By Ravi Saraogi, Co-founder and President of Uniphore APAC
The banking industry is undergoing a revolution. Fueled by challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, many banks were left with no choice but to shift banking activity from in-person to online practically overnight. According to data from the Reserve Bank of India, digital payments have recorded a growth of 30.19 per cent during the year ended March 2021, reflecting adoption and deepening of cashless transactions in the country.
This acceleration in technology and innovation is reshaping the banking experience – bringing change at a breakneck speed, making things easier, safer, and faster. On the flipside, this also means that contact centers have become the main and often only, human touchpoint for banks and their customers as the adoption of digital banking becomes more widespread.
Optimizing these human-to-human conversations is imperative to create the kind of positive, empathetic experiences that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. How can contact centers in the banking industry effectively enhance their customers’ journey and the customer/agent conversation to deliver measurable and sustainable business value?
To begin with, delivering great experiences for customers has to be the cornerstone of businesses. Cultivating deep emotional connections to products and brands is what drives customer loyalty and business growth. For banks to truly deliver on this, they need to be equipped with intelligent tools to be able to genuinely understand customers’ needs, behaviors, and patterns.
One such tool is Conversational AI. Here are some examples of how this technology can be applied to real-life situations:
Enhancing the conversation and the experience
A key component of Conversational AI is its ability to understand customers’ real intents, emotions, and sentiments. When incorporated into Conversational Automation platforms, this helps optimize conversations by helping contact center agents personalize a customer’s banking experience.
By picking up on vocal cues of customers in real-time, agents can have access to in-call coaching alerts — giving them deeper insights into how their customers might be feeling and hence are able to be more empathetic when engaging with them. Conversational AI is also able to suggest to agents products and services that would be most relevant and useful for their customers by utilizing a bank’s database of customer history.
Integrating an automation platform with Conversational AI can enable a bank’s contact center to deliver personalized and positive conversational experiences that ultimately improves conversions, while driving customer satisfaction.
Minimizing after-call work
Another example of how Conversational AI can be utilized is through automation of after-call work (ACW) and call disposition across high-value banking journeys such as mortgage refinance and applications.
Conversational Automation technology can listen to and transcribe conversations in real-time and then present the call summary to the agent for editing and confirmation, immediately after. This helps improve call summary accuracy while also giving agents more capacity to focus on the customer conversation, instead of transcribing the call.
In addition, with streamlined scripting, banks can expedite customer resolution, which results in agents being able to handle and track more call outcomes to maintain quality of interactions, reduce average handle time, and shorten wait times for customers.
Capturing and fulfilling promises made during the conversation
Using a Conversational Automation platform equipped with Conversational AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) capabilities, it also enables the automation of promise management. This can include offering a credit on refinancing a home mortgage, reducing closing fees on a loan, or scheduling an appraisal. Other manual tasks after the call such as updating customer relationship (CRM) databases and logging call details can also be efficiently handled by RPA to improve agents’ productivity.
The automatic logging of promises and commitments made in real-time means that customers’ expectations can be aligned immediately following the call, and agents can be better equipped to ensure that the necessary follow-up is taken to address their queries. This can translate to the elimination of repeat calls and higher customer satisfaction.
Extracting insight from every conversation
By leveraging AI, call centers gain a comprehensive look into customer interactions by monitoring and analyzing every customer conversation across multiple channels. AI-powered platforms can also make every agent their best agent, without weeks and months of classroom training and on-boarding, by guiding them on next-best actions while automating repetitive tasks using RPA. This does not only allow businesses to gain deeper insights to identify trending topics and behavior patterns, but to also minimize – or even completely eliminate – costly human-errors that occur from inexperienced and/or overworked agents.
Using a Conversational Automation platform that includes analytics for voice, email, and chat interactions can help uncover the true reasons for customer churn, accurately identify complaints and uncover issues that negatively or positively impact satisfaction. All in all, this can help drive 100% compliance, to ensure that agents consistently deliver quality customer service and they adhere to necessary regulations.
One thing is certain, the digital economy is here to stay. To successfully meet changing customers’ needs and demands that parallel the advent of digital banking, banks must focus on optimizing both their digital and human touchpoints. Keeping the human touch in an increasingly digital world will require banks to have firm foundations in AI and automation that enable them to optimize every conversation. This in turn transforms the customer and agent experience, drives customer satisfaction, and generates greater loyalty and revenue.