Customer Service Automation in Banking – A 2020 Update

Like they have in other industries, artificial intelligence and machine learning are truly disrupting the banking and financial services industry. In fact, Accenture predicted that last year would be a critical one in the evolution of the banking industry, specifically noting that:

  • Of the 784 bank businesses and IT executives from nearly 30 countries polled for their global Technology Vision 2019 survey, 96 percent said the pace of technology innovation in their organizations had either accelerated or significantly accelerated over the past three years.
  • By 2019, customers, employees and business partners expected banks to provide digital-enabled services and operations to meet their personalized needs and to add value.

Which isn’t to say that implementing these solutions doesn’t also benefit the industry. Business Insider Intelligence has quoted related statistics in its 2020 AI in Banking and Payments research report:

  • The aggregate potential cost savings for banks from AI applications is estimated at $447 billion by 2023, with the front and middle office accounting for $416 billion of that total.
  • 75 percent of respondents at banks with over $100 billion in assets say they’re currently implementing AI strategies, compared with 46 percent at banks with less than $100 billion in assets.
  • Certain AI use cases have already gained prominence across banks’ operations, with chatbots in the front office and anti-payments fraud in the middle office the most mature.

If you still have questions about exactly how and at what point to implement banking automation, here is some concrete, nuts-and-bolts information on what you can (and should) expect.

Services AND Security

As mentioned above, customers expect banks and other financial institutions to provide certain automated services, including:

  • Card activation
  • Account inquiries
  • Money transfers
  • Loan application status
  • Overdraft and balance alerts

You can securely automate processes within your voice channel to offer round-the-clock access to these activities as well as a range of customer information. Your automated platform should also make it easy to provide personalized, proactive reminders and notifications, all while delivering a fast, seamless customer experience.

However, it doesn’t matter how excellent your services are in the digital banking sector if financial data isn’t kept completely secure. Protecting customer data is critical to establishing and maintaining trust with your banking customers. This means financial companies often spend an ever-larger amount of their budget on compliance and cybersecurity. In order to save your company time, money, effort and worry, your automation solution should absolutely be fully compliant and certified by PCI-DSS, SOC2, the Visa Global List of Service Providers, Cyber Essentials, GDPR, and potentially others.

A Financial Services Case Study

What changes could voice channel automation reasonably bring to your processes and your customer experience? Let’s take a look at Plum Voice’s case study on one of their clients, a major financial services company that we’ll call MFSC.

Situational Analysis

This company provides customer service for the financial services industry to end users across the United States. The concerns they needed to address included:

  • Their existing solution didn’t address the needs of high-value customers using specialized products.
  • They wanted a way to control initial customer interactions in order to optimize the experience presented to customers.
  • They knew they weren’t using their interactive voice response (IVR) solution to its fullest potential.
  • They wanted to integrate all aspects of their existing, legacy communications applications.
The Solution

MFSC turned to Plum Voice and the scalable Plum DEV automation platform, which provides all the tools they needed to address these concerns. MFSC’s developers built a range of applications on the Plum platform that enabled the company to separate automated tasks from those better serviced by agents. They then automated customer integrations and intelligently routed calls to multiple contact centers based on real-time metrics. This intelligent call routing ensured that calls were transferred to the agents best suited to handle the needs of individual customers.

With its automation application up and running, MFSC implemented a continuous improvement program using advanced call analytics provided by Plum’s VoiceTrends application. The data gleaned from VoiceTrends allowed the company to pinpoint problem areas within applications that led to abandoned calls, high transfer rates, and customer frustration. These analytics allowed MFSC to update and optimize its automation applications on a daily basis, if necessary.

As a next step, when the company brought some of their agents in-house to serve their most high-touch customers, integrating those agents into their automation application was painless because the technology infrastructure was already in place. The application also helped MFSC maximize their BPO needs by using data to normalize expectations across all of their vendors.

The Outcome

In summary, by taking the first step of using IVR as a central location for receiving incoming calls in the cloud, MFSC was able take steps to own and control the entire customer interaction and then mine it for future improvements. The result? MFSC achieved a 90-percent call automation rate while also collecting resultant improvements to the company’s net promoter and customer satisfaction scores.

By creating a more efficient, cost-effective solution, Plum technology empowered MFSC to better manage its growth and to remain flexible to changing conditions within the company and the financial services industry. But this isn’t our only success story or even our only relevant metrics. For instance, since using Plum Voice, 75 percent of surveyed financial services organizations have seen an improvement in their call containment rates.

What’s in it for Your Company?

As established above, your company needs an always there, always available, and always secure automation solution that meets both your needs and the needs of your customers.

We invite you to learn more about our products and the impact Plum has made for other clients; we’re trusted by more than 600 enterprises in 150 countries. Our clients range from medium- to large-sized enterprises across a wide variety of industries, and we have thousands of successful, long-term application deployments.