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Using AI and machine learning to transform CX in financial services

Customer experience (CX) is key when it comes to digitalisation of services in the financial sector, and AI can provide the means to master it. Find out what today’s technology has to offer

The journey for companies in the financial services sector, as they take the path to digitalisation, has come a long way from the Internet of things to the latest automated systems and mobile integration – and taking now the next crucial steps towards intelligent automation.

Financial companies are increasingly turning to fintech startups and innovative tools that can open the doors to digital transformation, to revolutionise the customer experience. A positive customer experience can not only power lead generation and sales, but it’s a fundamental driver of customer loyalty and retention for companies. Businesses are realising that enhancing the customer journey and experience undoubtedly brings long-lasting benefits, but in order to get there, investment is essential.

First things first – what is customer experience?

Customer experience involves strategic initiatives that focus on creating a competitive advantage for businesses, by delivering optimal experiences to customers.

In a new global study by Walker analysing the future of B2B customer experience, companies were asked where they were investing to meet the changing needs of customers. The results showed that 62% are investing in understanding individual customer characteristics, while 58% are investing on simplifying processes. For businesses operating in financial services, Artificial learning (AI) and machine learning are providing tools to help in both these areas, which are major factors that can result in poor or positive customer experience.

In the world of Artifical intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the opportunities have only started to unfold, especially with chatbots and automations. But the tools are advancing quickly and at a steady pace; development does not rest, and the implementation that can be seen across the range of financial services is showing an incredible potential to forever change the way consumers interact with institutions.


How is the financial sector embracing AI?


The goal is to win over the digital natives, which are now making an incredibly large portion of the population. These consumers are tech-savvy and expect high-end customer experience. Banks, financial institutions and firms operating in the wider financial space are embracing new technology solutions and disruptive innovation for improving efficiencies in areas that range from customer support, to data and insight analysis, personal loans, insurance, and overall financial business performance.

AI tools are being harnessed by professionals in the financial services industry to gain the edge in customer intelligence. Fintech solutions that incorporate open banking, for instance, can enable firms to access individuals’ financial data, to create an accurate picture of their financial circumstances and deliver better tailored products and solutions. This technology is particularly useful for lenders and loan brokers, who are able to use open banking to assess affordability and determine customer’s eligibility for specific products.

Machine learning is also experiencing fast development and implementation. Chatbots are becoming more clever and capable, and one industry where they are really making an impact is financial advice. Also known as robo-advisors in the industry, chat automation is helping advisors to better understand customer preferences and deliver tailored advice – which also leads to better customer experience and builds up meaningful relationships.

With the help of automation and integrated AI, banks and financial institutions are becoming technologically sophisticated, advancing in their capability to attain customer insights and deliver a more personalised service. Beyond advisory, businesses are making the most of these tools for enhancing financial risk assessment and decisions, conducting accurate credit checks, pulling bank statements and even anti-money laundering reports.

At this stage, there’s much room to explore, and the market trends are showing that modern financial companies are keen on adopting new solutions to stand out from the competition. A significant 30% of large financial institutions are investing in artificial intelligence.

Here’s a few insightful statistics about the state of AI, machine learning and the financial services industry:

  • 70% of financial institutions are using machine learning (Deloitte insights). The uses range from predicting cash-flow events, proactively advising customers on spending and saving habits, building advanced credit models, detecting patterns in transactions, identifying fraudulent transactions and more.
  • 13% of financial firms said they have implemented AI technology to increase worker productivity (Narrative Science)
  • 80% of financial institutions perceive chatbots as an opportunity (Personetics)
  • 58% of financial advise firms said they would implement new technologies in 2019, with 38% investing in tech to scale and serve more clients (Schwab)


Conclusions & recommendations


Today’s technology has much to offer and much more to come, and it’s up to the most forward-thinking companies to make the most of it in order to meet the demands and expectations of digitally savvy customers.

Easier said than done? As challenging as it may look, partnerships with fintech startups represent great opportunities for companies operating in financial services. Ibby offers the latest advances in fintech including chatbots, instant messaging automation, co-browsing, workflows and open banking, to transform customer experience and help financial brands to scale.

Get started with Ibby for free, and discover how easy it can be to bring your business to the true digital era.


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Why every insurance business should have live chat

With so many success stories for using live chat for sales and support, the opportunities should not be overlooked

There’s been plenty of studies showing how effective live chat really is, showing how much it is preferred over other channels for customer contact. Surprisingly, however simple it can be to implement the technology on a website; there’s still many businesses that have not yet adopted live chat to engage with customers – and are missing out on opportunities.

