Retail banking customers demand and expect more from customer care than ever. Contact centers, handling millions of calls, are the front line of customer care in the banking sector and are poised to make or break financial institutions as customer service becomes the top differentiator in a world of digital interactions. 

Advances in AI technologies can breathe new life into customer care in banking and aid staff retention as the technology takes care of repetitive and mundane activities. This also means that staff are free to engage with customers where it really counts. For example, with Conversational AI for the contact center, swift analysis can be performed on incoming calls or chats, allowing deflection to appropriate handling channels. Consequently, self-service options and chatbots relieve pressure on contact center staff, leading to more positive experiences for agents and customers alike.  

The truth is that customers become flabbergasted the more they are asked to repeat themselves or wait in line, or both! That’s why a customer, presented with a way to check their balance, reset a password or transfer money, will choose the AI-powered self-service route over waiting to complete the same process with a person. The customer should never have to repeat themselves when transferred to an agent, and the agent should have all the customer’s account details and the current inquiry delivered to their desktop screen simultaneously.

Advances in Conversational AI mean that the customer experiences the best of both worlds, because the technology will work to support the customer and when needed will transfer their call or chat to a live agent, which results in a seamless and satisfying exchange.

Tip 1: Understand that AI is already here

According to Gartner, 2021 was the year finance leaders put real investments into artificial intelligence (AI). However, growing evidence suggests that if you aren't on board with AI yet, you're already behind the curve. 

Tip 2: Realize that AI is becoming the main differentiator

Your competitors are adopting AI in vast numbers. McKinsey supports this, noting that 60% of its survey respondents from the financial services sector have already embedded at least one AI capability

Tip 3: Give customers what they want and expect 

The consumer world is already on board with the idea of AI and chatbots for customer care, which are omnipresent across their preferred channels. According to predictions by industry analyst Gartner, customers will prefer to use a speech interface for 70% of self-service interactions by 2023, up 40% in 2021. In addition, it pays to remember that the pandemic pushed society towards online services, and consumer expectations for self-service have grown exponentially.

Tip 4: Consider launching a new AI-powered app

Gartner estimates that 40% of users are already primarily interacting with new applications via so-called Conversational Uls (user interfaces). This means it's the perfect time to get your own AI app to market to facilitate a better experience for your customers.

Tip 5: Don't be afraid of the cost of AI implementation

AI will cut costs, but its implementation's strategic and primary rationale is to improve customer loyalty and efficiencies by satisfactorily handling millions of interactions across multiple channels. McKinsey estimates that AI can potentially unlock $1 trillion of incremental value for banks annually. Your return on investment will be worth it.

Tip 6: Understand where your AI-related savings come from

Many CFOs think savings with AI comes from replacing human agents with chatbots. That's completely incorrect; AI operates alongside your workforce, streamlining repetitive tasks and freeing up employees for more impactful problem-solving. In addition, the use of Al to manage routine interactions has been shown to cut costs by up to 30%.

Tip 7: Be smart about automation to maximize effects

Everyone else is automating - follow suit, but make sure you're only automating processes that can be solved easily with automation. Then watch the savings roll in. According to Juniper, $7.3B is projected in savings for financial institutions by 2023, thanks to automated customer experiences.

Are you ready to leverage the power of AI to satisfy banking customers' needs? For more detail on how Conversational AI can improve customer services within retail banking, and financial services, check out this complimentary guide from Cognnigy the market-leading Conversational AI solution provider.

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