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Why chatbots are no longer the future

Why chatbots are no longer the future

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3 years ago

3 years ago

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It’s no longer a sign of innovation to implement a chatbot as part of a digital marketing strategy, now it’s a staple for finance brands to have. Chatbots may have been a new idea a few years ago but with the increasing digitisation of the financial services industry, chatbots are now a critical step in a finance brands’ digital transformation.

The time is now for chatbots

In 2017, we wrote an article about how chatbots will rule the banking industry and we were right. Chatbots are increasing in popularity each year and becoming a welcomed and essential part of the consumer experience. In fact, the implementation of chatbots has increased by 92% since 2019, making it the communication channel with the largest growth.

“ the implementation of chatbots has increased by 92% since 2019, making it the communication channel with the largest growth ”

Chatbots and AI technology are a crucial step in a finance brand’s digital transformation and are an opportunity to improve and simplify the user experience. However, while 56% of banks and credit unions have created a digital transformation plan only around 25% of them have implemented chatbots. Financial services brands of all types are missing a prime opportunity to remain competitive through creating an open communication channel in a constantly evolving digital arena.

Chatbots are preferred by customers and cost-effective for brands

Chatbots are an important aspect of a finance brands’ digital marketing strategy as they provide cost-effective communication solutions that are preferred by consumers. In fact, they are set to save banks an estimated $7.3 billion globally by 2023, up from the 2019 estimate of $209 million.

Consumers are happy and willing to use chatbots to solve their problems. With 74% of users preferring to use a chatbot when looking for simple answers, this new AI technology offers a prime opportunity for finance brands to customise the user experience to their audiences’ wants.

Solutions to everyday finance problems

Chatbots enable seamless interactions between people and services which ensure customers stay on the website and complete their purchase or action. AI technology offer an opportunity for finance brands to capitalise on consumers’ demand for an always-on customer service experience. 64% of users believe the best feature about chatbots is the 24-hour service they offer and 37% of customers use a chatbot to get answers in an emergency.

Support lead conversion

Real-time interactions are becoming the new standard with consumers and serve as a critical tool to address customer drop-off. With 50% of banks in a recent study reporting that half of their online checking applications were abandoned, finance brands need to find ways to support customers from initial contact right through to fruition. Chatbots are perfectly aligned to convert leads with 41.3% of consumers saying they use chatbots to make a purchase.

Customer service

Chatbots offer a conversational solution to simple customer problems, freeing up time for customer service operators. With 64% of advisors with chatbots stating that it allows them to spend more time solving complex problems, this AI technology ensures finance brands are more efficient and effective in the customer service they deliver.

Omnichannel communication

As the digitisation of the finance world continues to expand so do the opportunities for AI technology. Chatbots are integral for lead generation and customer connection as they offer an omnichannel experience. Finance brands can now communicate directly with customers via their website, Facebook messenger, LinkedIn and other social channels providing multiple touchpoints to address any barriers to uptake or acquisition.

Meet some of the chatbots changing the way finance services operate

Many major banks and credit unions have begun implementing AI technology across their website, apps and social channels. Often humanising the bot, these financial services have seen large success with banks gaining a 20% increase in engagement.

To gain a deeper understanding and see how other finance brands are employing AI technology, let’s take a look at three financial services institutions from Australia, the US and the UK.

  • Vanguard, US. The asset management firm Vanguard utilises omnichannel communication through their Facebook messenger chatbot. You can ask questions about how to invest, contact information, how to open an account and more.
  • Commonwealth Bank Australia. Named Ceba, customers can gain help with over 200 tasks such as activating their card, checking their account balance, making payments or getting cardless cash.
  • Santander UK. Similarly to the others, customers can ask Sandi for help on things such as reporting a stolen card, activating a card or freezing a card.

Chatbots are an integral aspect to a customer’s financial services experience. The rise in AI technology within the finance industry can’t be ignored and must begin to be implemented if brands want to remain competitive. From beginning to end, chatbots offer an intelligent solution to customer’s problems at every stage of the consumer journey. Finance brands need to continue transforming digitally to keep up with competitor and consumer expectations. Chatbots are no longer a futuristic technology but instead an everyday staple.

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