Service Excellence is Key – Boost Capital, Business Moneyfacts Alternative Finance Focus
When bank finance for small businesses dried up in 2008 during the global economic slump, new online lenders stepped in to plug the gap. Like many innovations, the online alternative finance (‘altfi’) industry was born out of necessity.
Today it’s a thriving sector valued at £4.6 billion in the UK alone, according to Nesta Cambridge’s 2017 Alternative Finance Report. But the success of altfi lenders stems not just from the type of financing they provide, but how well they deliver on customer expectations. Like us, many alternative finance providers built their businesses on strong customer service.
They take pride in providing flexible funding, quick decision-making and transparent, easy-to-use processes. Their business models are designed to be more responsive, faster and simpler than those of established finance institutions. But the best altfi firms are customer-centric to their core.
Business owners – our customers – have started to expect better service and more transparency from alternative funders and are holding platforms like ours accountable. This is easy for them to do online and in public view for all the world to see. Today, service excellence is increasingly important for altfi providers, particularly in an era of market consolidation amongst established fintechs.
I was speaking recently to Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, Managing Director of online business finance marketplace Funding Options, about how putting the customer at the centre of things is driving the fintech rapid progress. He commented: “For our platform to win in this market – and this applies to anyone who wants to succeed in the altfi sphere – we must learn and iterate faster than anyone else.
Test, evaluate, adapt. Bill Gates said it best: ‘Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning’ and I believe that’s true. Never, ever take customers for granted.” Piotr Twaits, Sales Director of Synergy Commercial Finance also added “The desire to listen and strive to understand what customers want and need, then acting to improve things, should be hardwired into any successful funding operation.”
At Boost Capital, we never take customers for granted – ever. We’ve always believed that customer service is the cornerstone of our business. It’s evident in our essential servicing touchpoints – a simple application, same-day decision and fast funding – and in our high-touch customer care. We’ve made investments in data science and machine learning to improve risk profiling and expedite funding. We employ and partner with people who are committed to truly understanding a small business owner’s needs and finding the right solutions to help them thrive.
We know our customer-centric approach holds merit. The majority of our customers return to us for a second or third tranche of funding: a high level of renewal speaks volumes in this business. We also fund a wide range of small businesses in the UK that are essential to the economy, but operate in sectors that banks prefer to avoid such as retail, restaurants, beauty salons, wholesalers and hospitality businesses.
Boost Capital recently marked its fifth anniversary of lending to small businesses in the UK, and our US parent company BFS Capital celebrated its 15 years in business. We’ve built a repeatable, sustainable model in the UK, US, and Canada during varied and sometimes challenging economic cycles.
We’re proud to have established Boost Capital as a high-performing financing platform for the UK’s small business market. Five years after our launch, we no longer think of ourselves as an alternative finance provider, but instead aim to be a central financing partner for our customers, whether they need short-term funding – for working capital, to buy stock or expand their premises – or something more. Our continued success in attracting new borrowers, as well as the success of our repeat business, shows that our commitment to putting customers at the heart of the operation is the right approach.
The best altfi operators do it all, and very well. They have optimised their technology platform, they have honed the customer experience and they have established good working relationships with borrowers as well as financial intermediaries – to ensure their needs are being met, too.
“Altfi firms that wish to remain ahead in this growing industry must continue to raise the stakes with business owners, and never stop working to delight their customers.”
In this business, one can never become complacent. Altfi firms that wish to remain ahead in this growing industry must continue to raise the stakes with business owners and never stop working to delight their customers.
About Boost Capital
Boost Capital champions the long-term growth and prosperity of small businesses by providing them with timely, flexible financing solutions. Boost Capital’s leading small business financing platform leverages customised underwriting and proprietary algorithms to fund businesses in the UK, as well as in the US and Canada through its parent company BFS Capital. The company has provided more than $1.7 billion in total financing to small businesses across more than 400 industries. Boost Capital has a five star rating from Trustpilot, and has been nominated as a finalist in the 2018 Business Moneyfacts Awards for two categories: Best Alternative Funding Provider and Best Franchisee Banking Provider.
For more information visit boostcapital.co.uk or call 0800 138 9080