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When member engagement is top priority – digital solutions are the answer

Michael Howard

Organisations in the financial services sector have traditionally built and run their businesses on relationships: a banker and their customer, an insurance advisor and their client, or a financial institution and their borrower.

But, as digital demands and the uptake of technology have grown, we have seen the increasing use of self-service portals and apps. What was once the cornerstone of customer service – a face-to-face meeting – is no longer critical for delivering superior customer service for the finsec industry.

As these businesses have scaled, digital portals and apps have provided welcome ease of use and accessibility, as they literally put information at clients’ fingertips. However, as humans, our desire for personal engagement remains. The challenge for the financial services industry – and new fintechs, in particular – has been how to leverage technology at scale, while still keeping the human touch at its core.

Where digital meets human

When we consider where a human employee has an advantage over technology, it comes down to the flexibility and personalisation that comes through conversation. After all, engagement is built on trust and dialogue; elements that were once the foundation of any business relationship.

So, the answer lies in creating a way to use technology while retaining the fast-disappearing human touch. Enter intelligent conversational platforms, which combine innovative software design with digital employees to enable natural and realistic chat across any channel. These are designed to understand questions, answer them in real-time human-like conversation and learn from the engagement.

In an increasingly crowded industry, we’re seeing that these conversational solutions are fast-becoming a chosen way for customers to connect. Savvy businesses are quickly realising that their clients want to engage at a time and place of their choosing, 24/7, through a text or voice channel that they’re already using. These intelligent solutions need to be smart enough to pass a customer through to a human when personal contact becomes necessary.

A customer-first approach

Conversational chatbots, or digital employees, put your customer back in the driver’s seat. They’re able to take control of their interactions with you, calling on your organisation’s services, from anywhere they have an internet connection.

This technology leverages chat platforms that customers are already intuitively using, such as popular apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. This eliminates the need for cumbersome and time-consuming logins and provides customers with a great experience irrespective of the channel they use to communicate.

They engage with these intelligent chatbot platforms in much the same way that they would if a human helpdesk responder was sitting on the other side. Using natural language processing methods, digital employees can analyse a customer's question and deliver a contextual response that meets their needs. These responses are instant – no wait time, no call holding, no restrictive operating hours.

The ability of digital employees to perform more mundane administrative tasks at high speed is also freeing up human resource to focus on more valuable problem-solving tasks. What’s more, the digital employee has the capacity to do what humans simply can’t: remembering all details about a customer, including preferences and purchase history. With this insight, they’re able to instantly recall and resolve issues or respond to queries.

While other systems – such as interactive voice response telephone systems – are inflexible, this next-generation chatbot creates far less user-frustration. Because of their ability to learn from previous interactions and situations, digital employees are able to provide more intuitive responses or solutions.

Tim Warren, Ambit COO, has noted people are ruder to chatbots than they are to experienced employees. For this reason, in-built sentiment analysis – the automated process of understanding the emotional tone of a conversation – means our digital employees have empathy and can understand where people are at, in order to adapt responses accordingly.

Keeping things personal

Consider the experience of a chatbot conversation, versus the experience of landing on a website. Your ability to target hyper-personalised content to a single customer is extremely limited on a website accessed by thousands.

In contrast, a conversational AI platform has the ability to identify recommendations and up-sell or cross-sell relevant products to the right people, at the right time. Now, your business can take a proactive approach to creating customised offerings for each client – without the need for human intervention.

Thanks to the natural language processing capabilities and the enhanced ability to recognise tone and emotions of our digital employees, social and online interactions are set to become a whole lot more personal. This enhanced level of personalised engagement helps drive customer loyalty and brand satisfaction.

As regular, personalised exchanges act as the foundation of strong engagement, could a digital approach put the human touch back in your business?

 


Learn more about the benefits chatbot conversational platforms could bring to your business

Download our eBook, 'Chatbots, A conversation worth having'; where we go into more detail on how chatbots can make the most of your data, deliver a greater customer experience and enhance your digital transformation.
 

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