Neo banks or digital only banks make a virtue of how they use digital technology to get closer to customers. In this scenario traditional banks are undertaking solutions to regain their competitive edge while focusing on cost pressure and ensuring customers have access to financial services around the clock. Alongside investing in self-service technologies and next-generation branch solutions, financial institutions could also leverage the latest advances in conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help customers get the best possible service experience when using new digital bank branches.
There is a growing trend towards AI adoption in financial services. For example, a Deloitte study suggests 86% of financial services AI adopters say that AI will be very or critically important to their business’s success in the next two years.
A good proportion of future banking AI will be focused on conversational AI. Virtual assistant technology which leverages the power of Machine Learning can be at the heart of a renewed customer journey in branch banking, supporting banks to automate processes, reduce costs, and improve services offered within the next generation of bank branches that are increasingly digital and remote.
What is conversational AI?
Conversational AI combines Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing, and automatic speech recognition to support customers interacting with machines. It can understand what a customer requires at that specific moment in time or where they are in a particular process such as making a deposit or asking for assistance. When properly deployed, conversational AI can unify a bank’s digital experience, contribute to deliver personalised interactions, and significantly boost the loyalty of customers.
Banks already use AI and ML in several segments of their business, like risk management for example, but there is much more room to use conversational AI for customer interactions. We are already familiar with chatbots or virtual assistants who help us when we use online services. Now there is an opportunity to integrate the same kind of technology within digital self-service hubs deployed within branches.
Voice banking to boost self-service banking experience
New digital self-service hubs could present challenges to some customer groups who are unfamiliar with new technologies even when they offer such huge benefits. This is where voice banking technologies such as new generations of virtual assistants, when properly integrated with human-added value, can play an integral role in a customer’s journey in using these new services delivered by ATMs, ASSTs and other devices.
The key is how seamlessly the virtual assistance works to assist the customer and how it senses the need and provides the next best action to help that specific customer complete what they need to do successfully. Advances in natural language processing and voice AI that listens to and understands human speech can make the assistance offered by the AI not only useful but also empathetic. Machine learning can ensure the AI continuously improves how it assists in the future.
These are the principles behind why we launched IOLE, the virtual assistant that fully answers customers’ needs and provide extended assistance, enhancing the experience of using our Bank4Me digital branch solution.
Virtual Assistants such as our IOLE, can benefit both banks and their customers, including:
- Available 24/7: Common questions and financial services can be automated and provided around the clock. With AI and ML, access to banking services will only get better and better through time.
- Voice Recognition: It further personalises and improves the customer experience. Customers can give verbal commands to the software and have their responses converted into the input for AI which provides them with an answer in just few seconds. It is also particularly useful for visually impaired or hard of hearing customers who cannot access other digital customer care systems.
- Education: It can educate in an inclusive way all targets involved, from the youngest who can recognise in the virtual assistant the technology they are already accustomed to, and the oldest who can find in the conversational agent a fundamental tool to improve the relationship and the trust with the bank.
- Costs Reduction: Derived from a reduced need for extensive training of human customer care representatives for capabilities in handling more complex transactions.
- Enhanced customer loyalty and satisfaction: Providing flexible and personalised service as a more human-like interaction tailored to the customer’s specific needs and behaviours.
- Support existing channels: AI-enhanced interface should be capable of working seamlessly alongside other types of human and digital channels—rather than completely replacing them. For example, IOLE autonomously starts interaction with bank’s consultant via video conference for more complex transactions.
As the banking industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s important that banks get ahead of the curve and start thinking about how they can deliver better, more efficient, and personalised ways of banking.
Using AI-powered IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and chatbot reduces costs, radically boosts client satisfaction and loyalty, and eliminates human mistakes. Setting up the process could be challenging, so it is crucial to choose the right technology partner. At the heart of it all, innovation is key, luckily providers such as Auriga, with years of experience and who constantly study the market and the needs of end users, can provide this.