Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Stratos Connected Card Start-Up Gets High Marks for Customer Experience Satisfaction

July 01, 2015

There is an old saying that, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  However, in the mission critical area of improving the customer experience that is now at or near the top of C-level priority lists around the world, that phrase could be altered to, “A new dog can teach an old dog new tricks.” A good example of this comes from Ann Arbor, Michigan-based next generation mobile payment solutions company Stratos, Inc., with the announcement that it has maintained a consistent 93 percent satisfaction rate among customers for its “white glove” support, since it launched in March.

Stratos is the creator of the Stratos Bluetooth Connected Card, which consolidates an unlimited number of credit, debit, loyalty, membership and gift cards into a single, smart, dynamic card that digitizes the wallet. You may wish to spend some time looking into this solution as the mobile payments market and the best way to accelerate its adoption leveraging wearable devices is one of the hottest areas of interest in all of tech.  That said, what they are doing in terms of customer engagement provides some lessons for start-ups and legacy solutions providers alike.

Full customer engagement from the start

Based on the importance of attracting and keeping customers satisfied in a world where companies do not get a second chance to make a first impression, Stratos is noteworthy as one of the very few start-ups in the tech field that since launch has provided customers with the ability to have live chat, email, phone and social media support. 

The company’s U.S.-based customer care staff is available by live chat, phone, email, Web form, and social networking sites from 9am-9pm Eastern Standard Time, 7 days a week.  Stratos believes this makes them unique in the burgeoning wearable device/mobile payments sector as their hours of support are longer than most and they provide “much broader support touchpoints than any other wearable or mobile payment offering.”

"Our vision is to build long-term relationships with our card members,” said Thiago Olson, Stratos CEO. “This involves both continuously delivering innovative payment solutions and always being on the ready when our members need support. We’ve made it a priority to be available.”

Numbers that are food for thought

In regards to how a start-up has achieved such outstanding customer satisfaction, below are some numbers from their customer care department that are informative on several fronts:

  • Customers are most likely to make inquiries via live chat (33 percent)
  • Email is the second preferred mode of contact (25 percent)
  • However, customers are increasingly turning to social media, with inquiry rates via Twitter (13 percent) and Facebook (8 percent) and climbing.

Analysis of interactions, proving the urgency of companies to become omni-channel, showed that customers are also using the automated Web form (13 percent) and mobile SDK (7 percent) as ways to communicate with Stratos.

In addition, when it comes to why customers interact, at least in Stratos’ case pricing and membership features are the top searches, followed by inquiries specific to their product offering regarding chip and pin technology, battery life and shipping or availability.

Wearables and payment options

What is also noteworthy aside from general customer experience data is some additional Stratos research that should be of more than passing interest for readers looking for insights about the mobile payments market.  This includes:

  • Nearly 50 percent of U.S. smartphone users prefer to pay with a digital all-in-one card over any other wearable device
  •  76 percent of U.S. smartphone users are interested to very interested in using a smart card.
  •  1 in 4 consumers are interested in paying with a Stratos card combined with their smartphones.

And, while anecdotal given the nascent nature of the unified credit card/wearable payments market, Stratos also provided information about their own early competitive experiences. 

For example, when asked which next generation payment consumers were interested in using, 23 percent chose the Stratos card, while others chose a combination of Apple Pay and the Stratos Card (14 percent) or Samsung Pay and the Stratos Card (13 percent). Other popular choices include:  Apple Pay (33 percent),  Apple Pay for Apple Watch (12 percent) and  Samsung Pay for Android (24 percent).

The key findings here for achieving high customer satisfaction are worth reiterating.  Put simply they are “availability” of skilled people with great visibility of the customer journey in order to be responsive in real-time and “omni-channel support.” Those are lessons you can literally and figuratively take to the bank.

Finally, if wearable tech is an area of interest, a great place to catch up on industry buzz is the Wearable Tech Expo being held August 17-20, 2015 is at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.   

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino