Your customer’s banking experience should be both convenient and efficient. Long wait times and complicated phone menus can cause customers stress, anger, or confusion—and possibly all three. So, what can you do to create more efficient call center teams, improve customer service, and thereby broaden your customer base? Give your company a competitive edge by implementing natural language processing (NLP).
NLP software applications are modernizing the banking industry. By leveraging both artificial intelligence (AI) and NLP in the automation of dialogue, virtual agents can engage with customers, ask simple questions, such as “How can I help you?” to determine user intent, and provide personalized and intelligent responses.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to sit on hold to speak with an agent—especially for something as easy as activating a bank card, transferring funds, or making a payment. With the help of automation, NLP software applications allow customers to do simple tasks quickly over the phone via a virtual agent, leaving live agents available to handle the more complex banking issues. This means wait times are less, the need for live agents is minimized, and call containment is improved. Also, banking customers can get services and information in multiple languages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Keep reading to learn more about 5 important NLP software applications currently benefiting the banking industry.
Top NLP Banking Applications
Card Activation & Servicing
Whether it’s a credit, debit, or prepaid card—chances are, it needs to be activated and routinely serviced. While some websites require burdensome authentication processes, NLP and AI allow virtual agents to help banking customers conveniently and quickly through simple tasks, such as activating cards, paying bills, checking balances, and making transfers. This leaves live agents available to focus on any complicated matters that may arise while also providing more efficient customer service to all callers. In fact, banking companies that used voice service applications via Plum accomplished IVR call containment rates higher than 90%. This jump in efficiency increases profits and saves invaluable time for both customers and banking institutions alike.
Consider the case study of our client, EML, who has over $19 billion transacted on their platform annually and manages more than 850 programs across three continents. As a leader in their industry, most of their customer calls request the same ask: the balance on their prepaid cards. When EML wished to streamline these card balance inquiries so that customers could access information quickly and EML representatives wouldn’t be tied up responding to routine requests, they turned to Plum Voice IVR to automate these card balance inquiries through their voice channel.
EML and Plum collaborated, and gave cardholders two ways to access this new automated process: 1) Calling the IVR application directly; or 2) Contacting EML’s main customer service number, which if necessary, routes the cardholder to the IVR application for automated card account balances.
EML’s deciding factor in choosing Plum was the reliability of safe and secure financial data—Plum’s cloud IVR platform is, in fact, PCI-compliant. As a result of this choice, EML’s quality self-service option led to an 85% IVR containment rate and better overall customer service.
Notifications & Reminders
Give banking customers necessary information before they even think to ask for it. Notifications and reminders for time-sensitive information like a very low balance that could result in overdraft or loan documentation needed to meet deadlines can be sent via Plum’s reliable cloud platform, as can information applicable to almost all customers like monthly statement or tax document notifications. Proactively contacting your banking customers will increase engagement and minimize no-show appointments and missed deadlines. It can also cut back on the number of inquiries to live agents. Nobody’s going to call for details about an appointment if they’ve already received the necessary information via email, text, or phone.
Whether you want to send fast and efficient updates to thousands of people or timely personalized messages to individuals, automated notifications and reminders will improve the overall banking customer experience and can prevent issues before they arise.
NLP software applications provide the ultimate payment experience. Whether we’re talking debt collection or standard monthly bank payments, your customer’s experience should be fast, secure, and effective. Plum’s IVR payment applications allow banking customers the convenience and flexibility to make payments over the phone. It’s also important to note that payments made are compliant with guaranteed high levels of security from PCI-DSS regulations.
A good example of the benefits from NLP software applications in banking can be seen in the case study of Plum’s client, National Merchant Services Company (NMSC). This leading payment processing company added IVR to provide “around-the-clock payment options” for customers. NMSC started with a simple script, but they relied on Plum’s expertise to optimize the script and build the application. When choosing Plum, NMSC appreciated not only Plum’s PCI Level 1 compliance, but also their knowledge to provide education on IVR technology and their ability to walk them through every step of the way. Ultimately, NMSC and Plum’s integration cross-referenced caller input and customer profiles to provide accurate payment options based on each customer’s payment history.
Account Inquiries & FAQs
When a customer calls a bank, more often than not—they want information about their account. And most of the time, these inquiries are simple. Don’t make information hard to find. And don’t limit the scope of information available. If a customer must jump through hoops or wait too long, frustration sets in, and they may choose to switch to a competitor with better customer service. Time is invaluable. This NLP software application in banking can provide personalized answers to questions about customer accounts, redirect complicated inquiries, and can also act as a reliable expert on institution FAQs.
In the case study of Plum’s client, Major Financial Services Company (MFSC), the company’s live agents handled voluminous customer calls that could have easily been automated. Unfortunately, this drove up costs. When MFSC realized that higher automation rates would decrease the amount of time live agents spent on the phone and cut the number of repeat calls they received, they opted for the Plum DEV Platform. This gave MFSC the tools necessary to separate automated tasks and those in need of a live agent. They used IVR as a hub to receive all incoming calls and easily controlled initial customer interactions. The applications created with Plum DEV successfully routed calls to a variety of call centers based on real-time metrics. The best-suited agents received the calls.
MFSC also implanted Plum’s VoiceTrends to obtain advanced call analytics, which helped MFSC improve automation applications daily by examining possible problem areas, such as dropped calls, high transfer areas, and disgruntled customers.
After implementing Plum DEV and VoiceTrends, MFSC’s automation rates soared to 90% or higher and customer satisfaction scores mimicked the jump. Controlling customers’ initial interactions created a more efficient, cost-effective process, allowing MFSC to grow and continue to grow. And no matter what changes occur internally within the company or externally within the banking industry, the implementation of VoiceTrends will continue to help MFSC remain flexible to any changes that come their way.
NLP software applications, through the automation of conversational dialogue, can reduce customer frustration by quickly understanding a banking customer’s intent. Customers can describe their intentions in their own words, get personalized answers to inquiries quickly and efficiently, and decrease overall live agent call time.
Three main areas where NLP software applications in the banking industry really excel include security, reliability, and accessibility.
Security: Any financial institution contemplating using NLP software applications wishes to keep their data safe and their customer confidence high. Plum does just this by providing PCI-DSS Level 1 and SOC2 compliant IVR banking features. These additional security measures improve security and customer trust. Customers know their data is safe. No matter which company you choose, consider IVR security.
Reliability: NLP software applications introduce and enforce streamlined processes to improve reliability. This reduces errors (including resolving ambiguity in language), increases speed, and improves overall customer service.
Accessibility: With NLP software applications, access to information and services in multiple languages is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. At any point, banking customers can contact virtual agents for account information, payments, simple requests, or they can request to speak with a live agent. And live agents are more likely to be available as the vast number of banking requests can be reliably handled by the virtual agent.
Reimagine banking with NLP software applications. Whether your financial institution seeks a brand-new automated customer service solution or simply wishes to upgrade an existing IVR, Plum offers PCI-compliant cloud hosting options.
Simply put, long wait times and complicated phone menus are a thing of the past. Why not implement these top 5 NLP software applications to successfully manage customer initial input while freeing up live agents to attend to more complex issues? This smart move will set you apart from the competition and cut costs while simultaneously helping more banking customers and broadening your customer base. Contact us today to learn more.