Over the last 12 years, the retail banking industry has experienced two massive economic downturns. In 2009, retail banking had to undergo a fundamental structural shift resulting from the financial crisis and had to rely heavily on financial leverage to create value. Gradually over time, banks were able to drive value and regain the lost trust with consumers with an emphasis on digital transformation to lower costs and enhance the customer experience to not only attract new customers but also deepen relationships.
Today, the COVID-19 pandemic poses a substantial financial and organizational challenge to all retail banks. It has also created a unique opportunity to place additional emphasis on lowering costs and improving customer experience to aid the recovery of the banking industry. It will also be crucial to balance the short and long term, continuing to show empathy for the financial challenges faced by consumers and small businesses in the short term, while building a strong long-term vision and brand focus. Much of what retail banks have learned in the past will serve them well, but will not be enough for what is needed going forward.
Conversational Service Automation Can Help Banks Lower Costs
To balance the short and long term, banks need to evaluate how they can continue to drive automation across the entire customer journey while also showing the empathy and personal touch required when interacting with customers. Using an AI-powered platform like Conversational Service Automation (CSA) is how banks can truly both deliver transformational customer service experiences as well as improve automation to lower costs. CSA is the only platform that addresses the entire conversational experience for both customers and agents, using conversational AI, RPA, and workflow automation to blend front-office and back-office operations, to increase automation and lower costs.
To understand how CSA can help close a familiar banking customer service chasm, let’s consider what happens during a typical banking customer interaction. The customer might connect with the bank via a chatbot, a website, mobile app, social media, or any other channel. Again, the conversation could be a service request, complaint, or a high-value journey, such as applying for a mortgage refinance.
With an AI-powered CSA platform, customers can resolve routine transactional queries such as checking account balance or finding the nearest ATM via their preferred channel such as chatbot, mobile app, or any other self-service channel. For more complex and high-value customer journeys such as applying for a mortgage refinance, customers can seamlessly continue a conversation started over the web and move on to a telephone call. Leveraging AI to understand the customer intent and sentiment, the contact center agent will have the full context of the customers and will be able to focus 100% on the call to deliver a conversational experience. The CSA platform will drive improved automation by transcribing the calls in real-time to offer in-call coaching guidance to agents, and summarize the call notes following the call, thus reducing average handle times and improving agent productivity.
Retail Banks Can Benefit from CSA
These are just a few of the advantages that Conversational Service Automation can offer to retail banks. Retail banks can benefit from this AI-powered platform regardless of whether the call is an outbound call like sales, collections, document verification, or an inbound call like service request, transaction initiation, query resolution, information seeking, or just about anything.