Voice assistants have proven uses cases for increasing efficiencies across multiple industries, including healthcare, retail, eCommerce and financial services. While customer service has seen the most development, other functions such as management, operations and IT also have much to gain from implementing voice technology.
Let’s explore how some banking institutions have started exploring the efficiencies possible from voice technology, and where it could head in the next few years.
Accelerate customer-facing processes
Interacting with banks by voice as a customer has traditionally been painful. Listening to a long menu of options, multiple key-ins, finally reaching an agent, going through lengthy and often faulty verification processes all before being able to voice a request is unfortunately, not out of the norm.
Worse still, the process is the same whether the customer had a simple or difficult problem.
Now, banks that have implemented capabilities via voice assistants have given their customers a convenient medium of interaction to easily complete low-complexity tasks for themselves. In many cases, what used to be 60-90 seconds for the customer can be reduced to less than 30 seconds.
Customers of Australia’s Westpac Bank for example, are able to check balance, past transactions and make payments through Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Bank of America’s customers can go a step further, to check their recurring charges, monitor their weekly spending trajectory and schedule payments via a chat with Erica, their in-app text and voice assistant.
Additionally, given humans speak 4x faster than they can type (and this is on a keyboard), voice-enabled banking provides a significant advantage in speed, convenience and customer effort over text-based communications.
Speed up back-office operations
Currently, in a 6 minute customer service call, 75% of that time is devoted to agents doing manual research, with valued customer interaction at a dismal 25%. Back-office operations like the above are some of the most common inefficiencies experienced by enterprises.
Chat and voice technology can amplify employee efficiencies by automating menial tasks, act as a knowledge database and support cross-functional operations, improving staff satisfaction and ultimately reducing your operating costs with reduced attrition.
Gartner predicts that by 2021, 25% of digital workers will use virtual employee assistants of some form on a daily basis. 25% of employee interactions with applications will be via voice by 2023.
Seize marketing and sales opportunities
Within every customer interaction, there is opportunity for upsell and cross-sell. With the advent of electronic voice communications with customers, companies can seize these opportunities without needing to hire additional sales or marketing teams to support the influx of interactions.
Imagine interacting with a customer for a support request, to find that they are actually shopping for a new credit card, and thinking about buying a house so may need a home loan. These are opportunities support agents miss or ignore because it’s not part of their job. With chat and voice technology, interactions can be monitored continuously to find sales and marketing opportunities to be actioned on.
Already, UK’s Marks and Spencer has a virtual assistant that has saved them an estimated $2.5 million in sales since it was added to the website. The virtual assistant helps customers troubleshoot discount codes, the loyalty program and solve almost 70% of other customer issues without needing human intervention.
With further development, technology like this can move beyond actioning only on a specific set of marketing opportunities, to a dynamic range of opportunity analysis and actions.
Voice assistant capabilities are endless in banking. With more and more banks picking up on chatbot implementation, the technology presents the perfect gateway to integrate voice capabilities and further Conversational AI opportunities.