How Conversational AI Can Help Grow and Retain Customers in Retail Banking
Written by Girish Karthik
Improving the responsiveness of customer support and providing frictionless, convenient services have been two long-standing challenges for the retail banking segment. Since the banking and financial services industry (BFSI) relies heavily on trust and consumer goodwill, innovations like conversational AI find rapid adoption. These technologies make retail banking more interactive, faster, and customer-centric.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for digital banking services and is all the better if they can be offered contactless and remotely. Therefore, conversational AI like voice bots, chatbots, and other virtual agents are seen as an effective way to scale up service delivery while controlling costs. Banks implementing them are interested in their potential to improve customer acquisition, retention, and audience conversion.
Let’s look deeper into how conversational AI in retail banking is proving helpful.
How Conversational AI Can Transform Retail Banking
Retail banking is getting highly competitive not only because of many existing banks but also because of many unconventional players that have entered the system such as Neo Banks. They started as auxiliary service providers and grew into financial institutions. They offer many non-traditional banking products, and their proprietary technologies even help them appeal to the changing customer demographic. Therefore, BFSI participants cannot afford to lag behind in bridging service delivery gaps.
Sales and Marketing
The customer segment with high purchasing power whose habits will dictate banking evolution in the near future is the millennial. They are comfortable with app-based banking and show greater financial savvy. We have already seen that they want instantaneous banking experiences, but 58% of millennials also report that they are interested in personalized products and services.
Conversational AI tools can seamlessly integrate with omnichannel analytics suites making it easy to collect data about customer preferences. The insights derived help create personalized customer experiences that can boost brand loyalty and even turn people into brand evangelists. It is very helpful in identifying cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
When it comes to the customer care pillar, many easily solvable complaints abound. Long call waiting times, tedious questions that drain agents and customers alike, missed deadlines, frequent case handovers, etc., cause annoyance. Voice bots have shown a reduction in call waiting times with a 50% increase in human agent availability. Mundane, repetitive tasks can be easily automated and reduce costs by over 80%.
Voice bots can also help contact centers to handle larger call volumes. People prefer voice calls over IVR calls or chatbots due to the comfort they have with the natural human voice. Voice bots can reduce the pressure building up in times of crisis when customers may want a human-like voice. They are easy to scale when compared to other ways to increase contact center capacity.
As conversational AI bots learn over time, they get better at providing consistent experiences.
Use Cases for Conversational AI in Retail Banking
Retail banking applications can be built based on conversational AI providing additional interfaces for customers. Automating the tasks that require mundane manual processing can reduce costs, enhance efficiency and productivity. Some use cases to demonstrate the benefits of conversational voice bots in banking :
Query Answering Bots
67% of people state that they prefer self-service rather than waiting for human agents to free themselves and answer queries. While some more complex requests may require human intervention, therefore, using voice bots that answer frequently asked questions combine the best of both worlds.
Paying bills via Bots
Voice bots can help send unmissable payment reminders. People can request transactions in a more secure way, that too in the language they feel comfortable with. Voice bots could also be programmed to allow simple requests like managing credit card limits, asking for account balance, etc.
Emergency Service Bots
When people have problems like stolen cards, PINs not working, etc., they get extra frustrated by IVRs and unavailable contact center executives. Voice bots can guide them through the process to report these problems and take further steps.
Success Stories of Conversational AI in Retail Banking
Banks have begun adding chatbots to their retail-focused web pages to simplify the customer experience. HSBC has added one called Amy to many product pages, while American Express has one to show recommendations, send reminders about exclusive card benefits, and sale notifications.
The Qatar Islamic Bank and Axis Bank have rolled out voice bots in multiple languages to serve the multilingual clientele. Bank of America has reported that their voice assistant Erica is being received well.
More banks worldwide are quickly discovering the inevitability of AI in offering satisfactory services. It is estimated that over 50% are already using conversational virtual assistants. Gnani.ai has a number of voice bot solutions for the retail banking needs of early adopters. Get in touch with us to check out how your bank can optimize processes and reduce costs.