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Holvi Streamlines Customer Support for Freelancers and Small Businesses Using Its New Chat Function

Philipp Seidel
Philipp Seidel, Head of PR bei Holvi

“Time is money,” the old saying goes, and nowhere is that sentiment more keenly felt than in the world of freelancers and small businesses . Business owners juggle financial matters alongside the many other day-to-day tasks that come with operating a business.

So when a business banking customer is having issues accessing their accounts or problems handling their money, timely customer support is critical, said Philipp Seidel, Head of PR for Holvi, a BBVA New Digital Businesses portfolio company.

To balance its customers’ pressing needs with the capabilities of a lean customer support team, Holvi began thinking of ways to streamline and simplify its support processes. The answer: adding online support chat, which officially launched in late November 2019.

Customer support ‘triage’

Historically, live support representatives have spent an average of 10 minutes with each customer by phone or email, according to Elina Räsänen, Holvi’s vice president of marketing and communications.

“We’re dealing with complex matters related to finance — that means some support can never be automated,” Räsänen said.

That said, the online chat introduces a sort of triage system for customer support, allowing customer support to focus on tickets that require more hands-on assistance. The chat function and help center — and, in the future, a chatbot — relieves some of the pressure on the customer support team.

“Pushing traffic to chat enables us to teach customers to help themselves,” Seidel said. “It gives them hints to look up answers to the most frequently asked questions.”

A secure digital support platform

PSD2’s introduction of Strong Customer Authentication requires two-factor authentication for many banking operations, including base-level online account access. With that in mind, Holvi’s live chat, which is built on Zendesk’s platform, is an option only for customers who have logged into their accounts using SCA.

When users log in, they have secure, direct access to customer self-service through a small button on their screen to help address their most immediate questions.

Learning from a soft launch

Holvi’s chat function officially launched in late November, after several weeks of beta testing. This period of time, where select users were able to trial the chat functionality, gave the customer support team time to learn the software as well as build “macros,” or prewritten sequences of text that provide an automatic response to certain questions from customers. Beta testing was invaluable as a learning phase, Seidel said.

“The soft launch helped us build guidelines and processes,” he said. “There are some frequently issues that have come up and given us an idea of what’s important when helping our customers.”

To date, the chat functionality’s testing phase has been about learning. Customers give feedback after their chat interaction using the Net Promoter Score, as well as a simple question: “How did you like the contact with your agent?”

“We’ll start collecting more metrics when we’re in a wider launch — likely in the next six months,” Seidel said.

In the future, Holvi will measure its chat’s effectiveness by the following KPIs:

  • Reaction time
  • Quantity of customers served
  • Quality of service (per customer ratings and NPS)

Staying human, no matter the platform

Holvi was started by entrepreneurs who understand the challenges of running a small business. That’s why no matter how they interact with Holvi — and no matter what their issue — every customer will feel like a human rather than a number on a ticket.

“Whether our customers are interacting with a human or an interactive chat window, it should feel like you’re talking to someone who understands your issue — not a robot,” Räsänen said. “We try to use easy, understandable language and simplify complex financial matters whenever possible.”
Some customer issues will be too complex for Holvi’s helpdesk or chat function to tackle — and others may be too complex to handle in a single phone call or email. That’s where it becomes crucial to keep the human factor top of mind.

“Our goal is to keep communicating with our customers,” Räsänen said. “We will always let customers know that their issue is going to get solved, no matter how difficult the matter is.”

To learn more about Holvi, visit


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