AI-Driven Chatbots in Banking and Financial Services
"I've lost my credit card, what do I do?" "Can I transfer some money?" "What's my account balance?" Customer service advisers, in banks across the world, answer these types of questions every day. But, perhaps not for much longer, as chatbots are increasingly answering them instead of humans.
In fact, according to a recent Gartner survey, 61% of us are already using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-underpinned technology such as chatbots, Virtual Personal Assistants, driving route apps and streaming services. For 'always on' customers, who expect a smooth, seamless service 24/7, AI interactions are the new normal. Chatbots are now particularly prevalent in financial services, where their potential goes much further than transactional enquiries.
Chatbot platforms and natural language technologies are improving all the time. Gartner estimates that by 2020, chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions. Many banking customers start using chatbots for routine tasks but increasingly sophisticated two-way conversations result in a more positive experience.
Why Use Chatbots?
The banking customer journey is more complex than ever. Customers use online and offline channels and expect a personalized experience from their financial institution at every step of their journey. And, based on this, banks must engage with their customers in the right way, and at the right place and time.
Well integrated, intelligent chatbot solutions are a key part of this engagement process. They're changing the face of banking communications, giving customers relevant information fast and round the clock customer support.
Not Convinced? Consider This Customer Scenario
Meet Sean – he's recently married. During a dull moment watching a football match, Sean decides to check his phone to see if his new joint account has been activated. He logs in and sees quickly that it has, but he also notices he has a mortgage offer. It's a good rate and it captures his attention.
He can't call his bank right now. The football stadium is too noisy and there's no privacy. But he can have a text-based conversation with a chatbot.
He's asked to confirm his employer and salary. He's recently changed jobs, so he updates the details. He's immediately told how much he's eligible to borrow and asked if he'd like to see an in-branch adviser or if he'd prefer a home visit.
He selects to see someone in a branch and two clicks later, he has a next-day appointment at a branch of his choice, an email confirmation and a map of how to get there. With Natural Language Processing (NLP), Sean would also have the option of using voice instructions and the system would understand him in his own language from any device. Machine Learning (ML) provides a near human-level of communication ensuring he gets accurate answers to his requests in real time.
It's an instant, intuitive, personalized service using Sean's preferred digital channel. And, he hasn't even missed a goal.
That's great for Sean. He's a satisfied, engaged customer who now feels he has a good relationship with his bank. But the benefits of chatbot technology go much further. There are significant cost savings from automating transactional enquiries and it allows customer service representatives to focus on more complex customer issues that require deeper human insight.
Marketing Driven By Customer Needs
More importantly, AI-driven chatbot technology gives banks a deeper understanding of their customers' behavior, life events and financial needs. They can even be integrated with social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. These actionable insights allow you to deliver highly targeted content for cross-sale and up-sale opportunities that secure and reward your customers.
Let's go back to Sean. He hadn't told his bank he wanted a mortgage. That mortgage offer communication was triggered by him getting married and opening a joint account. AI recognizes these life events as frequently associated with buying a house. The communication reaches Sean exactly when he's in a mindset to take out a mortgage and the chatbot feature allows him to jump on the offer immediately.
Using chatbots as part of an Omni-channel banking experience not only makes transactions more efficient, interactive and personalized. It can drive higher customer awareness, satisfaction and retention rates through targeted, relevant communications.