Why is live chat so important? Here’s some statistics that can help to answer the question:


Live chat leads to customer satisfaction


Live chat scores the highest satisfaction rates for customer service as a channel. 73% of those who have used live chat for customer service have reported to be happy with their experience, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone.


It’s what your customers want


Ever heard that phrase that says give customers what they want? Well, it’s quite simple. They want live chat. 63% of consumers have said they are more likely to return to a website if it has a online chatbox available online, so, just image how many potential customers you could be saying good-bye to if they visit your website and find out there is no live chat.

Reports have shown that this is particularly important when it comes to e-commerce sites. 44% of customers have expressed that the availability to chat with an agent during an online purchase is one of most important features a company can offer.


It helps to keep visitors on your site


55% of online consumers are likely to abandon a site if they can’t find an answer to a question. With live chat as the logical resource to tackle this issue and provide instant answers to questions online, it seems like a pretty bad idea not to have it on your website.


Live chat drives results


More than keeping customers happy, live chat helps businesses to improve conversion and sales. The numbers speak for themselves: 49% of companies that use live chat have reported an increase in conversion rates within 2 years of implementing it, and 30% have seen up to a 10% increase in revenue after using live chat for less than 1 year.


How does live chat help insurance companies?


Talking more specifically about the insurance market, and why live chat is relevant – it’s essential to remember that in this industry, trust is a key factor.

When customers buy an insurance plan from a broker, it is usually because it’s someone they trust, someone they know will understand their needs and what is the best solution for them, who can guarantee quality and results. Live chat is well-known as a channel that helps to build trust and customer relationships from the moment contact is established. In the online space, human contact is usually minimised to a mechanical interaction of user and screen – but live chat presents the opportunity to humanise the online experience and add a personalised touch to the customer journey, helping to establish that trust that makes all the difference in the insurance business. 

Through a live conversation, an agent can not only provide instant help and quick answers, but also speak to the potential customer and get valuable insights, in order to offer recommendations and products that are best suited to their needs. It’s a window of human interaction where reliable support can take place, and great service can be delivered. The impact of service and experience cannot be overlooked by insurers; a study found that an enormous 91% of insurance holders say that good service makes them more likely to stay loyal.

Here’s 3 main benefits that insurance brokers and firms experience by implementing live chat on their websites and through the journey:


1- Assistance at the purchase stage


As we’ve said before, an online conversation can go a long way in pre-sales scenarios, for customers in the buying stage. Purchasing an insurance plan is not as simple as buying a t-shirt; there’s frequently a number of questions and uncertainties that can stop consumers from completing the process, and when the information is not easily found online, live chat can be the ideal solution for clearing up any doubts.  

Tip: Automated chat responses can help you by taking care of simple queries and answering basic questions. Use a chatbot to answer when you are offline and to automate quick responses to the most commonly asked questions. The chatbot can also capture contact details for you when you are not available, and get an agent to intervene when it’s most appropriate.


2- Live support to deliver the best solution 


We have talked about live chat provides the space for reliable advice. With insurance, it’s often the case that there’s extras or product features to complement a specific plan, and these that can be overlooked by the customer who is not familiar with the subject. A conversation through live chat can bring light to the gap and enable the delivery of complementary solutions.

Tip: Combining live chat with co-browsing can help insurance agents and brokers to take live support to the next level. You can talk online while navigating on a webpage at the same time as the customer, to point at specific elements on a policy page, for instance, to help them fill an insurance application form or show them where to click to add an extra to the plan they have purchased.


3- Providing instant documentation


One of the major benefits of an advanced live chat tool is that the exchange of documents can happen instantly and with minimum friction.  No more going back and forth via email with required paperwork; live chat is a tool for instant feedback. An agent can request from the prospective customer any necessary documentation right from the chat screen, and when completed, the customer can get their policy instantly delivered.

Tip: Use a live chat platform that will also document every conversation for much valued context and reference for your team, and that can integrate with channels like email and SMS to provide documentation for the customer through other appropriate channels.


Get a web chat platform that has it all


If you’re looking to wow your visitors and revamp your online customer journey, take Ibby for a spin. Get started with a 14-day free trial. You’ll be surprise at how easy it is to improve support and boost sales with a live chat platform that combines features like co-browsing and workflow automations!



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Financial Advisors: Time to adopt chatbots?

As chatbots and AI keep evolving, the world of financial advice is taking note of the benefits.

