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5 ways financial services can differentiate with customer service in 2022

Daniel Rajan

April 1, 20225 min read

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Macroeconomic conditions have changed, and many businesses in the financial services industry are struggling to navigate today’s new customer service landscape.

The COVID-19 crisis has both increased public distrust in banking services and accelerated digitization in the industry. This emphasis on digitization has in turn accelerated pressure from shareholders to reduce costs and increase profits. But the financial services industry is also facing stricter regulations than ever before — most recently around complaints management — and keeping up with all that regulatory change requires continuous investment. (Since the 2008 financial crisis, banking services have been fined more than $300 billion.)

The contact center plays a key role in helping financial services institutions keep up with shifting compliance requirements. It’s also crucial to providing the hyper-personalized, instant help and support experiences that customers have come to expect from banking and financial customer service. Customer service presents an important opportunity for you to increase trust, reduce costs, and set yourself apart from the competition.

As your financial institution looks for new ways to have meaningful conversations with customers in digital spaces, AI-powered technology can help facilitate those human connections. Here’s how.

Financial customer service must be proactive

Customers want to be updated about changes or potential issues well before an issue actually occurs. To meet these expectations, financial institutions should adopt a customer-centric approach and enhance the customer experience with contextual banking. For example, 47% of customers want their financial institution to connect the dots for them between their income, expenses, and savings — providing proactive guidance to help them reach their financial goals.

Proactive customer service in financial services can take many forms, including:

  • ​​Lead generation: send a popup if a customer has spent a predetermined amount of time on a credit card page, for example, and assign them to a virtual assistant or advisor

  • Payment collections: notify customers prior to loan due dates to ensure timely payments and provide a frictionless way to pay back the installments

  • Automatic alerts: notify customers about abnormal transactions or account activity, including possible fraudulent activity, high-risk transactions, different device login or location, etc.

Customer service must be seamless across channels

Customers today have access to an ever-expanding amount of digital channels. And just when you think you’ve gotten your organization up to speed, a new channel appears and gains popularity. Daunting as it may feel, it’s critical that you support your customers on all of their preferred channels. You must bring financial customer service to them, rather than force them to come to you.

Speed and simplicity are hallmarks of any good customer service solution for financial institutions. You should be able to add new channels in minutes, rather than days. Look for customer service platforms that unify the many types of channels including social, messaging, email, voice, SMS, and even Google and Apple reviews.

Use conversational intelligence to scale your financial customer service

Customers expect quick resolutions to their issues. With every transfer, and every minute they wait on hold, they lose their patience — which ultimately results in a loss of goodwill that can impact not just your relationship with that person, but your capability to grow your customer base.

Among customers who have changed banks due to bad service, 80% said they could have been retained if their issue had been solved on their first contact with the bank. Conversational banking helps customers resolve issues much more quickly. It also gives banks access to critical data on customer goals, financial behavior, intentions, and desires — identifying opportunities to upsell or cross-sell and offer relevant advice.

Bots allow financial services customer service operations to scale, and offer instant resolutions for customers. Most customer queries range from informational to transactional, and many can be efficiently resolved by bots, including:

  • ​​Conversational FAQ bots: provide up-to-date information on current interest rates, mutual funds, SIPs, mortgages, annuities, small business loans, and more

  • Conversational payment bots: chatbots that can handle transactional queries related to credit card payments, monthly bills, etc.

  • Conversational booking bots: schedule virtual or in-person appointments with bank executives for a financial consultation

  • Conversational renewal bots: policyholders can see if they are due or overdue, renew their coverage from home, and get virtual assistance and premium acknowledgment, all within a single transaction

Personalized experiences are critical for banking customer service

Personalized experiences are becoming a differentiator in the financial services sector.

People increasingly want to have seamless, integrated experiences across all touchpoints — and they do not want to keep repeating themselves. Customers today expect agents to know all about their previous conversations, understand their personal financial goals, and give advice tailored to their circumstances.

Customers also now expect a full digital onboarding in a frictionless, secure environment. In fact, 50% of consumers report having abandoned an onboarding process when applying for a bank account. Financial offerings are very complex, so it’s extremely important that you provide enough guidance to help people when they’re selecting the right products for their financial needs.

Data privacy and protection should be a top priority

Customers are protective of their personal data and have concerns about the way their information is processed and used by banks. They want to know that any sensitive personal information they share over a conversation channel is protected. But 73% say they are willing to share more personal information if companies are transparent about how it will be used.

The right customer service software will mask personally identifiable information (PII) using PCI-compliant secure forms to mitigate data privacy risk (e.g., only showing the last four digits of credit cards, and masking policy numbers, account numbers, loan application numbers, etc.). It should also comply with data purging and data retention policies for financial institutions, deflect users from untrusted social channels to secure chats, and allow users to access a copy of uneditable chat transcripts for transparency.

Sprinklr Modern Care offers enterprise-grade security and customer service compliance for financial services institutions. Find out how our unified contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution makes it easy to listen to and understand banking services customers, and filter out the noise — routing all engageable and relevant conversations to the right agent and teams inside Modern Care’s agent desktop.

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