March 24, 2023

Conversational banking: How to solve in the first interaction

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You probably already know that chatbots have revolutionized the customer service industry with the ability to provide instant responses. But most of the time they fail to be truly responsive and can decrease overall user satisfaction. 

Conversational banking suggests that the key to delivering an exceptional experience is resolution from the first interaction. Because what good is it to the user if the bank responds instantly, but it is not able to resolve their query? 

A bot that simply stays with automated responses and does not solve the problem is not an effective bot, because a user who fails to solve his problem is an unsatisfied user. 

Imagine this situation: a user loses his wallet and wants to notify his bank as soon as possible to freeze his cards. The immediate response he will expect, in this rather urgent situation, will be a confirmation from the bank that his cards have been frozen. But if, on the other hand, the bank has a non-responsive chatbot, the answer you will probably receive is a series of steps to follow via the web (or worse, the phone), in order to cancel your cards and secure your funds. It is clear: the first experience is conversational and responsive, while the second is simply responsive.

Conversational Banking: What makes it different from home banking?

When we talk about conversational banking, we refer to a new form of interaction between financial institutions and their customers. It is a strategy that seeks to offer customers resolution experiences similar to those they would get face-to-face, but through digital channels through which they can converse openly with their banks.

Messaging applications, such as WhatsApp, are the preferred means to implement conversational banking, as they allow 1-to-1 conversations, effective communication without character restrictions and are already widely used and accepted by most people.

According to a study, 87% of companies agree that the traditional banking approach is not sufficient to meet the needs of all users in the digital age. In this context, conversational banking is presented as an alternative that not only allows us to offer quick solutions but also to really connect with users, get to know them better, and have a more complete vision of what each one expects from the brand.

We know that each user has different expectations, needs, and preferences, and conversational banking is the path to truly personalized digital solutions.

Related article: Strategic challenges moving from home banking to conversational banking

What is the difference between home banking and conversational banking?

Home banking, although it has existed for years and many users are already familiar with its use, does not meet the requirements of all customer segments, and it is not a suitable channel for resolving all types of queries.

In principle, home banking is a form of unidirectional interaction between users and the bank, which means that management options through this channel are always limited. On the other hand, although it may be intuitive for some users, it is not intuitive for all, especially for older people with less experience in mobile applications or web browsing. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that not all banks have the same interfaces, which can make it even more difficult to use for some elderly user segments. These last two are not minor points, as it is important to keep in mind that older users are a key part of the banking audience.

Conversational banking is presented as a solution to provide a personalized and seamless user experience that resolves user queries in real-time and in an efficient manner.

The main goal: resolve at the first interaction

The premise is simple: modern customers choose to communicate by technological means to streamline processes. Gone are the days when users would call on the phone knowing that they had long minutes of waiting time ahead of them until they could find a solution to their queries.

If we all agree on this, why would we offer cumbersome and slow digital processes that mimic a telephone experience? According to research conducted by Hubspot, 82% of customers consider it "important" or "very important" to receive an immediate response when communicating with a company.

In today's fast-paced society, a few minutes can make the difference between a good experience and a bad one. In this context, customers interacting with a bank are looking to find a solution to their problems from the very first interaction, on the platform they have chosen to communicate on.

The key to success: integrations

In a conversational banking strategy, in order to offer truly instant resolution experiences with conversational AI platforms, the key is integrations.

An integration is a process by which two or more platforms, applications, or digital tools are connected. This allows data from one platform to be transferred and used in another so that the two can work together and complement each other's functionality. The connection between the conversational AI platform and the banking technology stack is critical to provide instant, responsive answers.

For example, if a customer queries his account statement on WhatsApp, what he will expect to receive is the exact number with the amount of his statement, not a list of steps with instructions to download it from his home banking.

From informational to transactional queries

Thanks to an integrated platform, users have the ability to make transactional inquiries and banking transactions without leaving the chat window. Instant, personalized, and responsive responses make for a true conversational banking experience.

The conversational side of chatbots has become a necessity: users no longer want to receive automated messages with limited information, such as answers to the famous FAQ's (frequently asked questions). Each customer has unique needs, a different history of relationship with the bank and different ways of communicating. For this reason, it is essential to have a platform with integrated conversational AI that can adapt to each user and help them carry out the transaction they want instantly.

For example, if a user wants to transfer money from one account to another and chooses to do so via WhatsApp, it is essential that the conversational platform is integrated with the banking system to allow them to perform these transactions quickly, without the need to switch apps. Of course, all transactional queries can be made as long as the user has verified their identity for security purposes.

How to create decisive content

  1. Know your audience and their needs

The starting point is always the audience: who will be communicating with the bank? From the answer to this question, the bank will be able to define what tone it will assign to the responses of its conversational AI platform, what regionalisms and idioms it should take into account, what are the most common ways of asking questions in that audience and what questions they ask most frequently, which brings us to the next point.

  1. Get ahead of them to provide answers with conversational AI.

Knowing the needs of the audience is a key point to exploiting conversational experiences to the fullest. In this way, the bank can anticipate its customers' requests, offering them the information they may need first. On the other hand, knowing in depth the way the audience expresses themselves opens the door to open and unstructured conversations that will make users feel like they are conversing with a human.

  1. Integrate with the banking platform and perform the most frequent banking integrations.

As we mentioned recently, integrations are the key to a successful conversational banking strategy. Thanks to platforms like Studio, it is possible to integrate banking software with the conversational AI platform. This will make it easier for users to solve the most common transactions quickly, easily, and in the same channel. 

  1. Thinking about content for multiple channels

Every user is different, and not everyone prefers to communicate in the same way. Once the bank takes this into account, it is important that it adapts its strategy to the different platforms that users may choose. 

For example, while some segments will prefer to communicate via messaging channels, such as WhatsApp, Instagram or Telegram, it is likely that some people will still prefer the phone call. For this, there are voice-driven chatbots that are equally efficient, natural and resolute. 

Related article: WhatsApp Banking: how to implement an end-to-end conversational journey

Finally, those who prefer to offer more innovative interaction and communication experiences can opt for video conversational AI. This is a video avatar that can provide automated responses in a natural and relaxed way.

       E. Consider security and privacy issues.

As in any traditional banking transaction, security and privacy must be guaranteed from minute 0. Nowadays, it is crucial to protect the privacy and security of banking users due to the increasing number of cyber attacks. End users are often the main targets of attackers, which makes it essential to take measures to ensure that their data is protected and secure. With this in mind, it is important to ensure secure transactions on two levels:

  1. From the conversational AI provider towards the bank, complying with the relevant certifications and security standards for handling data and processing information securely (GDPR and LGPD for Europe and Brazil).
  1. From the bank to the end users, betting on providers with robust security systems that allow the implementation of various security measures. For example, two-factor authentication, biometric identification, end-to-end encryption and fraud alerts.

Revolutionizing the banking experience with conversational banking

There is no doubt that users are increasingly inclined to personalized and instantaneous experiences. Conversational banking is here to elevate the customer service experience in the banking industry and deliver responsive, secure and efficient conversational journeys that meet the expectations of modern customers.

If you want to know more about how to start implementing a conversational banking strategy now, we invite you to learn more about our solutions for the banking sector or to schedule a demo with us.

Are you looking for new ways to improve your CX?

Our customer service solutions powered by conversational AI can help you deliver an efficient, 24/7 experience  to your customers. Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how they can help your business.