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Why Conversational A.I. should be a bank’s first line of customer support

For many retail banks, and brands across the wider financial services industry, removing friction from the customer journey is a major objective. And with more customers banking online than ever before, some of whom are doing so for the first time, this challenge will intensify.

So if you were able to help customers seamlessly navigate their way through your website and resolve common issues by themselves, what impact would that have on their experience? And how much would you save if you could deflect 75% of queries away from your call-centres?

This is precisely what Conversational A.I. sets out to achieve. Virtual Agents are helping brands to tackle the increased volume of queries quickly and consistently, while reducing costs.

And they are doing so with a level of personalisation that may very well surprise you.

What is Conversational A.I.?

This is a form of A.I. built around NLP (Natural Language Processing), which understands the customer’s intent and the context of their query. It even recognises common grammatical and spelling errors.

The appeal of these chatbots is that customers can submit their query as a complete question, just as they would when interacting with a live agent.

A virtual agent can even proactively ask the right questions when further clarification is needed to find the perfect solution for each customer. 

This allows the interactions to unfold in a natural, conversational style which guides the customer towards the information they are looking for. With more and more of us using voice-activated assistants like Siri and Alexa in our homes, we have come to expect something similar from the brands we choose.

The advice from Gartner, a global leader in technology research, is clear; “Businesses that haven’t begun deploying AI should start now, because customers increasingly expect conversational interfaces to be available to address customer service issues.”

Forget the hype, what can A.I. actually do?

Ok, let’s be very honest here. We are a long way off the kind of all-knowing A.I. that countless sci-fi movies have promised. Although as anyone who has watched Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey will tell you, that’s maybe no bad thing!

Many companies that specialise in A.I. solutions have over-sold what their products are capable of. It may be that they overestimate what brands, and their customers, actually want chatbots to do.

The true value of the concierge-style chatbots we’re talking about here is not that they will replace human agents entirely.  

Where they are best deployed is as a first line of customer service, swiftly resolving the vast majority of simple, otherwise time-consuming queries. We’re seeing chatbots dramatically reduce the burden on support agents, freeing them up to tackle more complicated or challenging interactions.

In the context of retail banking, that’s typically customers looking for information on how to set up a direct debit online or how to order a statement for example. These are simple requests, that shouldn’t take up large amounts of time for the customer or your support team. 

The cost-saving implications of this are simply phenomenal. In fact, a recent report from Forrester has suggested that “bots will save businesses $8 billion per year by 2022. Healthcare and banking providers using bots could see time savings of over four minutes per enquiry”.

And that estimate is likely conservative. We’ve seen one insurance company save themselves upwards of €500,000 per year, by being able to deflect calls from their support centres.

What should you look for in a Virtual Agent?

By now you may be seriously considering investing in customer service A.I. The good news is that this software is readily accessible and affordable. Here are some additional things that you should be looking for when assessing a vendor.

  • Simplicity

There’s no point having a chatbot if it needs a manual to operate it. The best chatbots are the ones that can be used intuitively by customers without adjusting their normal everyday writing style.

  • Personalised

By integrating the Virtual Agent with your backend system it can leverage existing information about the customer and any previous queries they’ve had.  

  • Seamless Deployment

Be wary of a lengthy integration phase. Choose a chatbot that can be seamlessly deployed as an overlay on your website via GTM (Google Tag Manager). This will allow you to have it up and running and helping customers within a matter of weeks.

  • Goal-driven

The purpose of every interaction is the same; resolve the customer’s issue as efficiently as possible. For example, our A.I. solution typically answers each query with a single reply.

Get in touch

The Xtremepush customer service A.I solution is offered through 3 distinct products; the Conversational Chatbot, the FAQ Knowledge-Base and the Agent Knowledge Platform. Visit our website to learn more about it. Or you can click on the button below to schedule a demo and see them in action.

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