Adding a Human Touch to Online Banking
With all of the speech recognition, machine learning, and bot-based customer experience solutions available to companies today, there are still a few industries that must continue to provide a personal touch in order to retain their customers.
At the forefront of this group is the banking industry. Specifically within their online and mobile verticals, creating a suitable banking customer experience has become a bit of a tightrope walk as customers are expecting convenient digital solutions while still receiving a human touch when dealing with info-sensitive transactions.
According to a recent article from American Banker, “online and mobile banking are essential elements in 21st-century financial services, but there’s more to banking than digital transactions.” The article further describes the current climate in the industry by stating that “while direct-bank customers rate their banks comparatively high, consumers and small businesses nevertheless continue to show a strong demand for the personal touch.”
There are a few reasons for this:
Banking products can be complex with their troves of terms, conditions, and fees. This is especially true when a customer is searching for a type of product for the first time. Think of the newly promoted C-Suite executive that wants to protect her income with investments in the form of CDs or IRAs. Or the young family that is looking to take on their first mortgage. When venturing into new products, these customers need personal guidance that they probably can’t get with just a Frequently Asked Questions page or an AI bot.
How many cyber security breaches on major financial institutions have we seen in the last five years alone? As banking becomes more digital, it also becomes more susceptible to security threats. Interaction with a human agent can help to alleviate the fear that a customer may have in releasing their personal information out into the online world.
Rather than choosing from a list of products, a human agent can identify the specific needs of a customer and create solutions specially tailored to those needs. This idea can be taken a step further by customizing the experience.
Joseph Pine II, co-author of The Economy Experience, writes that “when you customize an experience to make it just right for an individual – providing exactly the experience he needs right now, at this moment in time – you cannot help but turn it into what we often call a ‘life-transforming experience,’ one that actually changes that individual.”
How does a banking institution provide real-time digital solutions without sacrificing personal touch? It requires products that can provide online customers with interactions that are possible face-to-face.
Here is an idea of some of those products and how they would work in an online banking customer experience.
1. Live Chat
While voice conversations are still a big part of banking interactions, and can now be initiated from a website, text chat has become a popular platform for many companies both within and outside of the banking industry. One advantage of text chatting with a human agent is that it appeals to busy clients and younger customers who are accustomed to having interactions via messaging apps.
For a multitasking customer or those who are on the go, they can have their questions answered while being directed to the solutions that a banking institution provides. In the world of today’s “multi-open-tab” consumer, they can interact with a live agent while researching other pages on a website. A good live chat program will have itself integrated into the site to allow flexible customer navigation without leaving the conversation.
2. Video Chat
Video chat is a similar experience to live text chat with one major exception: the customer can put a face to the name.
With the aforementioned security episodes that have recently beleaguered major players in the industry, trust is a major concern with new and existing customers. Having a friendly and professional face on the screen to assist these customers goes a long way in establishing trust and faith in both banking institutions and their products.
This is a relatively new technology that allows agents to guide customers through a company’s website by sharing the customer experience on-screen without any security risks, as the shared experience exists only on the company website and no access is given to the customer’s personal information unless they choose to share it. When referring back to complexity, trust, and customization, this platform can be very powerful in guiding prospects to a sale or a resolution.
The best solution is to have a suite of platforms that cover all of these products. SaleMove provides an all in one visitor and operator interface that incorporates each of the approaches listed above. Their proprietary customer experience design has captured four Finovate best in show awards in as many years.
SaleMove invites banking institutions to try out their suite of products to see how powerful it can be to have an online experience fused with a face to face level interaction with their customers.