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Banking on Bots

The path to a better customer experience

Why conversational AI ?

Many financial institutions started building conversational AI, prior to the Covid19 pandemic, as part of a digital transformation initiative. These initial solutions were high profile, highly personalized virtual assistants — like the Erica chatbot from Bank of America. As the pandemic hit, the need changed as contact centers were under increased pressures. As Cathal McGloin of ServisBOT explains in “how it started, and how it is going,” financial institutions were looking for ways to automate solutions to help get back to “normal” levels of customer service. This resulted in a change from the “future of conversational AI” to a real tactical assistant that can help in customer service.

Selecting use cases

When choosing initial use cases to support, financial institutions often start with high volume, low complexity tasks. For example, password resets, checking account balances, or checking the status of a transaction, as Vinita points out. From there, the use cases can evolve as the banks get more mature in developing conversational AI, and as the customers become more engaged with the solutions.

Be were the customers are

The customer experience is a key reason why enterprises are building chatbots and voice assistants. It is not just about saving costs and reducing call-agent volume. It is about being available 24/7 on the channels users prefer to interact. As Haritha states, banks want customers to be able to find the information they need right away.

Building trust

Security and trust are important topics when it comes to conversational AI in financial services.

Measuring satisfaction

A common metric financial institutions track in conversational AI is the containment rate. Did the chatbot or IVR resolve the customer’s issue without being escalated to an agent. While this metric is important, one needs to be careful not to optimize for containment at the expense of the user experience. For example, the chatbot could have 100% containment by never escalating anyone, but that would lead to a very poor customer experience.

Empathy and personalization

As conversational AI continues to mature, one topic that is on the rise is how to handle empathy. How can the experiences be made more personal, or human-like?

Future of Conversational AI

Haritha sees conversational AI moving to more personalization in financial service chatbots and voice assistants. She also sees expanding to more channels and connecting the mobile app, website, IVR experiences more together.



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Arte Merritt

Chatbot, Voice Assistant, and AI Entrepreneur; Conversational AI partnerships at AWS; Former CEO/Co-founder Dashbot