Financial institutions (FIs) are in a tough position. They need to deliver customer service excellence while call volumes are up and call center staffing remains a challenge. Customers and members expect real-time engagement at their point of need, but traditional phone systems often provide limited functionality. Enter conversational chatbots: They can provide the heavy lifting where informational or straightforward answers are needed, which we have found cover 75% of contact center calls. Here are just a few of the various issues that call centers are facing, which can all be alleviated with an intelligent, voice-enabled chatbot solution.
High Call Volumes
Imagine that your call center receives on average 20,000 calls per month. Your current system may allow you to handle this volume (although wait times are higher than you would like), but any change can throw this balance off completely. What happens if you lose a staff member or you need to make modifications to your website or online banking? Or you successfully increase your account holder base? Call volumes will continue to rise as these dynamic changes happen, and only those financial institutions that can accommodate these types of shifts will continue to serve their customers and members well. A voice-powered virtual assistant can act as a first line of defense for these call centers, taking incoming calls and automatically answering routine, repetitive questions on its own. With this system in place, many calls can be efficiently contained, allowing contact center staff to focus on the most important inquiries.
Staffing challenges have carried over into 2023, causing more strain on contact centers. FIs need to compete with other businesses for customer service, and for smaller institutions with fewer resources, this is an especially difficult task. FIs are also fighting the current of the usual customer service rep attrition too—as high as 45%.
Even if you could fully staff your call center for all those calls, the cost is not insignificant. Costing about $6 per call, those 20,000 calls add up to $120,000 per month and more than $1.4 million per year. Knowing this, it may be time to consider other options to support your customers and members. Conversational chatbots allow call centers to grow business efficiently, without sacrificing customer or member satisfaction. AI-powered chatbots can also help improve employee retention, by allowing them to focus on complex issues and high-value callers.
More than ever, banking customers expect self-service options and if they don’t get them, they are likely to end their journey in frustration. Zendesk reports that almost seven out of 10 customers say they’re willing to interact with a bot on simple issues. Yet, many financial institutions are still on the sidelines. According to Cornerstone Advisors, only 55% of credit unions and 30% of banks have either already invested in chatbots or plan to do so this year.
Why not make it easy for account holders and provide a conversational chatbot option? This way, they can get the service they need anytime they need it, and live reps can manage more complex, higher-value inquiries.
With a voice-enabled virtual assistant, such as the Glia Virtual Assistant, you can contain a large portion of incoming calls (with simple and transactional inquiries), while still providing top-notch customer service despite staffing constraints. A true win-win that increases efficiency and satisfaction for customers, members, and employees.
To learn more about the benefits of conversational virtual assistants, read our white paper, Drive Efficiency & Satisfaction with Intelligent Voice Automation.