(This post was originally published in Portuguese// Confira a versão original em Português deste post)
There is an important detail about Nubank’s history that most people might not be aware of: we were born because of a terrible experience. David Vélez, our CEO, had such a terrible time trying to open a bank account in Brazil that he decided it was time to get rid of bureaucracy and deliver solutions that actually made people’s lives easier.
So, from the start, Nubank’s goal was more than just becoming a financial services company that uses technology, design and data science to build products – it was doing all that while also delivering an amazing customer experience.
The real question, however, is: how? “Customer focus” is something many companies claim to have – but how does it really work?
What is the meaning of customer focus?
Having customer focus means that all areas of the company work thinking about what is best…. For customers! Sounds obvious, but it isn’t.
Companies will frequently base their decisions on costs – which almost inevitably ends up harming customers. Of course Nubank thinks about costs too – but we will never implement changes, no matter how efficient they might seem, unless we believe they make sense to our customers.
At Nubank, customer focus begins with product development and spans all the way to customer support. Our app was built so that users can be independent and find everything they need by themselves, while also having easy access to a support team in case they need any assistance. And this team’s mission is very clear: to offer the best customer support in the world. Which prompts the question:
How to offer great customer service?
Nubank is known for offering one of Brazil’s best customer support service. While our Xpeers, our customer support team, deserve a lot of credit for this accomplishment, we also know that this results come from the entire company’s efforts. Xpeers’ work is made easier because the people who designed our products were also thinking about the customers.
Our products are fair and transparent – just as our customer support.
Overall, we achieve customer focus through three pillars: Culture, People (and Organizational Structure) and “Enchantment”. Let’s start with Culture – something that is highly valued here.
Corporate culture and customer focus
Corporate culture is like a glue that unites all different teams in a company. A strong culture helps everyone stay focused on a common goal.
Nubank’s founders drafted the company’s values back when it was still in its early days (in a small house at Rua Califórnia, São Paulo). From that initial talk came our core purpose: to fight complexity to empower people. This statement set the tone for everything that came after – which means that empowering customers has been, and always will be, at the heart of every decision Nubank makes.
Nubank’s pillar values also spanned from this core purpose – five statements to help guide all areas of the company.
Nubank’s culture pillars
- We want customers to love us fanatically
- We are hungry and challenge the status quo
- We think and act like owners
- We build strong diverse teams
- We pursue smart efficiency
The first statement is more than an ambition of ours – it’s a mission. We want to offer something so amazing that people will more than “like” our products: they will love Nubank and be fanatic about the revolution we want to make in the Brazilian market.
How does Culture become part of a company’s routine
The key here is decision-making. As mentioned before, whenever we are developing a new product, a new feature, or just changing a process, we always ask ourselves: how will this make our customers feel?
Empowering employees to always think about customers is the first defense line against making poor decisions. The second one is giving them freedom to question each other’s ideas whenever they feel the customers’ best interest weren’t prioritized. And that really happens! After all: our culture pushes people to act that way ( we think and act like owners).
Think about it: if a company’s goal is to cut costs, all teams will work towards that goal, right? People will push their coworkers to reduce spendings and make suggestions to the management team on how to meet their budgets. What happens, then, when a company’s mission is improving customers’ lives?
The answer is simple: different teams, in different areas, all working with customers in mind. And that is what happens at Nubank.
In a future post, we will discuss how People and Organizational Structure can help with these two connected challenges: applying our culture and keeping a customer focus.