Chatbots and AI

How the Banking Sector Benefits From Chatbots

Chatbot support is needed now more than ever with around 800 to 1,000 bank branches closing each year as they focus on mobile and online banking. With less face-to-face support available, contact centres for banks are under increasing strain to meet the demand for customer support.

Standard contact centres made up of human agents can struggle to deal with the multitude of urgent requests from customers each day. This level of demand may lead to long response times and needing to repeat information to different support agents. With poor service listed as one of the main driving factors behind customers changing banks, it is essential that customer support centres for banks monitor and improve service to ensure customer retention. One of the best solutions is to use a chatbot, as chatbots allow every customer to be the priority and can alleviate the strain on customer support agents in several ways. We take a look at how the banking sector benefits from chatbots.

Improves Customer Experience

With poor service causing a significant loss of customers, exceptional customer service is essential. A great example of how banks are using chatbots is HSBC’s ‘Amy’. Amy can provide customers with detailed answers to their queries on both desktop and mobile devices. From customer feedback given at the end of each conversation, Amy can learn answers to more complex questions. Amy easily deals with FAQ-style requests, and if a query is too complicated, she will transfer the conversation to a support agent.

Faster Response Times

Customer requests relating to banking will tend to be serious and urgent, thus requiring a quick response. If all customer queries are dealt with over the phone, the lines are likely to be very busy. This can result in customers waiting hours for a response from a frazzled call agent. With a chatbot in place, simple requests can be dealt with quickly. In fact, 60 per cent less time is needed to respond to a customer’s question by a chatbot. In most instances, a chatbot can provide customers with an instant answer. Furthermore, wait times for responses will be reduced as chatbots can deal with queries from multiple customers at once.

Implementing chatbots allow the call support agents to be free to deal with more complex cases. With routine enquiries now handled by a chatbot, support cases which require human intervention will be able to be handled with a higher quality of care and attention. Overall, this should help to boost customer satisfaction with the service provided.

Support is Available 24/7

Another benefit of chatbots for customers is the fact they are available 24/7, unlike call agents. Chatbots can be used at all times of the day and night. This availability is useful for custoemrs, especially if they get locked out of their account, gets their card stolen or needs help using online banking services on a bank holiday, the chatbot will still be available to provide assistance.

Predictive Responses Help Customers

Chatbots also allow customers to select from predictive or pre-existing options to help shape the conversation. This can be particularly useful in banking, as the customer may not know the exact term needed to find the information they are looking for, or may not know of their options.

Cuts Costs for Banks

With chatbots handling 24-hour support, the bank will require far fewer night shift staff or holiday workers for customer support assistance. This is a big plus for banks, as this can cut overhead costs such as wages and training. Less staff may also be needed during the day, with chatbots dealing with the basic FAQ questions. Time can, therefore, be given to better training for agents to deal with more complex cases. Chatbots typically require less maintenance than apps. If they are adequately developed, they will need little human interaction, providing you with an employee that can deal with thousands of queries at once for free!

Providing Customer Advice

Like most businesses, banks are always looking for innovative ways to best their competitors, and chatbots can become a bank’s unique selling point. People may be searching for a new bank if they are struggling to save money, or need help with financial matters, so providing a chatbot that offers personalised service could help secure new customers or retain old ones.

The Bank of America, for example, has Erica, a chatbot that helps you create plans to save up for houses, cars and other essentials, as well as providing tips on how to create day-to-day savings. It can also help customers work out how much they would need to save each month for specific things, how much they can afford to spend, and how much they could save by cutting out unessential items. The chatbot also provides teaching materials, allowing customers to become more financially aware.

Helping Employees

It’s not just customers that can benefit from bots! Bank employees can also receive a great deal of benefits from them. As mentioned, with bots handling standard requests, bank staff can focus their attention on more complex cases. Banking as a profession also typically involves a good deal of technical skill with the use of computers, banking software and security protocol. Chatbots can help employees learn how to use these tools, and prompt them through the stages of a process so that no steps are missed.

Chatbots can also be made to handle IT support, helping employees if they struggle. This has been seen with Swedish financial group SEB Bank, with their AI chatbot Aida, which provides their employees with computing support. Aida can deal with thousands of employees at once, helping to lighten the load of the IT specialists who may need to focus on customer issues.

The same is true for HR, with OCBC Bank in Singapore launching their Buddy chatbot. Buddy allows employees to find out basic HR-related queries, such as how many days off they have or to put in requests for holiday. This can save time for the employees themselves as well as the HR representatives.

If you are looking to add a chatbot to your customer support network, the Hostcomm chatbot is perfect for providing help with a personable nature. Making use of Natural Language, the Hostcomm chatbot responds to your customers, and develops each conversation, like a real person. This natural, two-way communication helps to make your customer’s feel more at ease and confident with query management. With the banking sector involved in the transfer of money, it is also likely that payments, transactions or other sensitive data may need to be dealt with. As such, it is essential to use a chatbot software that complies with security regulations. The Hostcomm chatbot applies PCI-DSS level security to its whole network, ensuring that all data transferred is protected.  

If you would like to find out more about what Hostcomm’s chatbot can offer you, please get in touch with our expert team today!

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