The challenges of the pandemic thrust banks that were struggling to remain relevant and their customers who were still digital holdouts into the same situation: learn how to shift banking activity from in person to online practically overnight.
And shift we did. Between 2020 and 2021, financial technology adoption grew from 58% to 88% of U.S. consumers. More people now use technology to manage their finances than use video streaming services (78%) or social media (72%).
Today digital banking is the norm rather than the exception and there’s no going back. In fact, between 80% and 90% of those who used digital banking in the past year plan to use it the same amount or more going forward.
So with branches disappearing and banking customers transacting online rather than in person, how does this impact the customer experience? Traditional banks did amazingly well in playing catch-up on digital transformation, but they didn’t necessarily perform as well when responding to the overwhelming volume of ensuing contact center interactions.
Banking contact center interactions are expected to remain elevated through 2024. Technology adoption is certainly high, but these figures show that customers still need human assistance and empathy when facing questions or issues around personal and confidential financial matters.
Keeping the Human Touch
A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that four in five bankers (81%) believe that financial institutions will seek to differentiate themselves on customer experience rather than on their products in the next four years. The question is how, when traditional, in-person banking is a thing of the past?
The customer experience has shifted to the contact center. It’s now the main — and often only — human touchpoint for banks and their customers. Optimizing these human-to-human conversations is imperative to create the kind of positive, empathetic experiences that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty and create the differentiation institutions need to compete going forward.
Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) can make that happen by:
- Enhancing the conversation and the experience: Conversational AI optimizes every conversation by helping agents be more productive and empathetic while personalizing the experience for customers. With a conversational automation platform that understands the customer’s real intent and sentiment, banking contact centers can deliver a positive conversational experience that drives customer satisfaction.
- Minimizing after-call work: What happens after the call ends is just as important to your bank’s business outcomes as what happens during the conversation. The time spent in after-call work (ACW) — including categorizing and summarizing the call, updating systems, and taking follow-up actions — impacts average handle time, call waiting times, customer satisfaction, costs, agent productivity, and agent satisfaction. Using conversational AI to automate ACW improves the experience for both your customers and your agents, while driving productivity and accuracy.
- Capturing and fulfilling promises made during the call: A promise made that is not kept or tasks that are not performed correctly can quickly negate the positive effects of a good conversational experience. Poor promises management directly affects your call handling times, wait times, customer satisfaction, and loyalty as measured by your Net Promoter Score (NPS). A conversational automation platform with promises management can automatically recognize, log, and enrich commitments/promises. After the call, it sends the customer a summary of the promises made to align expectations and then automatically manages the fulfillment of the promises, which improves NPS, reduces repeat calls, and shortens processing time.
- Extracting insight from every conversation: By understanding and analyzing every conversation, banks gain deep insight into trends and opportunities for improving strategic contact center outcomes. A conversational automation platform that includes AI-powered interaction analytics for voice, email, and chat interactions helps banks uncover the true reasons for customer churn, drive 100% compliance, and identify other core, customer- and agent-centric opportunities for operational improvements.
Get the eBook
Learn more about how your company can use conversational AI to transform the banking customer and agent experience, drive customer satisfaction, and generate greater loyalty and revenue. Download our ebook “Banking on Great Conversations: Using Conversational AI to Deliver the Contact Center Experience Your Banking Customers Expect.“