Expectations for customer service aren’t just changing: They’re evolving. With each new generation and technological innovation comes an adapting set of customer needs for your bank or credit union. Over the past few years alone, we have seen an immense shift in the way that customers and members want to interact with their financial institutions, brought on by a number of both expected and unexpected variables 

“Over the last 2 years, we’ve seen incredible change,” says David Porter, Managing Director, Global Financial Services at Genesys. “Pandemic-driven changes in all of our lives have shifted buying behaviours, working models, and priorities. Within financial services, the response has been fresh priorities for technology, a renewed focus on CX, [and] new decision makers emerging.” There are many ways that we are seeing this change happen before our very eyes within both new market research results and changing trends financial services continue to implement. 


Mobile is All That Matters

73% of both Gen Z and Millennial consumers surveyed say that their primary banking platform is mobile. This is a massive change from previous generations, and shows a newly evolving service preference among end-users.

“Teller volumes, down 10%. ATM volumes, down 5%. Dot-com volumes, flattening. Where’s all the volume gone? On mobile,” Porter explains, “People are using quick deposit, quick pay, balance check, self-serve trading capabilities, and they want more.” Gen Z and a portion of Millennials grew up with mobile devices always around, so they’re increasingly more comfortable on the platform than previous generations. Furthermore, the speed and convenience of mobile is allowing for users to manage their finances wherever and whenever it is convenient for them. 


The ‘Experience Center’

Customers and Members have always had a wide variety of different ways to get in touch with their financial institutions: Visiting a physical branch, paper/mail systems, digital solutions, and call centers. Though the call center was originally just one of many different ways a consumer could request service, as roles begin to shift and preferences change, what were once simply call centers can begin to take on a new name: one David Porter calls the ‘Experience Center’.

The experience center is what is emerging when banks and credit unions begin to consolidate many different communication channels into their contact centers, creating a digitally-integrated, multi-purpose channel of more experienced staff assisting users in a variety of ways. From face-to-face interactions via video calling, to personalized financial advice, and support offered via texts, email, or calling, an experience center consolidates multiple support channels into one seamless experience.

“That’s the type of frictionless, multi-channel experience that customers want” Porter continues. Putting a heavier focus on digital channels lines up with the shifting preferences of newer generations: Gen Z and Millennials would both much rather self-service online than call their bank or visit a branch, and a large percentage of all demographics believe that in the future, banks will have either fewer physical branches or none at all and will move entirely digital. Being able to provide the same personalized, experienced financial assistance in a decentralized contact center format will keep customers in the digital and mobile channels they want to primarily use. 


A Real Example of Evolving Banks – ATB Financial

Janka Coppens, Managing Director of Intelligent Automation at ATB Financial, understands that customer needs are never static and rarely are fully predictable. “Customer’s wants, needs, and behaviours are continuously evolving,” Coppens notes, “Customers are more open to virtual channels, and have greater confidence in their technical abilities.” ATB has been working to change their range of digital offerings to meet this new emerging trend in customer banking preferences: One of which being their inclusion of Conversational AI platforms. 

“Conversational platforms are a key component of digital channel strategies,” says Coppens, “over the next few years, the number of chatbots are anticipated to surpass the number of humans.” Among surveyed US banking users, 39% of Gen Z and 30% of Millennials want to see automated financial guidance from their financial institutions, and 31% of Gen Z and 28% of Millennials desire virtual assistants. AI-Driven chatbots are a new, emerging feature that more users are interested in seeing than ever. 

“We can provide customers easy access to ATB at any time of the day to carry out transactions, resolve issues, and answer questions,” Coppens explains. Text-based AI-Powered chatbots are perfectly integrated into mobile platforms, emulating the same texting style of communication most mobile natives already are accustomed to. They also serve as an intersection between digital service channels and contact centers, allowing users to both self-serve through the bot or be routed to a live human agent in a frictionless, seamless manner. 


Plan for an Evolving Future or Lose

Banks and Credit Unions are unique in that they serve a wide variety of customers and members, each with their own variety of needs. These needs change over time, and a financial institution that wants to continue to satisfy their user’s needs needs to look at how preferences are shifting and how these new needs can be met. Increasingly, digital customer service tools are becoming widely available to help meet rapidly changing needs. Conversational AI solutions, mobile banking platforms, and experience centers are helping to prepare institutions for the ever-evolving future.


You can watch the full Conversational Banking Summit session on how AI-Powered Chat is changing digital customer service here