ATMs were invented in the 1960s, and they transformed the way that customers interacted with their bank. Rather than entering the bank, waiting in line, and having a lengthy conversation with a teller, customers were able to drive up to a machine at their convenience to do exactly what they needed to do– nothing more, nothing less.
But, shockingly, in the last few decades since, bank technology hasn’t had another drastic transformation like this. Sure– we all have mobile apps where we can check balances and look at basic information, but as banks deploy and evaluate new technologies, the needs of customers have often been left behind.
Customers should be the center of a bank’s technology
Financial data is intimate, and customers want to control as much of the banking process as possible. They crave access to not just information, but also the ability to ask questions, complete transactions, and learn from their spending data. They’re most comfortable with handling their banking needs through a voice or digital channel, and they certainly don’t want to stand in line in a bank lobby.
However, it isn’t just convenience that’s key. Banks must also offer consistency. Rather than having siloed experiences across different channels, banking customers want to have a quick experience without repetition or delays through the channels of their choice. Conversational AI is the type of technology investment that turns customers into lifelong bankers because of its ability to combine consistency and personalization.
More than just money
The decision to deploy Conversational AI for banks shouldn’t just be about ROI. Sure, it’s important to for banks to make a sound investment, but Conversational AI should also be leveraged to build life-long relationships with banking customers. This will put customers back at the forefront of the conversation when choosing the right technology.
For this to happen, customers should be able to contact the bank at all hours of the day and there should be no wait times, whether on the phone or on a website chat. This makes customers feel valued and more willing to stay with the bank. And, by providing this easy access to information with self-service, customers can make informed decisions on their own time. This makes customers feel in control of their finances.
Give customers what they ask for, when they ask for it
Intelligent Virtual Assistants must have the ability to be contextual, proactive, and personalized in retail banking. Financial decisions can be stressful for customers. By including personalized data and human-like understanding in customer experiences, customers will feel valued, supported, and in control. Think about a time that you called a bank (or other business) to find out information, only to be put on hold. It makes you feel helpless.
With the right IVA, customers could actually enjoy their banking process. This can turn negative emotions towards banks and their red-tape into feelings of empowerment.
Rather than using an Intelligent Virtual Assistant for single point in time information and transactions, the interactions with a customer’s bank should feel like a part of their lifestyle.
Automation alone isn’t the answer
By 2022, 90% of bank-related interactions will be automated, according to Opus Research. This means that customers will have faster access to information without queues. But, it’s important that this type of automation is built and deployed with end-customers in mind.
Customers don’t want an overly-robotic experience. When adding automation to banking, it’s vital to keep a human element to their experience. Humans can be incorporated with the technology in two ways.
The first is that a customer should always be able to reach a human agent if they want. There are some issues that are so complex that even the most sophisticated automated system could not handle. Don’t make your customers dig through menu trees or get caught in a technology loop on the way to speaking with a human when they are in a crisis. customers need a solution that can deliver information to a live agent without repetition or delay. Understanding the power of delivering the right conversation, and at the right time, is essential for banks.
The second way that humans should be involved is when the technology fails. Yes, even with the most advanced Conversational AI, there will come a time when the application cannot understand what the customer is saying. It may be because of background noise or a complex phrase, but that shouldn’t not mean that the customer is then automatically transferred to a live agent. Instead, involving human intelligence in real time can help create amazing experiences that never skip a beat. Take a look at our Adaptive Understanding technology to see how it works for yourself.
Customers want to be the champion of their finances, and Conversational AI can make that dream a reality. Read our eBook to see more ways that AI can help create loyal customers that feel valued for financial institutions.