There's no doubt that the entry of FinTech companies has pushed traditional banks to rethink their customer experience strategies. Though the development of banking apps has given customers the chance to access their accounts on-the-go, we're still asking ourselves if this is enough.
According to Business Wire, 32% of consumers are willing to leave their current bank for a better digital experience.
So, how can you improve banking services using new digital tools to better suit the needs of your customers?
The Current Banking Customer Experience
When messaging apps were introduced a few years ago, they gave businesses a chance to communicate with customers in a casual, instant, and contextual way. But customers recently shared that their expectations of brand response times over chat apps exceeded actual response times.
Sprout Social shares that the average customer expectation for wait time over social media messaging is 0-4 hours versus the real average brand response time which is up to 10 hours.
This is a major pain point for customers and can easily become a common drop-off point that results in bank switching. If banks aren't responding instantaneously over instant messaging apps, how can they build the trust that is so important to a successful client relationship?
In fact, younger generations claim to feel a disconnect with their banks due to the lack of trust they have for them and vice versa. Most of the time, they feel that banks don't take them seriously enough because of their age and lack of income.
Many banks turn to chat apps to solve this problem since their clients use these apps with people they trust most – their friends and family. The idea is that if banks are present on these same channels, and if clients can interact with them in the same way they interact with their friends and family, they will begin to develop the same feelings of familiarity, transparency, and trust.
Though this may be true, the challenge is that although many banks are using these channels already - they might not be using them effectively. So, how can you improve customer experience in banking using these same apps?
5 ways chatbots improve banking services
Machine learning is being increasingly adopted throughout financial services for its ability to accurately predict customer needs, provide personalized product and service recommendations, anticipate complaints and power chatbots to provide a smoother feedback experience.
If you don’t already know, a chatbot (short for chat robot) is a computer program used to communicate with humans over chat apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and more. So, if you already use these chat apps as channels to communicate with your customers, implementing a chatbot can help you deliver the banking experience your customers expect.
Chatbots can be used in many ways and for many different reasons. To keep things simple, here are five ways to improve banking services using a chatbot while also reducing operating costs and optimizing resources.
1. Deliver a tailored experience
48% of banking clients want banks to play a supporting role and help them with big purchases and important decisions like buying a house or a new car. They claimed to look forward to doing business with a bank that would anticipate their needs and make personalized suggestions based on transaction history.
Luckily, chat apps offer contextual messaging meaning all message history is saved and can be referred to later. So, you can program your bot to quickly scan through customer chat and purchase history to provide tailored offers and lead customers in the right direction.
Here’s an example of how this works when a student signs up with a bank and uses their Viber chatbot to ask questions about loans and tax rates in a different city.
2. Offer 24/7 support
Chatbots give you the means to offer your clients the 24/7 support they have come to expect. In fact, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.
Being available whenever your customers need you will help build trust that’s important to clients during key decision-making moments.
Additionally, chatbots require no human supervision. Sure, it might take you some time to get your chatbot running exactly the way you want it, however, once it's programmed, you don’t need resources to supervise the work it does.
3. Give quick responses to FAQs
Let chatbots handle the easy stuff so your customer support team can do what they were set out to do – resolve real, hard issues. While your chatbot handles the frequently asked questions, your support team will have more time to work on quarterly KPIs, achieve sales quotas, and reengage dormant clients.
4. Provide an extra layer of security
You can use chatbots to alert customers instantly of any suspicious activity going on with their account. Chatbots allow you to confirm a customer’s identity through two-factor authentication and authorization. Additionally, since chatbots are normally used on chat platforms, like WhatsApp, the chances of messages being end-to-end encrypted are increased – so, that’s one less thing for you to worry about!
Forbes looks at security for banking with chatbots from another angle. Since clients can get their support over chat apps instantaneously, the odds of them having to phone customer support are slim to none. This also improves security, as chatbots can be programmed to distinguish between legitimate activity and fraud faster than a live agent could.
5. Encourage customers to give valuable feedback
Using chatbots over apps like WhatsApp and Viber gives clients the option to respond now or later. This helps increase response rates since clients don’t feel pressured to give feedback on the spot and can provide it on their own time - making them more likely to want to give feedback.
Also, as we covered earlier, clients communicate with their friends and family on these apps, meaning they’re ok with being their authentic selves. In fact, they’re used to it. So, you're more likely to receive true feedback on these apps rather than over the phone or through a survey on the banking app or website.
Improve Banking Services with Better Communications
Considering the high adoption rate and widespread use of chat apps, along with the rising competition from FinTechs vying for their attention, now is the most crucial time for banks to find innovative ways to improve their customer experience. Implementing chatbots is just one way banks can improve their services while saving money and increasing retention rates.