FIs Invest in AI for Customer Loyalty

Financial organizations are aiming to their digital abilities as client retention ends up being more based on innovation and less on commitment.

“If we talk about millennials and Gen Zs of the world, they do not have a lot of loyalty inherent with their financial institution,” Rahul Kumar, basic supervisor of monetary services and insurance coverage at cloud contact center Talkdesk, informs Bank Automation News in this episode of “The Buzz” podcast. “Banks have realized that in order for them to earn any sort of loyalty in these younger segments, they truly need to invest in technology.”

Banks require to fulfill their customers any place they remain in their journey, Kumar stated, keeping in mind that innovation permits FIs to use tailored experiences based upon choices. One customer might choose a chatbot while another might choose a call.

Banks can want to AI to develop those customized experiences, Kumar stated. AI enables a proactive technique to client experience through predictive analytics.

“AI offers a much broader opportunity to drive a lot of personalization, a lot of opportunity to predict the reason somebody’s reaching out to you and proactively offering them solutions and resolutions for that [reason],” he stated.

Listen as Kumar goes over how FIs can improve client retention through tech financial investment.

The following is a records created by AI innovation that has actually been gently modified however still includes mistakes.

Whitney McDonald 0:01
Hello and welcome to the buzz of bank automation news podcast. My name is Whitney McDonald and I’m the editor of bank automation news. Joining me today is basic supervisor for monetary services and insurance coverage at Talkdesk, Rahul Kumar he is here to go over how FIS can enhance client retention through tech invest, consisting of making use of expert system to fulfill customers any place they are.Rahul Kumar 0:23
Thanks, Whitney. Glad to be part of the bank automation news podcast. Thank you for the invite. I’m Raul Kumar. I am the basic supervisor for monetary services and insurance coverage at talkdesk. So actually entrusted with driving our market movements, Product Strategy go to market, along with I’m responsible for handling and preserving the tactical relationships with all our consumers in the market. Just a background about myself practically 15 years in the market, mostly dealing with banks and cooperative credit union, providing the chance to take advantage of innovation and development to drive company results. So really familiar in this area really ecstatic. I’m really enthusiastic about you understand, little to medium sized banks and cooperative credit union genuinely recognizing the capacity of innovation. From a leading down point of view, talkdesk is a worldwide internationally acknowledged leader in the client experience area, we provide a cloud native Contact Center as a service option. Really function constructed to fulfill fulfill market requirements, that is among the essential differentiators of talkdesk. So not just do we have a contact center platform, we provide a contact center platform constructed for banking constructed for insurance coverage constructed for health care and retail markets. We remain in the middle of a cloud transformation when it pertains to get in touch with center. So we provide a genuinely cloud native omni direct AI instilled platform that can actually speed up attempting to worth for our consumers. So hope that offered you a little insight about myself and speak with us. And actually, like I stated really thrilled about this discussion today.Whitney McDonald 2:16
Well, thank you once again for joining us and we can enter the discussion now we’re going to be talking through client experience client commitment and where innovation suits all of this would be excellent if you might initially begin by setting the scene and describing describing the present state of client commitment today.Rahul Kumar 2:38
Sure, you understand, in today, banking, that is an intriguing inflection point, specifically with the macro financial conditions, a few of the current you understand, big bank failures, banking, as a market overall has a great deal of analysis and eyes on it, however when it pertains to client commitment, there is likewise an heightened need from for banks to prioritize customer retention. And there are a myriad of reasons for it, banks have realized and it has always been the case. But more so, now that every bank is looking at cutting costs, reducing costs, driving efficiencies, it is well known that the cost of acquiring a new customer is much higher, at least four to five times higher than the cost of retaining a customer. So in the in in that light, there’s an increased requirement and you know, all banks have made customer loyalty and customer retention, a key part of the forward looking strategies, there is also enough research to suggest that customers at least in the US today, bank with three to four institutions, you know, when you when you think about that, banks have also realized that there is an opportunity to increase share of wallet just by focusing on their existing customer base and in driving revenue utilizing what they have, rather than what they can go after. They have also realized that the customer segmentation especially the younger segments, you know, if we talk about millennials, the Gen Z’s of the world, they they do not have a lot of loyalty inherent with their financial services institution. They are looking for ways where they can maximize the experience the you know, an institution that can meet their needs. So, banks have realized that it is, you know, in order for them to earn any sort of loyalty in these younger segments, they truly need to invest need to invest in technology need to invest in, you know, ways where they are positioning themselves as a desired partner, to these customers, and really also challenge the standard way that they have typically operated, which has primarily been a supplier of financial products and services, rather than truly offer these customers our partnership that ensures their financial wellness and financial well being. So those are some of the ways you know, I look at, you know, customer loyalty, the importance of it, and their invite investments in technology in is paramount for banks, as they’re looking or prioritizing customer retention and loyalty as a key part of their strategy.

