Call centers are facing a paradigm shift among newer users: with every new generation, consumers are increasingly less likely to have ever called their bank or credit union, and preferences towards interacting via phone-call dwindle in favour of other digital service methods. Gen Z and Millennials are less interested in engaging with a traditional call center than previous generations, meaning that financial institutions will want to engage their customers with more appealing service options if they wish to maintain their retention. Digital customer service tools are available, and they can keep your end-users where they want to be —your bank or credit union that they are already loyal to!

John Fernandez, SVP of Marketing at Glia, understands this changing customer perspective well: He notes that while customer preferences are increasingly shifting towards online, on-screen self-service, most customer service offerings at banks or credit unions are completely disconnected from these digital spaces. 

“When over 80% of all phone callers are either on a screen or near a screen, it doesn’t make sense that so much of customer service is purely phone-only,” says Fernandez. This discrepancy is what Glia serves to eliminate: as a leader in providing digital customer service solutions, Glia wants to get customer service away from phones and onto the channels that customers are actively engaging with. In our survey, Gen Z and Millennials preferred to find answers online or use a live text-based chat over calling their bank: phone-based service is falling out of favour among newer users. 

Increasingly, more banks and credit unions are beginning to realize they need to adopt a digital-first mindset. Justin Knowles of City Bank Texas notes the importance of needing to shift the support structure to meet your customer’s needs: “We have to be able to service our customers how they prefer to be supported. Whether that means in-app, on our bank website, or by any other traditional means,” Knowles says. 

 

Conversational AI: A Powerful Tool in your Digital Customer Service Toolkit

Moving to a digitally-focused customer service model not only shifts your focus to where your users really want to be, but also allows for the adoption of a variety of digital-only tools that enhances the customer experience. Glia allows for a seamless, pre-integrated implementation of co-browsing, voice, video, and messaging functionality. Conversational AI is one tool that Glia can integrate into a digital platform that significantly increases customer satisfaction with your online and mobile offerings. 

“Virtual assistants provide intelligent, guided, 24/7 self-service that allows for both efficiency, and improved customer service” says Fernandez. One of the benefits of AI-powered chatbots for your digital customer service platform is being able to automatically answer low-value, routine questions or service requests without requiring a human agent to intervene. Password resets, asking for branch locations, checking the balance of accounts, this can all be done by a banking chatbot in just as intuitive of a manner as a human agent could accomplish. This frees up your live agents to tend to the more in-depth, relationship-building inquiries where having that human touch is the most important. 

“As we launch the chatbot… [our average monthly call center volume] will decrease and the chat volume will increase,” says Knowles, the Strategic Innovation Officer from City Bank of Texas. Implementing the AI-driven chatbot helps to keep customer attention back onto the on-screen platforms where they want to be. With a virtual assistant providing an easier way to self-service online, users will only turn to your contact center when they either feel it is necessary, or are turned there by the bot. In the latter case, a chatbot serves as a way to seamlessly connect a user with a live agent and provides full context of the conversation to make the interaction as smooth as possible.

 

Develop your Digital-First Mindset

As new generations enter the market, they bring with them a new set of preferences and expectations for their financial institutions. The quality of a financial provider’s digital services is increasingly becoming an important factor in how the new generation chooses their bank or credit union: by not adopting a digital-first mindset, you could risk losing interest in favour of fintech apps or neobank services. Digital services like Glia or Finn AI can help modernize your on-screen customer service options and make sure that customers or members are being engaged in the channels they prefer.

 

To hear more from John Fernandez and Justin Knowles on Conversational AI, check out this video compiling their thoughts on virtual assistant chatbots from the Conversational Banking Summit 2021.