Featuring Customer Experience Aficionado: Carol Richardson
What makes you a FinTech expert?
Throughout my career in enterprise software – having worked for some of the largest software companies as well as with innovative start-ups – I have had the privilege of working with many of the largest Financial Institutions around the world helping them define and implement state of the art technology solutions in a secure environment – from implementing the first web-based solution for retail and commercial banking, to implementing the first generation workflow solution for home relocation services and document management (winning an industry best award), to providing data security for sensitive information in the cloud for mission critical banking solutions. I continue to enjoy working with businesses, large and small, to help them achieve their aspirations through the application of innovative solutions.
What is the current trend in your area of expertise that people should pay attention to?
There is a substantial shift underway in the world of loyalty programs and customer strategy. Loyalty programs are becoming much more sophisticated to include omnichannel and multichannel programs that recognize the customer for every interaction helping to personalize and customize the experience. New technological developments in artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots, machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR) provide opportunities for uniquely innovative solutions and services driving customer loyalty. The customer wants choice and they want programs that matter in some way – it needs to touch the soul. Loyalty programs that seamlessly integrate the use of technology while not replacing the need for human interaction will create the desired customer experiences and be able to evolve at a rapid pace to keep up with these evolving expectations. New opportunities are being created across the ecosystem as new strategic partnerships are formed further offering the customer the choice, flexibility, and experiences they are looking for at any time, any place, and any means. The new business reality relies on the creation of a customer experience/engagement program – with a measurement framework – to create and measure attitudinally loyal customers aligned to the strategic drivers of the business. Those companies that develop a customer experience/engagement model providing their customers with a highly differentiated customer experience will be the ones who are successful at beating the competition, achieving profitable growth, and creating a loyal customer base, for their business. I have always believed customer engagement programs, done right, are at the centre of the business strategy – they are not a nice to have, but a must have.
Why do you love FinTech?
I have always been attracted to FinTech as it has such a massive impact on the way we do business and how we live our lives. Although innovation has been a constant feature of the industry, the speed at which we innovate is even faster now and more exciting than ever. FinTech is in transition with new players challenging “old” ways of doing business and established players bringing important credentials to the table; it is this intersection of the new learning from the old as much as the old learning from the new that makes FinTech so interesting. I love helping to bridge and transform these worlds by leveraging the right business and technology solution allowing all players in the ecosystem to achieve outcomes previously unattainable. I love helping Canadian companies, large and small, accelerate their innovation agenda to compete and lead on the global stage.
Why did you join the Fintech Growth Syndicate’s Industry Best team?
I was drawn to working with a group of experts with such deep industry expertise who are driven by a mutual desire to share, collaborate, help each other and FGS’s clients accelerate their innovation portfolios in order to compete and achieve previously unimaginable things. It’s a privilege to work with Sue Britton who is an inspiration in every way reminding me that you can be a good person and do good work at the same time.