Combating the Great Resignation staffing shortages with conversational AI
The Great Resignation has been one of the most remarkable outcomes of the pandemic era. It has directly impacted nearly every industry across the globe, from healthcare to banking.
A survey from Microsoft revealed that 41% of employees were considering leaving their employers. The phenomenon is fueled by several different factors – the stress of the pandemic, the shift to remote working, mounting inflation coupled with stagnant wages, and employee burnout caused by months and months of high workloads.
No matter what the trigger is, its impact is evident across industries, and addressing its consequences is becoming a priority. This is especially true for financial institutions.
For most financial services providers, the contact center is at the heart of live interactions with customers. Over the last year, with employee turnover going up, it has become increasingly difficult to find staff to help answer customer queries, and even harder to retain well-trained staff.
A recent report found that 44% of contact center leaders are struggling to support business growth because of staffing issues. What’s more, 74% reported an increase in call volumes during the same period. With more calls coming in and fewer employees to answer them, the result is longer hold times, higher call abandonment rates, and frustration for customers. The spike in call volume is also contributing to faster staff burnout and, ultimately, to even more employee attrition.
With the impact of the Great Resignation on contact centers not showing any signs of slowing down, financial institutions that want to end this vicious cycle need to adopt alternate solutions to mitigate staffing shortages.
Here’s how they can do it.
Providing immediate, automated customer assistance
Conversational AI technology like chatbots can help reduce call volumes to contact centers. According to Gartner, online chat is the second most preferred customer service channel, yet adoption remains low among financial services providers. Gartner research shows that merely 35% of retail banking, 31% of insurance, and only 9% of wealth and asset management companies provide live chat or a chatbot.
A large majority of live customer service calls involve simple, FAQ-oriented issues which can be easily answered by a chatbot. It costs very little to set up a chatbot and start experimenting. Better still, this minimal upfront investment can be quickly offset by using your chatbot to help optimize the cost of running your contact center.
A key advantage of automation is that you’re able to provide customer service 24/7 – regardless of your customers’ location, circumstances, or time zones. Unlike live agents, automation tools aren’t constrained by contact center opening hours, and allow rapid resolution of simple issues, often without any need to involve contact center agents. This frees up call center staff to cater to calls that really need human assistance.
Did you know? Infobip’s Answers lets you deploy chatbots over WhatsApp, Viber, RCS, SMS, Live chat, Facebook Messenger, and Apple Business Chat with no need for a developer. This means that customers can reach your business to get immediate answers to their questions over the chat app they prefer and in an environment they’re comfortable with.
Improving employee experience
Chatbots not only answer simple queries but can also carry out routine tasks such as bill payment or card freezing, further reducing the load on contact center agents and helping improve job satisfaction by addressing their exhaustion. According to a report by Juniper Research, for every query that a chatbot handles, banks save 4 minutes of an agent’s time.
By taking care of high-volume, low value queries with chatbots, you can leave the more fulfilling and meaningful tasks for your agents. What’s more, by integrating your chatbots with a cloud contact center solution like Conversations, you can give your agents a unified view of customer data and conversation history, so that your customer service staff have all the information they need to resolve queries quickly.
Being able to access customer profiles, conversation history, context cards, and other details in a few clicks without exiting the current window can drastically improve employee experience. This way, customers receive the assistance they need, and the agent doesn’t have to waste time switching tabs, opening new channels, and cross-referencing conversations that took place on other channels.
As financial institutions around the world try to deal with staffing shortages in their contact centers, conversational AI offers them an opportunity to not only assist customers without employee intervention, but also improve job satisfaction by reducing pressure on agents. Banks need to take the leap to embrace conversational AI – to deliver automated experiences today and to fulfill changing customer expectations over the next decade.