How to Design a Conversational Banking Experience
Modern technology has certainly solved numerous business problems. However, as technology advances, new problems arise. This is a pattern across every industry, especially in the banking sector.
Think of a simple credit card. Long were the days of having a tab at a department store, using multiple forms of ID to withdraw cash, or even swiping or inserting your chip. Now you can simply tap your card or even your phone using your mobile wallet to make in-store and online purchases. All of these technological innovations contribute to maximizing consumer convenience.
The desire for convenience has integrated within the customer service space and is helping to craft a conversational banking concept. One of the more significant problems banks face is customer retention. Customer acquisition costs (CAC) are also at a record high, as are customer expectations. Our modern, technologically advanced society is focused on delivering convenience and excellent customer support.
These factors create pressure for banks to retain customers, meet growing expectations, and invest in and innovate a conversational banking experience. Artificial intelligence (AI) makes waves within the financial services industry while delivering a self-service, convenient, and holistic banking experience. Below, we go over the integration of AI and conversational banking and design the ideal conversational banking experience for customers.
What is Conversational Banking?
Conversational banking utilizes conversational AI technology to create a dynamic, convenient, self-service channel for consumers to use whenever they have inquiries or need assistance regarding their banking needs. This approach limits the number of touchpoints for a customer and allows them to reach their desired destination much faster than before. While text messaging is a huge component of this banking experience, conversational AI encompasses communication aspects with a much larger reach than traditional text-based chat functions. The goal of having a conversational banking experience is to succor convenience and personalized customer support.
The customer and financial organization can reap the benefits when this relationship is strong. Banks will experience increased customer engagement, limited errors, and maximized productivity. Consumers will have 24/7 support and access to their accounts, assistance in multiple languages, and more resources to help them address their questions and concerns. As AI-powered conversational banking continues to scale, financial institutions will gather data, learn more about their customer base, goals, behavior and spending patterns, and more.
Use Cases of Conversational Banking
Conversational banking utilizes a variety of channels to enable strong communication and helps guide the user through their unique banking journey.
Conversational AI Chatbots
Conversational AI-powered chatbots are incredibly cost-efficient and offer a self-service technology to resolve simple customer issues. In a conversational banking experience, a customer can first begin communicating with the organization with a chatbot. Then it can build up to a live customer support agent if needed. The agent will then have access to all previous data and interactions with the company and the chatbot to help resolve the problem or inquiry by using custom agent dashboards and automation through attended and unattended RPA.
While these conversational AI-powered chatbots can handle almost any kind of task, they are best suited for customer-facing processes. They can help recover passwords, lock and unlock accounts, help customers locate the nearest branch or ATM, issue new cards or even manage the customer onboarding process. These processes can be configured such as there is no need for further assistance from a live representative. And one of the advantages is that conversational AI chatbots can assist customers 24/7.
Communicating directly with a customer support team provides a seamless and helpful experience for your customers. The ability to communicate in real-time offers a personal, humanized touch and typically leaves the customer feeling far more understood than interacting with a bot alone. The bank can benefit from this interaction because of the increased customer engagement rates and the customer-focused environment the interaction creates, which ultimately helps customer retention rates.
For a closer look at the use cases of conversational AI in banking, check out our previous blog here.
How to Design A Conversational Banking Experience
For customers to be drawn to your conversational banking solution, you should use the latest banking trends, review them accordingly, listen to your customer's wants and needs, and incorporate the following steps to streamline financial services and deliver an exceptional banking experience.
#1. Identify Popular Questions and Inquiries
Any customer support agent could answer the question of "What do you assist with the most?" or "What is the most common question asked by a customer?". This alone could guide you in the right direction towards customer care and streamlining support. Once you have narrowed down a list of common questions, general concerns, onboarding support, application inquiries, transaction records, account services, and more, you can begin to:
- Automate: Begin to automate responses with your conversational AI bot, filter questions, and launch an FAQ page to increase customer engagement and support.
- Offer Hybrid Support: Hybrid support means utilizing the conversational AI chatbot and having a live, human agent helping handle the more complex requests.
#2. Create a Customer "Roadmap"
Work with your team and customers to understand and map the ideal customer journey; incorporate the common questions or inquiries (from #1) and explain which points of your customer's journey can be assisted (whether by the bot or a human agent). Start crafting the "roadmap" by outlining three broad categories and their common queries:
- Prospects: General concerns and questions
- New customers: onboarding support, application questions
- Existing customer: transaction records, account services, budgets
After you have organized your categories, you can begin to automate and filter questions and concerns with your AI-powered chatbot, build additional FAQ pages, and maximize your engagement with customers. You can then move on to identifying the top touchpoints of your organization. Financial organizations should locate all potential touchpoints a customer may have to offer an omnichannel user experience continuously
#3. Measure Success Across Multiple Channels
Your organization should actively identify the multiple channels and measure success across them. Before implementing your digital experience, be sure to set goals and initiatives. After a pre-determined time period, you can compare customer data to those initial baseline measurements, assess what is working and what is not, and then do the same for your team members as well. Be sure to set up baseline metrics on all fronts you would like to research or improve to see what is effective and efficient and what areas need improvement.
#4. Personalization is Critical Across the Entire Experience
Just because you have secured a customer doesn't mean the personalization and human touch should stop. Continue this personalized interaction and present them with relevant offers for their specific needs. This personalization should continue throughout the customer journey and increase your financial organization's engagement, sales, retention, and satisfaction. Modern customers expect tailored messages and offers that hone in on life stages, activities, financial goals, and more. While this may sound daunting, with today's technology and advanced marketing tools, these tailored messages and offers can be automatically generated and delivered to thousands of customers over various channels and in real-time. Take a closer look at top trends regarding hyper-personalization here.
#5. Protect Customer Data
Banking is a highly regulated industry, and security and the protection of customer data should be one of the top priorities when crafting your conversational banking experience. The confidential nature of the information in the banking industry makes them a large target for security threats and breaches and strict standards. Failure to meet standards is detrimental to your organization. A conversational banking experience helps build and maintain trust with customers, so if there is a breach in data, there is a breach in trust that significantly hinders your relationship with your customers.