The rapidly growing adoption of AI technology by both consumers and businesses is no secret. Individuals interact with AI powered systems and virtual assistants on a daily basis, whether they’re aware of it or not.
While people's interactions with their virtual assistants, smart speakers, and other AI powered consumer tech have already led to transformation of many aspects of daily life, the same type of innovation is causing a slightly quieter, but just as major, transformation in an industry that affects almost every person and business in today’s society — the banking industry.
The IVR — Banking’s Best Frenemy
Traditionally, most banks utilize interactive voice response (IVR) technologies in order to categorize, and either route or handle inbound calls. With lack of a better option, this made sense, and it allowed customers some ability to resolve their issues on the phone. However, there are several drawbacks of the IVR, not the least of which is that people tend to dislike interacting with them, often leading to abandonment. Going through an IVR in order to reach the correct department or agent is a long, frustrating process, with several steps. The result of this process is generally that the customer reaches a human agent who is able to resolve the customer’s issue.
The IVR is essentially delaying the customer until a human is available to speak to them, but it’s not actually able to resolve anything on its own. The level of service that the patient customer will eventually receive may be high, but the employee hours spent handling basic customer inquiries is costly — almost as costly as the frustration felt by the customers throughout the process.
Innovations in machine learning and conversational AI powered technology are enabling banks to replace their monotonous IVR systems with an AI banking assistant, easily performing all of the same functions, while contributing a lot more flexibility and additional functionality. The AI banking assistant also interacts with callers in natural language, facilitating a much more pleasant and intuitive interaction for the customer — greatly reducing the abandonment rate and increasing customer satisfaction.
Let's explore some of the ways that implementing AI in banking can have a major impact on a banking organization's efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Allow customers 24/7 access to banking services
Everybody knows the bank is never open when you want it to be. Though there may be some reasoning behind the odd opening hours of your local branch, the use of AI Banking Assistants is quickly making it irrelevant. Customers can call and speak with an AI powered representative of the bank at any time, receiving the information they need, when they need it, without waiting on hold or being filtered through a long IVR tree.
Let customers reach quick resolutions
When customers call the bank, they’re generally hoping to ask a quick question, receive information regarding their account, or initiate a transaction. With traditional IVR systems in place, this tends to mean a lot of button pressing, a very long hold time, and eventually, a conversation with a human representative.
The AI banking assistant may be integrated with the bank’s database, and without any waiting or hold time, customers can easily resolve any basic request, such as:
- ordering a credit card
- ordering check book
- initiating a wire transfer
- determining status of a loan
- checking positions and balances
Quickly transfer callers to the correct department or representative
Sometimes callers know who they need to speak to; the AI banking representative is able to quickly identify the caller’s requested department or representative and make the transfer if they’re available. If not, the assistant can take a message, and integration with the organization’s CRM will allow seamless transfer and notification of these messages.
Enable painless scheduling between customers and bank representatives
Let customers schedule appointments online or on the phone without any need to speak with a human employee. The AI banking assistant will speak to your customers in natural language and allow them to create an appointment at a time that suits them. Being integrated into your CRM allows the AI banking assistant to book appointments only when the requested representative is available, and automatically update their calendar as needed.
Allow banks to establish a cost-efficient business continuity plan
The cloud-based AI banking representative quickly and easily integrates into an organization’s phone lines and CRM, and can be activated at any time — so when there’s a natural disaster, IT disruption, or even simply a spike in call volume, your AI assistant can handle the phone lines while your organization reestablishes regular operations.
Implementing AI in Banking
The Vonage AI team will create a scalable, fully customized AI banking assistant that is suited to your banking organization, your customers, and your business goals.