The banking industry is perhaps one where technology has made the most difference compared with a few years ago. This is clear with all banking applications – websites, smartphones apps, new and more advanced capabilities of ATM machines, and it’s also true for customer service.
Banks need to serve their customer with an omnichannel approach, since customers have different preferences (web, chat, mobile...) and depending on where they are they can easily decide to move from one channel to the next.
Customer want access to their financial information and self-care 24/7, and it is a challenge for banks to keep the pace with the volume of requests, as well as the continuous update of rules and procedures, that are regularly changing according to new regulations and internal policies.
Conversational Virtual Agents represent a formidable first line of customer care, available 24/7, and easily scaling up according to the volumes of requests. The Virtual Agents can quickly adapt to any change in the procedures, keeping consistency over all the available channels.
Human Agents can then focus on the exceptions and on those areas of customer care where high levels of skill are required. Customer care team members then have more time for training activities to be ready to provide high quality advice to their clients.
Handling multiple customer-care domains
Banks customer care needs to serve and handle multiple and different areas of knowledge, depending on the type of request, the level of authentication and the profile of the customer.
The service spans from general information regarding the services offered by the bank to financial advice; from self-care and financial operations to documents handling and contractual updates.
It is well known that the linguistic skills of a Virtual Agent are very much dependent on the domain it is trained for. Handling a multi-faced domain is normally a challenge for most of the cognitive services available in the market. IM.MIND provides unique features to handle multiple linguistic domains within the same service. This is particularly handy for the customer care of a financial institution, as the Conversational Virtual Agents are able to switch easily from one context to another and provide the highest performance each time.
Context Aware Agents
Context awareness and consistency across multiple channels is always a challenge. To address it, IM.MIND, preserves the status of the interaction with the customer: if the communication was interrupted in the middle of a transaction, the Virtual Agent can pick up the same transaction from where it stopped, remembering the previous conversation.
This is true even if the customer contacts the service on a different channel, for instance with a phone call after a chat session.
Different user profiles, recent user activities, recent incidents, business decisions (like the decision to activate a promotion, cancel a service, etc.) are all valuable information that the Virtual Agent can consider to change the flow of the dialog and make the interaction with the customer more personal and effective.
Case Study: Chatbot for Online Customers
A prominent Italian bank decided to explore the potential of the chat channel while its customers were visiting its website, considering it friendlier and less invasive than other ways of communication. They felt that customers would use chat more readily to initiate a conversation and clarify their needs before possibly escalating and continuing the conversation via phone or email.
Since the size of the workforce necessary to handle the chat conversations was a concern, the bank decided to act smart and allow Virtual Agents to handle the initial steps of communication with the customers and provide most of the relevant information.
They contacted Interactive Media, and the bank’s chatbot was born. The virtual agents implemented with IM.MIND manage a huge service domain, ensuring the necessary level of quality in the interaction with the customer as well as the scalability of the chat service to cope with any fluctuation in the numbers of customers visiting the web site. Meanwhile, human operators monitor the service and will directly engage in communication with the customers when their expertise and human touch is required to secure the business.