Human-Plus-Digital: Solving the Customer-Centric Equation

Human-Plus-Digital: Solving the Customer-Centric Equation

C-Suite BluePrint: Decoding Digital Transformation

Cybersecurity should concern every American business, from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop shops.

The exponential progress of technological innovation raises the question — Where do people fall in the human-plus-digital equation?

How do we quantify human effort in the new age of regenerative AI?

Alfred Nader, President - North America at OFX, believes it’s as important as ever for companies to invest in their human infrastructure if they want to promote a genuine customer-centric culture.

Alfred talked with us about:

  • Answering the human-plus-digital equation
  • The overcommunication paradox
  • Digital transformation amidst economic uncertainty

Human-Plus-Digital: Solving the Customer-Centric Equation

“We’ve invested in our human infrastructure… If our employees are happy, we’re going to have happy clients.” — Alfred Nader

The human-plus-digital problem has only become more convoluted in 2023.

The pandemic opened many of our eyes to what was possible as companies empowered their employees with exciting technology.

And then, everything changed on November 30, 2022, with the public launch of ChatGPT.

Only a few months later, the perception of digital innovation in several industries has morphed from fascinated curiosity to wary vigilance.

According to a Goldman Sachs report, AI clients could eliminate as many as 300 million jobs worldwide over the next ten years.

Yet despite the potential repercussions in the workforce, Alfred pointed out that tech companies must continue innovating to survive.

“You need to invest in digital,” he said. “Everyone has a smartphone. Every single person wants to be able to do things as they’re waiting in line for lunch.”

However, the folks at OFX have committed to investing in human relationships because, as Alfred said, a solid tech strategy isn’t enough. At the end of the day, people care about authentic engagement with other people.

“As our client population grows, we continue to hire more people,” Alfred said. “Our clients are happy because we’re there when they need us.”

So how does OFX leadership measure the return on their human investment? According to Alfred, their incredible client retention rate speaks for itself.

“The easiest way is for us to look at our back book of clients,” he stated. “The proof is in the data.”

OFX has built a customer-centric culture by prioritizing employee satisfaction, and Alfred says that doesn’t start with adding ping pong tables to the break room.

“Show actual concern about their life and their professional development and the benefits that they receive and their work-life,” he said. “They’re going to remember that, and they’re going to stay with you.”

Overcommunication: Sharing is Caring

“If someone says they don’t know what’s happening, then we need to fix that. The easiest way to do that is to overcommunicate.” — Alfred Nader

Keeping a team grounded during customer contacts can be difficult, especially in a global company like OFX that’s handling international currency exchanges.

So how does Alfred ensure everyone on his staff is on the same page?

“I believe in overcommunication,” Alfred told us. “When you think you’re communicating enough, you’re not.”

Of course, Alfred and his people appreciate the magnitude of managing their clients’ transactions and protecting them from bad actors. That means following up on any interactions that don’t pass the smell test.

“In our industry, there’s a lot of fraudsters out there. I love celebrating when we’re able to catch a fraudster.”

Alfred’s philosophy on overcommunication doesn’t stop at customer support. He believes many new employees are doomed to fail because their businesses don’t train them to understand what qualifies as quality work output.

“One of our new employees in Toronto told me, ‘This was the best onboarding experience I ever had because, on my first day, I had recordings of calls showing me what good sounded like.’”

After adding regular leadership team meetings and engagement surveys to the mix, Alfred has ensured everyone shares the same vision.

“It’s crystal clear, and there’s no ambiguity on what direction we’re going in.”

Leaning Into Uncertainty

“You can never stop innovating because the moment you stop is when Ubers appear and destroy industries.” — Alfred Nader

OFX leadership has drawn up a roadmap for future innovation in their human-plus-digital journey, but they may have to get over a few bumps along the way. 

For instance, despite their standing as a global leader in the payment services business, OFX hasn’t been immune to the fallout from recent banking and crypto exchange failures.

“When we’re in financial services, we get put into groups,” Alfred said. “We don’t touch crypto in any way, shape, or form, but it’s the same license. It’s a money services business license.”

Current events may make some potential clients apprehensive, but Alfred says their brand’s mission is the same.

“My job is to make sure all of my clients are able to do their job in a productive and efficient way,” he said. “We’re talking about automating manual processes and local clearing networks so that money can get there faster and cheaper.”

And he’s optimistic that international governing bodies will also step up and help out their globetrotting citizens through technological contributions.

“As more countries evolve and invest in their payment infrastructure… our clients are going to see the effect of that,” Alfred said.

No matter the ups and downs on the world stage, Alfred is confident they can ride out any storm.

“We’re a 25-year-old company. We are here for the long run. Our strategy doesn’t shift with the wind.”

Consistency is the Answer

By staying true to their customer-centric culture no matter the circumstances, Alfred and his OFX colleagues have found their solution to the human-plus-digital “problem.”

“We’re very clear with our investors and with our team on what our strategy is. Even during the pandemic, we kept moving forward, and we grew,” Alfred said.

No matter how much OFX or other brands invest in their digital frameworks, it’s authentic human relationships that will always drive positive outcomes.   

Craving more? You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to C-Suite Blueprint on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

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