Inside the team, supporting your crypto journey.

If you’ve only got a team of seven people, one thousand daily customer requests can get overwhelming. On top of that, when you’re dealing with other people’s money, attentive and timely service becomes a very sensitive matter. And the bigger the demand for crypto gets, the harder it becomes to keep up with the flow of users. 

In Mercuryo, we try to maintain a balance in all our business processes, and yet support always comes first. On the course to becoming one of the leading global payment networks, we’ve seen the journey getting tricky. From entering new markets to joining forces with various cryptocurrency enterprises – it only gets busier, and the trick is to be well-prepared. 

How it Started and How’s It Going

A year and a half ago, our customer support team was just a humble union of three hard-working professionals. Although Mercuryo wallet – one of our key products at that time – was gaining traction, high tech support traffic was mainly generated by the market leaps. Then we integrated with Binance and other top crypto market players, and the number of support requests exponentially increased. 

Dedicated to taking care of our partners’ customer support issues, we hired and trained more people. The goal was to prepare them to independently answer 100 daily requests – a “slightly underrated” benchmark minimum. The perfect candidates have demonstrated a greater sense of logic, intelligence structure, communication skills, and empathy. Those who got to make the cut were heading straight to the month-long onboarding procedures. 

Fun fact: 100% of Mercuryo’s customer service assistants don’t stay on the job for too long. But staff turnover has nothing to do with this. All the frontline workers get promoted to senior positions and even switch departments within one year. 

During the first month in Mercuryo, the “newbies” join our customer support school and work in tandem with an experienced colleague. Before they start working on their own, they need to pass the final test to qualify for the job. And that’s usually only the start of their road in Mercuryo.

When it comes to classifying the types of customer support, they are usually divided into four main levels: copy&paste, community manager, developer, and tester. We figured that answering questions by copying info from the help articles, as well as being active and friendly but lacking deep knowledge of the product won’t work for Mercuryo.

At the same time, developer-level tech support can be pretty confusing and not always effective, while tester-type support seemed like the best option. Originally, we planned that someone from the testing department will lead the tech support team. But the exact opposite happened: our support team assistants have started growing into testers. And that became a trend.

Nearly all of our support assistants are being regularly promoted – from project to account managers and QA testers. If someone wants to try themselves in a certain area, they are encouraged to do so. Team members with extended knowledge of the product have endless possibilities. In fact, the head of Mercuryo’s customer support department, Emil Yarusov, has climbed the career ladder in just a year starting as an entry-level employee. Career development in Mercuryo’s support team is not a vague possibility but an ongoing process. That’s why we often refer to it as a talent-factory.

How We Work and Handle It All

Our customer support team works in two shifts. The main support channel is the Intercom-powered chat available on the Mercuryo wallet app and the website. Unlike the majority of exchanges, we’ve chosen to offer our users a live chat experience. This way we keep our median response time at only 2.5 minutes as opposed to hours of waiting on the platforms that use the ticket system. And we also serve customers via the partners’ support chats.

Mercuryo doesn’t use social media as an additional support channel. Not only is it irrational from the business processes building point of view, but also goes against the PCI-DSS standards. To process a request, a user’s data is required, and the only way we can share it is via secured channels. On our Telegram – we’ve got two support groups there, English and Russian ones – if the case cannot be solved without personal data transmission, we ask a user to continue the conversation in our original chat. 

If the issue doesn’t require any interference from other departments, it must be closed within an hour. Cases that require the help of the technical team, testers, or compliance and risk departments can take longer.  

On an average day, assuming that everything works fine without extraordinary market events, we aim at one person processing no more than a hundred daily requests. Realistically, that doesn’t happen too often. For example, in February, the average day meant 700 requests, while the busiest periods could rise to 1200 daily customers. Realizing that it is physically impossible for our assistants to solve over a hundred cases per shift, we hired more people.

On the bright side, lots of requests are typical, so saved replies and a thoroughly composed knowledge base and help center work great for speeding the response time. Mercuryo knowledge base is being put together by the most experienced members of the support team while working with the customers. And we know for a fact that our customers are reading and using knowledge base regularly. According to analytics, in February, more than 20,000 people visited our help center, while 16,000 people reached out to the support team directly.  

The Obstacles

When you’re picturing a perfect customer support team, what is the most important thing that comes to mind? Emil Yarusov thinks that it’s a synergy of solutions that matters. “There’s no such thing as a silver bullet,” – says Emil. “We need to make sure that customers don’t leave frustrated and concerned. Even if we haven’t found the solution yet, we have to put maximum effort into every case and take care of everyone. Well-organized communication between departments matters tremendously too. I’d say that customer support is somewhat the projection of the company in general, so we have to make sure our work transcribes Mercuryo’s main principles.”

Having limited resources is one of the greatest challenges. Still, at the end of the day, it cultivates professionals who can turn a frustrated first-time customer into a regular client completely satisfied with the service. We’ve had many cases like that, and they are usually the ones we are especially proud of.

Workflow overload is also a common problem in the customer support space. And when you deal with cryptocurrency networks, it only gets tougher. From system bugs to network errors and market surprises – anything can go wrong, and your assistants have to be prepared. 

To fight overload we encourage our teammates to communicate their problems and shower them with benefits. In addition to regular vacation days, all the employees get a week of additional days off – so whenever they feel like taking a break and storming off into the wild, they can do so and reboot the system. Or if they prefer to hop on a plane and spend their vacation doing yoga by the beach, Mercuryo can also get it covered.    

The Bottom Line

Despite the obstacles, Mercuryo’s customer support team is expanding and adjusting to ever-growing traffic. For instance, since we’re actively exploring African markets, we’ve hired a remote team member from Nigeria and planning on employing another assistant from Kenya. We believe it is crucial that our support team members are well aware of the situation in the local market and can talk to users in the same language. This way we level up our support and can help faster and more efficiently.  

One of the main goals we have to address is speeding the response time and optimizing the assistants’ workflow: reducing the number of requests per person while automating the processes that can be automated. And while doing so, continue improving the product. 

Another serious issue comes with negative feedback. Not only is it unavoidable, but every time the Bitcoin price rises, more users join the crypto space. Understandably, not everyone figures crypto out straight away and some people aren’t too happy about it. The only thing we can do about it – is working through the bad reviews and make sure to deliver an outstanding user experience.