The holidays are all about spending time with family — and yes, a little shopping and gift giving. With that comes, for most of us, the burden of keeping a watchful eye on bank accounts: checking for unusual activity, confirming that transactions are legitimate, making sure funds are transferred to the right account, etc. When it comes to banking, time is precious, and customers need to trust that issues can be resolved quickly and easily.
To keep banking customers and credit union members joyous this holiday season and beyond, financial institutions are beginning to lean on AI-powered chatbots that can quickly understand each customer’s unique situation and provide immediate, personalized support. Most important for busy holiday shoppers, chatbots offer 24/7 access to their financial information across key touchpoints, including their mobile phones. Here’s how financial institutions are using technology to bring holiday cheer:
Leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Smarter Self-Service
Banks and credit unions understand that today’s consumers are looking to self-serve when it comes to answering questions. In other words, they don’t want to call a customer service line, or send an email – they want to be able to quickly find the answers they’re looking for without having to work too hard for it. By incorporating intelligent chatbots into the customer experience, banks can use existing customer data to tailor each engagement and deliver helpful information to customers even after the business closes.
Modern banking chatbots leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand the intent behind each inquiry. These chatbots can, for example, tell you how much money you have left in your account whether you ask it, “What is my balance?” or “How much more can I spend?” No matter how you ask the question, a smart chatbot knows what you mean.
Leveraging Customer and Member Data to Provide a Personalized Experience
The best chatbots integrate with a bank’s data systems – their customer data, account information, product and service offerings, etc. – and use this information to personalize the interaction. Furthermore, AI-supported bots have the ability to recognize user-context — from where they’re located to what they’re searching — enabling them to offer relevant and actionable information that directly aligns with their needs. If a customer asks, “Is my branch open tomorrow morning?” the chatbot can check the user’s location, match it to the nearest branch, check that branch’s hours, and deliver an answer in natural language to the customer.
If a new visitor comes to your site at any time of the day or night, chatbots can collect information from the new interaction and guide the individual along their personal journey. This provides valuable resources and solutions to prospects who are looking to find answers to their banking problems — something that will keep everyone jolly all season long.
Proactively Preventing Overspending and Fraud
Self-service chatbot solutions give banks and credit unions the opportunity not only to deliver 24/7 service with personalized support, but to go a step beyond reactive engagement and proactively offer relevant information and recommendations. AI is really good at managing vast amounts of data, so it’s very easy for a bot to keep an eye on customer accounts and make sure no one is spending themselves into the red. Proactive chatbots can alert your customers or members when their holiday spirit has carried them too far, preventing overdraft fees that surely take the merry out of the season.
Similarly, bots can easily spot unusual trends in spending that might indicate fraud. With proactive outreach, bots can give customers a heads up – and do it across multiple touchpoints like SMS text, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, etc. – so customers are always in the know about their accounts. This allows banks to meet the benchmark of convenience and ensure they’re providing value wherever and whenever their customers need them. In today’s world, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When it comes to financial services, the greatest gift that chatbots give is access. Access to information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Access to personalized account details without waiting for a human agent. Access to information about the products and services available. And, perhaps most importantly, access to security. Bots definitely have their limitations, but what they are really good at is combing piles of data and distilling the important information. The holiday season provides an opportunity for financial service institutions to wow customers by ensuring that each interaction is helpful and easily fits into their already packed schedule. By investing in chatbot technology, banks and credit unions can achieve this – increasing customer/member loyalty and merriment throughout December and beyond.