quoted a survey factoid that millennials would rather go to the dentist than to the bank. They become frustrated with the time it takes to get to the brick and mortar location, and the inefficient processes once they get there.
These millennials will be your customers in the next 5-10 years. As the Collisons did to create their own ecommerce system to circumvent the bank, people will find the path of least resistance to solve their problems. It seems wise for you to build that into your business, instead of forcing them to find it from another. Where can you make it easier for your customers to do business with you?
• Move more customer service online.
Give customers a website where they can learn if you can do what they need. Make it easy for them to request your services online. And give them a good place to validate the value of your services after the job.
Don’t let your service business be one of the last to join the online revolution. You don’t have to use ServiceTrade to do it, but we would be happy to help you if you did. The book The Digital Wrap: Get out of the truck and go online to own your customers explains how. Pick it up from Amazon today.