The pandemic compelled many BFSI companies to switch gears and accelerate their digitalization journey. They have had to face some challenges as well – scale, customer experience, data protection and more. Consider customer experience, for instance. In the experience economy, financial service providers are coping with challenges like lower staff productivity, increased online fraud, outdated mass-emailing practices etc – which have led to a significant drop in potential customers. Conversational messaging can be the new growth engine for BFSI companies. How? Engaging with customers where they are: the messaging app.
With AI-driven conversational messaging and engagement, BFSI firms can establish intuitive, two-way conversations with consumers. This will lead to faster business growth and increased revenue per customer. AI-enabled chatbots are one of the simplest forms of conversational engagement. They create a human-like, authentic conversational experience for customers, while making it engaging at the same time for consumers.
Here are three reasons BFSI companies need to double down on conversational messaging in 2022:
1. Make Banking personal again
Lack of personalization is an often-cited issue by customers when dealing with banks. The problem is personalization at scale. This is where conversational engagement is levelling the playing field for all financial service providers. For traditional banks, reaching consumers where they are – on popular messaging channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, mobile messaging / SMS with personalized and contextual interactions – via a proven conversational engagement platform, has opened new growth avenues.
For instance, chatbots can share instant and targeted updates with customers when a company updates its product/service terms and conditions, help follow KYC and AML regulatory standards, and address customer concerns quickly, sometimes with a single-click. The most significant benefit is that chatbots allow banks to reply to questions without often requiring immediate human interaction. For example, customized financial services are available via WhatsApp, SMS messaging, and other media. And when needed, especially in complex discussions, chatbots can seamlessly transition the thread to a human/live agent as well for smart resolution.
2. Keep pace with Digital Natives
Millennials expect personalized interactions every single time. This is upending traditional consumer engagement models. Several neo-digital Fintech firms are accelerating innovations around mobile wallets, UPI, and conversational AI. As a result, traditional banks are faced with a significant challenge to win and maintain the trust and confidence of millennial consumers. Considering the rise in affordable data plans as well as mobile internet users, this trend is gaining momentum beyond the tier 1-2 cities, well into the heartlands.
Born-digital Fintech firms are more actively tapping into the power of conversational messaging, as it’s easier to scale their business seamlessly – from a few hundreds to millions of consumers – with a secure, next-gen conversational engagement platform. Therefore, banks need to deliver anytime, anywhere information and support, across any channel. So, conversational engagement has become a business imperative for traditional banks. They need to reach and engage with consumers where they are – on conversational platforms like WhatsApp or Instagram – in the same way a consumer would engage with friends and family.
3. Improve customer loyalty with a well-designed, continuous feedback loop
Customer reviews and constant feedback are crucial for the success of any financial business. So, conversational AI can help drive more proactive user interactions. It also attracts more customers who want to assess services or products without having to speak to anyone. A chatbot helps them do just that. In the process, businesses can gain a better, deeper understanding of consumers’ likes and dislikes. So, financial institutions can use chatbots to get more accurate feedback from customers by keeping the feedback loop continuous and real-time. This can help Fintech companies constantly improve their services and enhance consumer satisfaction.
Several Fintech companies are going one step further. They empower customers to discover products/services and complete the full purchase journey right from within the messaging app via chat. For consumers, what could be more convenient than this? For businesses, this means more customer conversions and repeat purchases. A classic win-win proposition. 9 out of 10 Fintech leaders I have spoken to in the last 6 months cite this as a tried and tested step to improve consumer loyalty.
Why adding intelligence to business-to-consumer conversations is vital
Despite their popularity, most chatbots used by BFSI organizations are still fairly limited regarding functionality. These basic chatbots can only handle a limited number of tasks and are often unable to properly manage requests that expose information outside the functional area. Such traditional chatbots are not a true reflection of what a truly intelligent, next gen chatbot can do for your business. Working with the right conversational engagement platform provider can help address this challenge.
How good is your conversational AI partner?
Does your conversational AI platform partner offer you a single API for integration across channels? Do they offer built-in security? Do they offer you choice (voice, and messaging capabilities, for instance)? These are some questions you need to consider before choosing your conversational AI provider.
For any conversational AI deployment to be truly effective for your business, making the right choice of the platform is the key. The clock is ticking.
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Ravi Sundararajan, COO, Gupshup.