While digital services and operations have become the new standard in customer experience, seldom do Finserv companies get it right. In this guide, we reveal why your company should embrace messaging as a conduit to not just dramatically improve customer experience but to also make CX your competitive edge.
The ﬁnserv industry is undergoing a radical shift driven by mounting regulations, changing business models, and razor-thin margins. And as if these challenges were not enough, the emergence of new-age FinTech companies like Apple Pay and Google Pay have disrupted the way consumers perform transactions, resulting in ﬁckle customer loyalty. A study from Bain & Company reports US customers rank disruptors like PayPal nearly as high as banks for trust with their money. This has forced traditional institutions to rethink the way they do business.
As a result, Financial services have jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon and are seriously looking to leverage customer experience as a legitimate competitive advantage. McKinsey & Company reports one bank that undertook a customer-experience transformation concluded that the lifetime proﬁtability of a satisﬁed customer willing to actively recommend the bank to his or her friends was ﬁve to eight times greater than one who had a negative perception.
Of the 50 largest global banks, three out of four now pledge themselves to some form of customer-experience transformation.
However, it’s interesting to note that it’s not the companies that are driving this change. Instead, this change is being driven by the customer. There is a behavioral shift that is happening with how customers choose to communicate with businesses.
For a leading credit card company in the US, 60% of its customers when given the option chose to ‘message’ them instead of call. Klarna, one of Europe’s largest banks also reported that they have moved 60% of their support volume to messaging. These trends suggest that Messaging has become the channel of preference with customers for business communication.
Messaging unlike its predecessor, live chat, brings an asynchronous experience to the customer – just like WhatsApp, iMessage and other everyday apps that people are familiar with. There is no queue nor is it session based which leads to frustrating experiences and low CSAT scores. The conversations don’t even have to happen in real-time.
Conversations can continue on and off over a long period of time as per the convenience of the customer. Messaging allows customers to pick up conversations where they left off which makes it a very personal and easy channel. Klarna, which provides payment solutions for over 85 million consumers across 205,000 merchants in 17 countries, introduced messaging as it appealed to their customer base.
We wanted to appeal to our demography of users mainly consisting of GenZ and millenials. Eric Bompass, product manager at Klarna
While convenience and familiarity are both important elements of a great customer experience, response time may be the key that unlocks meaningful connections. Messaging has the fastest turnaround time across channels like phone, email, and live chat.
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No matter the sector of Finserv, whether it be banking, mortgage, insurance or wealth management delivering seamless customer experience can be a challenge. In order to truly leverage customer experience, institutions need to re-align their CX strategy around the customer’s needs. With the commercialisation of popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage, brands now have the opportunity to engage with customers where they are.
Customers can link their bank accounts with the messaging channel of their choice and carry out basic banking and ﬁnancial needs via an interactive and fun text as though they are texting with a friend. Services include but not limited to – Balance Enquiry, Mini Statement, Credit card reward points, Apply for Credit Cards, ATM/Branch locator, Complaints and other Banking Services. Customers can also receive important updates, regulatory messages, payment alerts from the banks on these messaging apps.
Every region has its own preferred choice of messaging app. WhatsApp is the leading messaging app in over 112 countries and a favorite in regions like APAC, EMEA, Russia, South America.
Emirates NBD was the ﬁrst bank in the Middle East to offer WhatsApp for customer service. WhatsApp messages are encrypted and the green badge next to the Emirates NBD name in the chat window ensures customers are engaging with the business’ veriﬁed account, building trust and credibility with the brand.
We believe WhatsApp will complement our existing digital banking channels and offer security along with the simplicity and convenience of instant responses, 24/7
Abdulla Qassem, group chief operating ofﬁcer, Emirates NBD
While in North America, iMessage is the more preferred messaging channel corresponding to over 100 million iPhone users. Discover Financial Services, the 4th major credit card provider in the US extended their customer service on iMessage using Freshchat’s integration with Apple Business Chat. Using Apple Business Chat, Discover is able to create easy entry points for customers ﬁnd their business and start a conversation – from within Siri, Safari, Search, Maps, and your website and iOS app.
