Voice Technology for Financial Services: An Ever-Growing CX Differentiator
Jan 30, 2020 | Ryan Tepperman, Senior Digital Marketing Manager
Customer experience has become the make-or-break element of any financial services business. But that’s not news to financial services leaders. Research by Econsultancy for Adobe found that 40% of financial services and insurance organizations see keeping pace with changing customer expectations and behavior as a key challenge. And 63% of financial services organizations rank customer experience as their top priority, ahead of data-driven marketing and cross-channel marketing.
CX leaders in financial services achieve 1.9x more recommendations and 1.9x greater wallet share compared to competitors. But what does it take to become a CX leader?
The Value of Voice Technology in Financial Services
To some people, voice search and assistants like Siri and Alexa might seem like gimmicks—helpful to a point, but not a major factor in something like financial services CX. However, even the most conservative reports find that 30% of adults are active voice technology users. On the other end of the spectrum, the most quoted stat for voice technology claims that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
Whichever perspective of voice adoption you agree with, one thing is clear—voice technology has become a fundamental part of consumer behavior and financial services firms have to adapt.
The problem is that you can’t think about CX in a vacuum. When you’re dealing with so much sensitive data, it can feel risky to transform the customer experience with emerging voice technology. What if the new experiences put you out of regulatory compliance? What if you invest all the time and resources into voice tech only for it to go dormant in your organization?
These are valid concerns that might lead you to remain focused on your traditional transactional customer experiences. But the reality is that 40% of banking clients are more inclined to stay with a financial institution when it offers more personalized services.
That’s the value of voice technology in financial services. Because it’s such a conversational channel, voice-enabled applications immediately become more engaging and personal than the traditional financial services experiences customers have come to expect. That doesn’t mean there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to voice technology for financial services, though.
The key to differentiating your customer experience with voice technology is finding unique use cases that fit the specific needs of your customers.
4 Use Cases for Voice Technology in Financial Services
Like so many other emerging technologies, voice is what you make of it in your customer experience. There are no right or wrong ways to apply voice technology as long as you remain compliant with industry regulations. Finding a place to start can be easier said than done, though.
The following four voice technology use cases are already transforming financial services customer experiences. As backend technologies like artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) mature, these use cases and others will evolve to enable even more advanced experiences.
- Personal Banking: The most basic form of voice technology in financial services is to support transactional personal finance needs. Enabling customers to check account balances, transfer money, make credit card payments, manage bills, etc., with voice technology might not seem like a major innovation. But just by opening a new channel for customers to interact with your services, you increase engagement and satisfy the needs of increasingly connected consumers.
- Collections: Robocalling has long been used to improve the cost efficiency of collections processes. However, traditional robocalls don’t provide the level of empathy or engagement necessary to connect with customers. Infusing credit and collections software with modern voice can create a more conversational experience that leverages data analytics to tailor calls to a debtor’s specific context.
- Lending: In the lending industry, specifically, voice assistants can help automate things like loan applications, loan payments, application status checks, interest rate queries, refinancing initiation, and more. Rather than using basic decision trees, voice technology makes the experience more conversational, which will result in more customers following through to the next stages of your funnel.
- Omnichannel Financial Assistants: More and more of the average financial services experience is becoming self-serve. When consumers can work through a brand interaction without actually getting on the phone to talk to an agent, they’ll take full advantage. However, most financial services funnels can’t be automated from end to end. That could change as voice technology evolves. By creating an omnichannel financial assistant with voice technology, you’ll be able to provide contextual recommendations and services at any stage of the financial buyer’s journey.
These are just a few of the ways that voice technology can change financial services. From the call center to mobile apps, desktop websites, internal systems, and third-party platforms, voice technology could prove to be the core building block of modern customer experiences.
The key to using it as a CX differentiator is to have a strategy. Diving into voice headfirst without a plan can result in wasted resources and actually hurt customer experiences if a new application proves buggy.
Starting from scratch with a voice technology strategy doesn’t have to be so difficult. We’d love to use our expertise with voice technology and the financial services industry to help you transform your customer experiences. Let’s chat about how you can get the most out of voice tech.
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