I’ve had a few annoying digital instances recently. The first was a request to complete one-time password verfications ...
The second was looking at my bank balance on my old bank’s app, and wondering who the hell I payed $2,000 to. It didn’t tell me anything, except a payment taken by "The Finanser Ltd", my company. Absolutely useless. I called them, spoke to the Customer Service Representative who put me through to the fraud team. That took half an hour. Then the fraud guy said do you use Wise? I said yes. We realised that I had made a $2,000 payment via Wise the other day. WHY CAN’T MY APP TELL ME THAT???
It makes you realise that our digital world is full of flaws, as we still live in a world where no-one knows whether you’re a human or a dog on the internet.
But then the biggest issue is when your internet service deletes you. LinkedIn deleted me the other day. I have no idea why or what happened, but my account was blocked and disappeared. Bear in mind, it’s an account I have held for over a decade, with 30,000 connections (the maximum allowed) and many more followers, and I’m like: WTF? Then you try to contact LinkedIn. How? They have no email or telephone number, so basically you are just blocked. Thanks guys.
I’ve used LinkedIn for more than fifteen years, and see it as my primary access and service for business. I’ve even worked with LinkedIn, and spoken at their conferences and events. So, the fact they deleted me made me feel iridescent. I started complaining on social media.
And discovered that my ban from their platform was due to an algorithm. The algorithm spotted that my web manager and personal assistant had access to the account, and so it blocked me. I am unblocked now, hopefully still, but there is an issue here. The issue is a long-term user who is happy to pay for a premium service, being blocked overnight with no right of reply.
Admittedly, as it’s LinkedIn, it’s no big deal … but imagine if this was your million-dollar bank account.
The outcome of my LinkedIn dispute turns out to be that there are multiple users accessing my account. So what? My PA and web manager have a right to access the account as, often, I don’t have the time to answer queries or contacts. However, from the user’s side, if you have no right of reply and no warning, then the service loses all trust.
Luckily, maybe due to my clout, I’m fully back on site now so yes, you can link to me on LinkedIn. Nevertheless, the problem at the core here is threefold..
First, I’m happy to have LinkedIn check the security of my account – as I would be with a bank – but to delegate that security purely to an algo is not going to support customer trust.
Second, when the algo spotted some suspicious activities on my account – my PA and web guy having access – it blocked the account without warning, delivering zero access for more than two days.
Third, when the algo blocked access, the fact that the humans took more than two days to resolve the issue left the user in limboland. There was no-one to call, email or talk to. This is the core of the issue.
If you block a customer for security reasons, that’s fine.
If you block a customer for security reasons but leave them with no right of reply, that’s not fine.
There are lessons to be learned here.
The key one is that if you leave customers in limboland for a day or two, their trust in you stops. That is the lesson I learned from being blocked by an algo from LinkedIn.
Turn this on its head. There is no real alternative to LinkedIn – if there was, I would have switched today, right now, immediately. After over fifteen years of being a premium user, the whole thing was killed by days of being blocked, with zero access or support. Now, imagine that’s your bank account. In fact, I have seen this in banking. A good example is Monzo, where customers are suddenly blocked with no reason.
You will never get the customer back.
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...