I am no technology expert. As much as I love it and have built a good business doing it—if you ask many who know me—I am one of the last people that would become friends with a computer. For those asking how I got into the technology business, it was not due to want, need, or to become more customer agnostic, but to become more customer-centric.
My journey to building a technology company centered on how we could scale a company while keeping the experience intimate. My first entrance and realization to this tech world happened when our first contract developer said we could not have a phone number. He told me it's not "cool" to have a phone number as a tech company. Reluctantly I agreed to go this route – after all, he was the expert – but here was my problem with it. 99% of the time, when you enter a chat, there is either an annoying bot that has too much to learn to be a customer's first interaction, or better yet, an offline message that goes unanswered.
So, my first dilemma was how do we maintain customer service levels of what I was always accustomed to and would not waiver from, and not be able to “talk” to people regularly.
So here presented my first dilemma: How do we maintain the customer service level to which I was already accustomed, without wavering from the ability to talk to people regularly? Specifically, how do you properly service a client through technology?
There have been many awkward conversations with advisors, clients, and sometimes other providers when we get to the now-infamous question – why don't you guys have a phone number?
A few years back, a Calgary advisor firmly told us we would not live up to their customer service standards without a phone number. Two months later, she sent an email stating she was wrong, and on the contrary, we provide the best customer service in the industry. So, how did that happen?
I am always better at telling a story rather than justifying my existence, so here it is.
In the first months of Covid, my wife and I were at a friend's house one evening having way too much wine, and we were looking for some food. We called a local Smokehouse as ribs, chicken, and fries were on all of our minds. We called and ordered delivery. After an hour, we called to ask for an update. The problem was we weren’t the only ones who ordered that night during a pandemic, and apparently, half of Calgary did as well – you could NOT get through on the phone.
I took a flyer and sent a message on Facebook to them. Within 30 seconds, Taylor, who worked there, answered my request and promptly got our food delivered. I don’t remember the person's name I called and ordered from. However, I do remember Taylor from their Facebook chat who promptly fixed the problem. They sent me a message a bit later to ensure we were happy and got our food. I don’t call that a digital experience, but I call that incredible customer service. In the busiest time, that restaurant had Taylor to attend to me, as if I was their only customer.
We use chat as a method to provide exceptional customer service, and that is the truth. We did not want you to be waiting for some agent on a 1-800 number, asking you for an ID number, and having NO idea who you are with one purpose to get you off the phone. Phone numbers and call centers are hard to operate, as you either have too many people or never enough. Nobody likes 20-minute holds – let's face it. The only way to correct this is to hire too many people, and the issue with that is regardless of how well you train them, they still sound like a call center.
At myHSA, we use our chat as our primary form of communication. However, I don't think there is a person you could talk to that would call us hard to get a hold of. It allows us to provide service to you like Taylor provided service to me – like I was the only customer. If you are in chat, you'll either be talking to myHSAD (Danielle), myHSAJ (Justine), myHSAT (Tracy), myHSAS (Sally), or even in the NOT very rare case myHSA1 (which is me). You are never talking to robots. I can assure you we are all here listening, caring, and wanting to make your experience with myHSA exceptional.
myHSA Founder & CEO