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Why Banks Must Invest in Conversational Service Automation (CSA) ?

In today’s hyperconnected and tech-led world, we are heavily reliant on digital channels to communicate and transact. Against the backdrop of the complete lockdown of countries due to COVID-19, technology has emerged the winner – as it ensures communities and societies are still able to function.

In today’s hyperconnected and tech-led world, we are heavily reliant on digital channels to communicate and transact. Against the backdrop of the complete lockdown of countries due to COVID-19, technology has emerged the winner – as it ensures communities and societies are still able to function. 

 Customers always want to be heard and understood, no matter where they are or what device they are on, particularly when they are trying to sort out a problem. What’s more, in times of significant challenges people urgently push on all means to have a conversation with a representative and not have to wage war with an outdated IVR system or a basic bot.

Here are some examples that help clarify these points.  Before going into lock down, I had to deal with my bank - a leading European organization with a large international presence. I can tell you that a big brand name or large global presence is not a guarantee for good customer service. My challenge at the time was to redirect my new credit card delivery to my new address, where I had moved to recently. I sent out the requested emails and ended up navigating through an incomprehensible IVR system, to sort out the issue, which ultimately left me quite frustrated and vexed. The inefficiency of my customer experience could have been easily mitigated if the bank’s various customer care units communicated better with each other.

I’m fairly sure I am not alone in my experience.

Now, let’s look at customer experience in today’s environment.   With markets changing rapidly, I had some urgent questions about some investment accounts and really wanted to speak to an advisor.  After calling the number I usually do and finding out the wait time was over 60 minutes, I was frustrated and decided to seek advice elsewhere.  It’s that experience and a few others like it that made me re-think if I have the right bank or not.  Again, not an uncommon experience and the outcome would have been much different if only they had deployed the latest technology to help.

The Conversational AI revolution is well underway, underpinned by emerging technologies such as Advanced Analytics, Big Data and digital technologies. Most large organizations and brands are keen to take advantage of this progress to deliver better digital customer experiences that are both personalized for a unique interaction with individuals and scalable to include greater volume of customers. However, these objectives are hardly ever realized due to the wide gap between the potential of Conversational AI along with automation and its actual deployment. 

Conversational Service Automation – Why is it important?

Given the realities of today and the concern caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are reaching out in record numbers to their banks, insurance providers, healthcare practitioners, travel desks, governments and other services for the purpose of information and resolution. 

Large banks all over the world have similar challenges.  

It is sometimes difficult to identify and engage with high-value customers in a personalized way, when there is a huge volume of transactions being conducted every day. In addition, repetitive and mundane tasks must be carried out to ensure compliance and processes are met. 

Banks want to be able to automate many processes but are at a loss when it comes to identifying the most appropriate process that works for them, while considering the high cost of service, operations and customer care. 

Furthermore, as a highly regulated industry, banks have multiple compliances that have to be met in order to function. As a lot of these mandates directly apply to KYC and therefore, customer care, the agents at the contact centers need to be educated on all of the compliances that are required to be fulfilled at all times, or else matters can escalate extremely quickly and perhaps even lead to legal action. 

At a time when agents need to manage remote working, the onus on infallible monitoring capabilities to ensure compliance has never been greater. 

Most of the above scenarios – although broadly outlined - can be addressed with the help of Conversational Service Automation (CSA). A customer’s self-service abilities can be greatly enhanced with intelligent automation. Speech Analytics can provide banks with insights, which they can leverage to engage better with valuable customers. CSA can convert leads, increase sales and improve the chances of an upsell or cross sell, while reducing operational costs and providing an overall pleasant customer experience. 

Simultaneously, it can provide the service representative with compliance rules, raise red flags in real time and ensure that the agent stays on script during a conversation. 

CSA is an AI-powered platform that ensures customers of an omni-channel interaction – regardless of the digital channels a customer reaches out from. Thanks to Speech Analytics and Automation working behind the scenes, AI can take on simple communications and address them adequately.

With CSA, AI knows when to transfer the interaction - immediately and seamlessly - to a person, who is simultaneously prepared with all the relevant information on why the customer connected with the bank. The technology also ensures that the service agent has the history of the customer’s interaction with the bank and therefore can make the interaction a more personal and relevant one. 

People-to-people engagement is the most effective when it comes to empathizing with the person at the other end and CSA allows agents to focus all of their attention on the call while all the legalities, data and details on products or services requested, are fed to the agent in real time, thus allowing them to truly listen to the customer. This is what brilliant customer service should look like. 

Whether a bank’s contact center is for inbound calls such as service or information requests, initiations of transactions, or if the contact center was set up for outbound calls such as loan recoveries or verification of documents, CSA can be an immense assistance to banks because of the wealth of benefits it offers.  

Banks truly need to rethink the way they service their customers on digital channels. They must consider how to provide information, process requests, and complaints in a manner that serves their customers. Instead of the often-unsatisfactory responses or experiences that customers get today, banks could offer their clients an efficient and effective experience. 

CSA is the answer to greater and better customer engagement, and it will undoubtedly take center stage as companies become familiar with newer technologies and their positive ROIs. 

More importantly, CSA is a reliable tool for organizations to help navigate through uncharted global scenarios, to help support their teams, businesses, and customers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house