Whitney McDonald 6:04
Let’s take those tech investments one step further, I’d love if you could share a little bit more about those digital capabilities and the role that they do play in getting customers to stay at a financial institution or pulling in whether it’s those younger millennials or Gen Z years, or any any customers, what technology really are those folks looking for?

Rahul Kumar 6:30
Yes, with me, I think, if you look at I always like to lead with a question. To everyone, where do you bank? And more? The the the most relevant answer that I get to that question is I bank on my phone? Everybody today? You know, most, most, I would say a majority of the population have shifted, you know, the relationship into the mobile device. So if you are in the mobile device, if you’re working, you know, if you’re interacting, engaging with your, with your banks, on the mobile device, it is paramount for banks and credit unions to realize it, realize that and make sure that the experience that they are offering to their customers is, is at par or is exceeding the experience that customers are getting from other providers, be it you know, everybody, sort of our customers today, say and compare if I can do something on Netflix, or I can do something on Amazon, why does my bank not allow me to do something like that? So yes, that is where investing in in mobile apps, investing in the digital capabilities sitting inside the mobile app, enabling feature sets, you know, giving customers the ability to not only look at information, but take action when when when they see something is off, right. So take action quickly. So when as an example, when you think about you, you know, as a customer, I go into my app, I see something that is a miss or is incorrect, I want my bank to be able to resolve that issue as quickly as possible. It and I can choose the channels that I want to use to engage with my bank to resolve that issue, I can reach out if I am a customer that likes chat, I should be able to chat if I’m a customer that likes to be on a call, I should be able to initiate a call directly from the mobile device. If I’m a customer that does not want to talk to a human agent, I you know I for for simple things I should be able to engage with, with a virtual agent and you know, or a bot and get the issue resolved. So, you know, the capabilities when you think about in terms of digital, that banks need to think about, they need to think about, you know, investing in platforms and solutions, that that can offer the customers a unified experience, irrespective of the channel that they are engaging in. So and ensure that the channels are not siloed. So what I mean by that is when the conversation may start as a chat, can transform into a voice call with with an agent, if it’s complex enough, can turn into a cobrowse session. You know, where the agent can can do that can offer that hand holding and on offer an elevated white glove experience. And banks need to be able to do all of that seamlessly while ensuring that the experience never breaks. So those would be some of the things when you think about digital and its impact on banking. It’s truly To help not only meet customer expectations, but truly offer a unified banking experience, irrespective of where the interaction starting or ending?

Whitney McDonald 10:11
No, no, you talk through the more omni channel experience meeting customers where they’re at. I don’t think that we can talk through financial services right now without bringing up AI, of course, can you discuss a little bit about the role that AI is also playing in all of this technology and customer loyalty? And where that fits into the puzzle?

Rahul Kumar 10:33
Yeah, absolutely. So when I look at AI, and you know, in terms in the context of banking, traditionally, AI has been looked at as a capability, yes, a technology capability. The focus that banks and credit unions have had is to leverage AI flecked interactions and other mechanism to drive more efficiency in, you know, accommodate for cost savings, when it comes to call deflections, could I deflect a call and save those costs, because obviously, sell services a cheaper channel of service, seven to eight times cheaper, at times. In so they’ve invested in in bots, they have invested in both on the chat bots or voice bots, you know, but I think one of the shortcomings of those investments that I have seen is that they’ve invested more into those capabilities as a standalone point solution, without really thinking through the overall experience that they want to offer their customers, what happens if the bot is not able to service the customer. So my challenge with, then the challenge that I sort of throw to banks and credit unions is how are you truly incorporating AI as a core part of your customer experience strategy, rather than just treating that as a technology capability, there is so much more that can be done with AI, the power that AI has to offer banks and credit unions is to move from a more reactive approach to customer service, to a more proactive approach to customer service, AI and machine learning has evolved to a point where you don’t really need the customer to tell you the reason they are reaching out to you, or you don’t really you should already be knowing and with the data you have about them, the reasons that they have called in the past, you should be able to predict, you know, why a customer might be reaching out to you. So I think, you know, investing in chatbots, and voice bots is, is, is perfectly fine. But I think AI offers a much broader opportunity to drive, a lot of personalization, a lot of opportunity to predict the reason somebody’s reaching out to you and proactively offering them solutions and resolutions for that. But then also utilizing AI, you know, on inside your organization’s empowering your employees with the information they need, you know, to drive a better experience for them. So, yeah, AI is important. You know, but it really needs to work in ways, you know, outside just being another technology capability that that you’ve invested in.

Whitney McDonald 13:59
Yeah, that all makes sense. And of course, having those predictive capabilities in place on that know of, of investing in these capabilities. How can a financial institution ensure that they are being strategic about these investments? I know that you talked through back end investments as well as customer state facing AI capabilities? How can you be sure that you’re investing in areas that are either going to offer ROI or retention or more efficiencies from from employees as well?