Traditional banks that offer toll-free numbers incur considerable costs. Callers go through an arduous IVR experience thanks to the long wait time. Moreover once connected, the workload for the support team is heavy owing to signiﬁcant time spent between an agent and the caller.
The rise of modern messaging apps for business have also proven to decrease operational costs for these banks. For instance, one of Russia’s most trusted banks reduced cost per contact by 10x by using WhatsApp as a customer service channel.
Be available 24×7 – bring the bank to them. Deliver next-generation self-service, automation, and AI
Long queues, ﬁlling out multiple forms, being asked the same information multiple times, limited payment options are all bottlenecks that make customer experience frustrating in the Finserv industry. Today, customers are moving from traditional bank branches to having 24/7 access to their accounts at their ﬁngertips – which means they expect a seamless support experience whenever and wherever they are. As a result, institutions need to ramp up and deploy the latest automation technologies in the hope of delivering the next wave of productivity, cost savings, and improvement in customer experiences.
AI and Automation can be adopted in different stages of the purchase journe y, and it begins with ﬁnding out about the brand, business, product or service. At the ‘discovery’ stage, customers want to receive precise and fast answers to their queries easily accessible across different channels. In the Finserv industry, these questions can range from ‘What type of insurance products you offer?’ to ‘What is the interest rate for a recurring deposit?’
Freddy Answer Bot, an AI driven chatbot solution from Freshworks that serves customers with precise answers 24×7, not jus t lead them to a support article. The bot also follows up with an intent-based conversation that drives customers to take action. This increases your agents’ productivity as your team is able to focus their attention and energy to manage high-value and more complex customer queries and is brought in only when needed.
Automation also plays a role in the purchase and post-purchase’ stage of the customer journey. Meet Erica, Bank of America’s new virtual ﬁnancial assistant. Marketed as the ﬁrst widely-available virtual assistant in ﬁnancial services, Erica lives in Bank of America’s mobile app and caters to over 25 million mobile customers.
Erica supports users with a range of services that typically would require a human agent. Customers can message Erica to know their recent transactions, lock their lost credit card, check their routing number amongst a host of other things. Within two months of completing the phased rollout, Bank of America announced that the chatbot had amassed more than 1 million users.
Finally, automation has also proven to make a signiﬁcant impact in saving operational costs. Since incorporating automation, a leading credit card provider in the US has saved 10,000 hours using chatbots. A report by Juniper Research claims that for every query that a chatbot handles, banks save 4 minutes of an agent’s time translating to a cost saving of 0.70 USD per query. Bots are helping banks to save up-front costs and the Juniper Research study suggests that banks could save over USD 8 billion by 2022 with the help of bots.
For every query that a chatbot handles, banks save 4 minutes of an agent’s time translating to a cost saving of 0.70 USD per query
The role of automation also extends to impacting revenue and CSAT. A Forrester Report published in 2019 mentions that companies experience higher than planned revenue growth and customer satisfaction scores with automation, AI, and chatbots. Over 80% of the surveyed ﬁnancial services ﬁrms that use AI, automation, and/or chatbots reported achieving higher revenue growth over the last 12 months versus the previous 12 months.
How Freshworks can help
If you are seeking to make a digital transformation in your institution using Messaging, you need a reliable partner who has the right experience and the credentials to help you go the distance. Freshchat is a customer messaging software from Freshworks, that helps ﬁnserv companies deliver wow customer experiences at scale on web, mobile, and social.
The Freshchat difference for Finserv:
- Modern familiar messaging-ﬁrst product that is fully asynchronous.
- Engage customers where they are – WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger
- Powerful automation and AI – DIY bot ﬂows with no code, bring your own bot (BYOB)
- Intelligent routing and assignment to scale your workﬂows
- Seamless integrations to connect with tools and systems you already use Advanced reporting, real-time dashboards, and APIs that drive your CX
- Proven messaging partner with leading banks like Discover, Klarna, Emirates NBD complying to enterprise-grade security
“In the true sense, Freshchat lets us provide an uninterrupted messaging experience at all times. Well, we’ve had 10x growth after introducing messaging and over 60% of our customers prefer messaging to reach out to us.”