AI in Financial Services Blog

Regular readers of IPsoft blog posts know that we often publish entries focused on customer experience (CX) – how important it is for a digital enterprise strategy, how CX expectations continue to rise, and how companies are using automation and cognitive technologies to push CX to new heights. In 2018 we’ll continue to write about these issues and how corporations must include AI as part of their CX investment plans. Judging by the results of a new survey on digital CX in financial services (FS) firms, more investment can’t come fast enough.

In a survey sponsored by NTT Data Services which included more than 1,100 consumers, when respondents were asked to rate their digital CX experience from FS firms, only 16% said they were “totally satisfied” compared to 52% who said they were satisfied and 28% who said they were “neutral.” Overall the results show that satisfaction with current CX levels from FS companies is, as the survey declares, “lukewarm” at best.

Small and online banks scored best when respondents were asked to rate the CX provided in various transactions such as paying bills and opening credit cards. When asked to rate their most annoying customer experiences, the following landed in the top five:

  • Not being able to accomplish what I wanted to do;
  • Options provided are not relevant to me;
  • Having time being wasted by tasks that take too long to complete;
  • Having to enter the same information multiple times in a single transaction; and
  • When too many options make completing the task difficult.

The provided responses across demographics demonstrated the imperative for FS firms to invest in digital and new technologies, including virtual assistants, to serve future customer needs. Among what the survey labels “Explorers,” or customers between the ages of 18 and 34, 73% said CX needed improvement, and 86% said they would leave their current FS firm for one with better CX. Other survey results show that younger customers want greater personalization and guidance in their interactions with banks, insurance firms and other FS companies.

What’s more, 41% said they would prefer to use or consider using a virtual assistant such as Alexa or Siri for transactions, and are very willing to share a significant amount of their personal and financial data – such as online and in-store purchase information, credit card information and even information from their other FS companies – if it means better CX through mobile and other channels.

FS firms overall have been among the most aggressive companies when it comes to digital and CX investments, which is why these survey results are so interesting. Despite all the previous money, effort and success in digital CX, the message from the surveyed consumers to FS firms is fairly clear: Our CX expectations are high, you’re not entirely reaching them now, and we want our CX more personalized.

In addition, younger demographics appear very receptive to using virtual assistants in transactions, which should lead FS companies to consider how AI overall should impact CX. Some banks, such as Sweden’s SEB, are ahead of the game. SEB is using IPsoft’s Amelia to enhance bank operations and customer service for more than a million customers, handling customer queries like password resets, step-by-step assistance with credit and debit cards, and ID verification, with more services to come.

If, as the old saying goes, the customer is always right, it’s also clear in the current market that the customer is not always satisfied with its CX when banking, filing insurance claims or paying credit card bills. AI technologies such as Amelia, which are designed to build stronger relationships between corporations and customers, will be key to meeting and exceeding customers’ CX expectations.