The term “Banking” is well versed with all of us. It is a financial institution which accepts and safeguards money owned by other individuals or entities. It lends out money to perform economic activities such as making profits or covering operational expenses. Bringing in automation into the banking system through chatbots & voicebots can prove to be very efficient & will surely enhance customer service offerings.
Banks are the backbone of the nation’s economy. Thus, it is of utmost importance that banks remain healthy financially. A financial crisis can lead a country to a recession. In developing countries, banks play a catalyst role in activating and sustaining economic growth. However, banks face various challenges which affect their profitability and financial stability. Over the past few years’, pressure on the banking sector increased steadily. This threatens the traditional banking model. The sophisticated investments such as Bitcoin or digital payment platforms like PayPal, Apple pay, Paytm, crowdfunding, Google wallet etc. came up with great sustainable challenges.
1. What is a Voicebot?
2. What sets a voicebot apart?
3. How Voicebots can enable a better Banking experience?
There are two types of banks viz. commercial/retail and investment banks. In most of the countries, banks are regulated by a Federal or Central Bank. Such a Federal bank monitors currency stability, controls inflation, dictates monetary policies and oversees money demand and supply in the market.
We are living in an era of constant technological changes and emergence of a new paradigm. These technologies can trigger more efficient ways to manage the banking sector. Huge assimilation of small devices and phones in everyday life has a tremendous impact on customer relationships. Increasing market pressure and new technology pushed the banking sector to adapt at a speed which is unprecedented in its long history. The digital paradigm change suggests that the time has emerged that the banking sector must add value to the customer by delegating technical functions to specialized technologies. IT companies can provide comprehensive technology solutions to banking sectors ranging from basic services to strategic alliances which can optimize banking business with the latest technology.
With the introduction of mobile banking and net banking, the adoption of newer technologies become more relevant. It is a challenge for banks to win new customers and retain existing ones. Customers expect fast, on-demand, interactive and personalized experiences which they are getting from Amazon, Google or Netflix. Banks are continuously striving to become customer centric than they ever have been in the past. AI powered Voicebot based on text and voice have fueled the need of a customer experience paradigm. Now the time has arrived. Banks need to interact with their customers in a new way by adopting the most natural medium called “Voice”.
A voicebot is an interaction with a device or a service simply by using human voice. With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and National Language Processing (NLP), a voicebot can understand a question or a request and structures with a fitting audio response. It converts human voice to text using Speech to Text (STT) engine. The AI technology then helps to identify key markers or otherwise called intents in the speech and provides a suitable response. The Text to Speech (TTS) engine then converts the response (text) to audio or voice to conclude the interaction. These bots are trained to understand the entire speech and provide responses in a near human manner. They are also referred to as Voice Assistant or a Virtual Assistant. With the ability of Conversational AI, the voicebots are able to understand the context and pursue a conversation which is much more than just a robotic response.
Chatbot is a mode of communication which uses text messages. Similar to voicebot, a chatbot is also an AI driven software which can simulate a chat or a conversation with users in natural human language.
What sets voicebot apart from chatbot is the fact that it is faster than chatbot. Voice is the quicker form of human communication - faster than typing or navigating menus with the help of a mouse. More so, it doesn’t require an interface like a computer and can run from a normal phone, smart speakers, mobile apps or even car dashboard. As a result, voicebot has immense potential for elevating customer experience.
As I already mentioned, banks are becoming more customer centric than the product centric business model. So they need to adopt new technologies to get the best customer experience. With the growing usage of voicebots like Siri, Alexa, Google home etc. customers are more interested to talk and fix their problems or queries in a fast track way.
Let us now discuss how and why banks are shifting their focus towards voicebot.
People’s perception of the bank completely depends on customer satisfaction. It is directly proportional to the customer retention and loyalty building. CSAT (Customer satisfaction) survey shows one of the top reasons customers switch banks is because of poor customer service. One of the challenges that customers face is that agents are not available or banks are not open when they need it the most. For example, if a customer loses his/her credit card during a vacation and is in urgent need to block the card. Because of being in a different time zone there is no one available to answer the call or help them overcome the crisis! Here an AI driven voicebot can come into action where it can provide round the clock service irrespective of geographical location.
Voicebots eliminates the burden of bank employees by shelving repetitive queries, helping them to focus on tasks which need human expertise. Moreover, bot engage customers to self-service on some basic enquiries and to-dos, eventually the number of calls /email drop significantly and the ticket resolution time decreases.
With the addition of bot, customers have the opportunity to lead conversations with the bot according to their needs. Banks will have access to the valuable customer information, requirements, feedback for the historical date and can reach customers with personalized support and product offerings.
Banks when involved in specific services like debt collection, it has been witnessed that voicebot has a better edge compared to humans. The debt collection bot can understand and collect information as people are more comfortable and honest, while interacting with bots regarding their debts as compared to agents as it seems more safe and less judgmental. For banks also it is good as the person cannot do much negotiation related to debt payment.
It can help customers to get information related to their accounts and make account related requests in a more efficient and private manner with frictionless conversation. The best thing is that all information is available whenever you need it and its almost instantaneous.
Banks face huge risks and losses and reputation damage through money laundering and frauds. Bots can provide opportunities to go for future automation and bring more intelligence to processes which are governed by regulatory requirements or security. With the help of conversational AI technology, a proactive approach can detect and prevent risks of failure of employees. With voice biometric integrated with voice bots, the fraud caller can be easily detected and handed over to a human agent.
Voicebots can trigger outbound calls to engage with customers. It can remind customers about their due dates of bills or pre-qualify them for a certain product. Since voicebots can hold natural human-like conversations, one can ask certain questions or share information without sounding robotic or spamming a customer.
With the evolution of time and technology, it is not far away when we will see bots performing more complicated tasks like cross selling and upselling.
With the ongoing pandemic situation where the working culture has been changed radically, banks have limited in-branch customer interaction and people have reduced their ATM visits. Hence, bank contact centers become the touch point for a bank and call volume has increased manifolds. It has created huge backlogs as banks operate with a limited workforce. Agents are working remotely and under high pressure to deliver as they face various barriers while taking calls from a home environment. They do not have quality control on calls when their agents are working from home. Voicebots can help banks to overcome this crisis. It enables autonomous telephonic conversation and offers instant on-demand customer service. They do not need any physical space or deployment and can be monitored from anywhere.
Author Bio: Sumita has long years of experience in various segments of management ranging from contact center to process development with the help of lean Six Sigma methodology. She is an avid reader, occasional writer and extensive traveller across the Globe.