5 Tips for Improving Banking Customer Care with AI
Retail banking customers demand and expect more support than ever. Contact centres, handling millions of calls, act as the front line of customer care in the banking sector and have the power to make or break financial institutions’ competitiveness and reputations as customer service has become the top differentiator in a world of digital interactions.
Advances in AI technologies can breathe new life into customer care in banking and aid staff retention as the technology can manage repetitive and mundane activities, leaving staff free to engage with customers where in-depth contextual knowledge is required. For example, with Conversational AI for the contact centre, swift analysis can be performed on incoming calls or chats, allowing the deflection to appropriate handling channels like chatbots or to opt for self-service. When needed, the technology can also transfer the customers’ call or chat to a live agent. This relieves pressure on contact centre staff and offers customers more seamless and satisfying exchanges, thus creating more positive experiences for agents and customers alike.
The truth is, though, that customer service still has a long way to go to fully embrace and take advantage of the benefits Conversational AI can offer. Customers become understandably frustrated the more they are asked to repeat themselves or wait in line (or both!) and can end up being transferred from agent to agent – none of whom have the information that was shared in the last interaction. Customers should never have to repeat themselves when transferred to an agent, and the agent should have all the customer’s account details and the current inquiry delivered to their desktop screen simultaneously. That’s why most customers, presented with a way to check their balance, reset a password, or transfer money, would most likely choose the AI-powered self-service route over waiting to complete the same process with a person.
Here are five considerations for why you should implement AI in your customer service operations:
Tip 1: Realise that AI is becoming the main differentiator
Although the financial services sector acknowledges that AI will play an integral part in the industry’s future, most companies are only investing in small-scale pilots or niche use cases. 32% of financial service providers use AI for predictive analysis, voice recognition and others. As AI becomes the main differentiator, it’s about time to fully embrace the technology.
Tip 2: Give customers what they want and expect
The consumer world is already on board with the idea of AI and chatbots for customer care, which are omnipresent across their preferred channels. In addition, it pays to remember that the pandemic pushed society even more towards online services, and consumer expectations for self-service have grown exponentially. An increasing number of users are already interacting with new applications via so-called Conversational Uls (user interfaces). They combine the best of all worlds: text, graphic, voice, and touch interfaces. As convenience is key, this means it's the perfect time to get your own AI app to market to facilitate a better experience for your customers.
Tip 3: Don't be afraid of the cost of AI implementation
Ultimately, AI will cut costs, but its implementation's strategic and primary rationale is to improve customer loyalty and efficiencies by satisfactorily handling millions of interactions across multiple channels. As long ago as 2020, McKinsey estimated that AI can potentially unlock $1 trillion of incremental value for banks annually. The return on investment will be worth the up-front outlay.
Tip 4: Understand where your AI-related savings come from
Many CFOs think AI-related savings come from replacing human agents with chatbots. In reality, AI operates alongside your workforce, streamlining repetitive tasks and freeing up employees for more impactful problem-solving. In addition, the use of virtual assistants and chatbots is expected to result in savings of £1.8 billion by 2023 (source).
Tip 5: Be smart about automation to maximise effects
Everyone else is automating - follow suit, but make sure you're only automating processes that can be solved easily with automation. While chat and voice bots can solve many customer issues, advanced customer requests still require human interaction – otherwise, there’s a risk of losing customers. Investing in intelligent automation will help increase productivity and see the savings roll in.
As we continue to explore the use of AI in the banking industry, we will continue to discover new innovative solutions that will only serve to enhance the customer experience. We are already seeing the benefits of AI, as customers are now able to access support 24 hours a day, whilst also receiving a more personalised experience.
Many companies and industries are turning to AI solutions that can give them an edge in the market. The main aim of AI technology is to ensure that operating costs are minimised, agents are satisfied and supported, and customers receive the best support available.