Rahul Kumar 14:36
Yeah, I think, great question. Whitney. I think the way we at talkdesk in general have been advising our customers is to really look at the value. You know, really look at the outcomes that you’re looking to achieve, you know, and then building out a strategy A both from a customer experience perspective, but also your technology strategy should be outcome driven. You know, a lot of times, we still, at times run into situations, where if organizations are not prioritizing, you know, the value, and the outcomes that they are looking to achieve through investment, they end up doing nothing. Like they, they spend a lot of time evaluating, you know, partners and vendors and capabilities, but because the outcomes are not defined, they end up sticking with what they have, because there’s no real quantification of the ROI that they can expect. So, you know, we might, you know, at least from my perspective, my two cents on this, as always lead with value, always define the business outcomes that you’re looking to achieve, and then start to connect capabilities, be it AI, be it omni channel, be it the cloud to as as a mechanism or enablers to help you achieve those business outcomes. So, each fundamental capability be a chatbot whether it influences your handle times, whether it influences you know, your cost of doing business, whether it influences you know, the or reduces your the cost of servicing your customer, or so, I think that’s the way I approach it, it technology investments cannot be looked at, in silos, without truly, you know, putting some real thought or know around the value each of those capabilities can help your organization achieve. So we, you know, sometimes especially when it comes to customer experience, we look at a look at it as a quadruple quadruple impact. How is the investment impacting your customer experience and the ease of doing business with you as an organization? How is the investment, looking to improve your employee experience? You know, you is the investment going to help you retain your employees and delight them and empower them with the tools and information they need to become much more productive and efficient. How is it improving the agility of your of your organization and to to proofing you. Future, basically future proofing your growth ambitions by offering you scalability and flexibility? And finally, what impact is it going to have in terms of accelerating time to value for you as an organization? How quickly can you start really realizing ROI? So I think that is that is the quadruple sort of value framework that I think organizations should start looking at, and then start to sort of creating their own business as well as technology strategies to achieve it.

Whitney McDonald 18:25
So we talked about investment strategy, we talked about the omni channel approach and the importance of of digital capabilities right now, wondering if you can give some insight into what technology customers are really gravitating toward right now. What are those top technologies that are pulling people into certain financial institutions?

Rahul Kumar 18:47
So I think one of the trends that we’re seeing is, customers accept expect a seamless, frictionless experience with their financial services institutions, there’s a you know, they are they get fully frustrated, when the experience is fragmented, if it is impersonal, and then the it leads to frustration for them when their issue sets are not resolved, as you know, quickly and efficiently. So customer expectation is, you know, meet me in the channels that I want to engage with you ensure that the experience remains consistent. Irrespective of the channel that I’m engaging with you. Make sure that you know you know who I am before you know, you are because I am trusting you with my finances. You should already know who I am without having me having to go through multiple hoops to even identify myself to you And then ensure that my my, my experience is is not only fast and seamless, but it is also secure. So if you look at some of those aspects that the customers are expecting, you start to tend to gravitate, gravitate towards, Hey, we should eliminate our investment in point solutions and focus on investment in platforms, we should invest in platforms that help us achieve some of the things that we’re looking to do platforms that can give back and enable omni channel platforms that are infused with AI platforms that, that ensure data and privacy security, a platform that can mitigate fraud early and often in platforms that that can aggregate information from multiple places that drives efficiency and productivity in the way customers get serviced. So I think if you think about that, then some of the capabilities that truly come to mind is, you know, we spoke about omni channel, that’s a no brainer. We spoke about AI, but AI that is pragmatic. That is completely, you know, it could be voice bots, but Smart Voice bots, smart chat bots, that can truly understand industry terminology that can execute industry workflows, capabilities, such as voice biometrics as a better way to authenticate customers, you know, fraud tools that that do phone validations spoofing detection, to ensure that fraud is not entering into the banking ecosystem. And then, you know, Agent desktops that can aggregate information, and help agents deliver the best white glove experience possible, where they are more focused on delivering the client experience without having to worry about the systems they need to work or look at to deliver the best experience possible. So all in all, you know, you know, I might have actually been biased when in terms of my response in terms of contact center, but truly investing in a modern customer experience platform that brings all of these capabilities together, and ensures the best experience possible for both customers as well as employees is what I think, you know, is going to be the future cloud based AI infused modern, flexible, scalable platforms. I think one of the things that the last thing that I’d like to say is banks, it is high time banks and credit unions realize that complacency and an approach to be a follower is not good enough. I think the you know, there is enough technology capabilities out there in the market that are, you know, partners and vendors that they can truly they should start truly evaluating today, rather than waiting and sitting in status quo, because it is truly an existential crisis for them. The customers continue to evolve their expectations continue to evolve. Good enough, is no longer a strategy that that I think banks and credit unions need to can afford to continue to follow. So it’s all about you know, investing today, future proofing, taking a look at the customers what their expectations are, and pivoting their techniques to truly address and delight customers, both from a product and services perspective, but likewise from an experience perspective. So that’s, that would be my final two cents on this topic.

Whitney McDonald 24:11
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A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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