The idea of humans interacting seamlessly with robots has existed for a very long time. Although it mostly felt like something that belonged to the realms of science fiction, it’s astonishing how quickly AI has been progressing in the last few years, and how much we are now interacting with machines; no matter where we are, in what context or for what purpose.

The financial services industry is one of the sectors that has been considerably disrupted by these technological advances. For an industry that has operated with complex legacy systems for decades, the speed of disruption hasn’t been gentle – and businesses in the sector are feeling the urge to react and to keep up with the needs of the increasingly tech-savvy consumers.

For financial advisors, chatbots is one of the hottest areas in the AI explosion of the past couple of years. Banks and financial institutions have progressively adopted chatbots for different areas of business, implementing new interfaces within their existing customer channels to provide 24/7 customer service. The spread of automation in financial services has caused a sense of concern for agents – can the increasingly popular robo-advisors ultimately replace the specialised financial advisor?

While chatbots provide assistance for various functional areas, robo-advisory tools can achieve a range of tasks that human counterparts can do as well, if not better – but this doesn’t mean the benefits of chatbot technology should ever be overlooked.

These systems have a number of clear advantages over human interactions: a chatbot is able to extract and analyse the intent of users and provide information in return in a matter of seconds, at any time, and at a lower cost than a human agent. In some cases, the most advanced chatbot is also able learn from each interaction to enhance service levels. With these benefits, it’s not a surprise that AI technology is perceived as an opportunity by 80% of financial institutions.


Where do the opportunities lie for financial advisors?


In the world of personal financial management, chatbots are providing an extra interface for customer interactions, and a much valued one. Chatbots assist users with planning for achieving financial goals and can give suggestions like lifestyle changes to improve savings.

For advisors specialising in wealth management, the use of chatbots comes also very handy: the intelligent tools can navigate through individuals’ investment portfolios to extract insights, recommend changes and/or suggest investment plans.

With capabilities like these and more, chatbots enable financial advisors to automate services for different purposes:

  • Virtual assistance: chatbots are particularly useful for attending customer queries and responding to online visitors. Combined with messaging automations for other channels, like email and SMS, communications can be integrated seamlessly and enhance customer experience. A simple chat box on a website can become a financial advisor’s best assistant, with bots handling basic questions to save advisors time and effort. Where the chatbot is unable to assist, it can connect the user to the more capable human counterpart to take care of complex queries.
  • Lead capture: live chat platforms serve as a lead capture machine. With platforms like Ibby, the conversational interface powered by chatbots can be set up so that it collects any details that the advisor needs in order to get in touch with potential customers or process a case. Names, email addresses, telephone numbers or company details, can all be captured by the bot and automatically saved in your contact records. This functionality is particularly handy for qualifying leads; it can help to improve conversion and help advisors to speed up the sales funnel.
  • Gathering financial data: AI tools provide advisors with a means of gathering in-depth information on individuals – or investors, if that’s the case – to accurately assess their financial circumstances. Advisors can use the data to come up with appropriate financial plans, investment options or bespoke product offerings.

Aviva Investors: A case study

Aviva Investors has a Polish speaker chatbot, Aviva24, which works online as a virtual investment advisor for customers. Integrated within Aviva’s help centre, the chatbot is there to assist 24/7 with a rich base of answers that are used to resolve 30 to 60% of the most-frequent customer enquiries. But there’s more, Aviva24 helps with marketing: it can assist with transactions, guide clients through fund options or provide any necessary documents. The virtual assistant also redirects clients to consultants (live chat or helpline) when it’s not possible to provide an answer.


Adopting the hybrid approach for customer success


The discerning advisor will question the effectiveness of chatbots, and such doubts are not unwarranted. With the newness of this technology and plenty of ground to explore, much research has taken place to assess how useful chatbots really are.

A recent survey by eGain found that most people find chatbots to be effective, with only 5% of UK consumers rating chatbots as “not effective”. It is, however, the pain points in using chatbots where the focus of attention should be.

Consumers have raised lack of integration with human-assisted services as the biggest pain point in using virtual assistants. It’s therefore very important not to believe that chatbots on their own will be completely capable. A mix of AI technology with human interactions is proving to be the logical approach and practical strategy to achieve customer satisfaction.  


Ready to scale your FA business with chatbot technology?


At Ibby, we combine the best of tech for financial advisors: chatbots and automations that can take care of conversational interactions; capturing leads and assisting consumers – and Open Banking, for gathering financial data and helping you to assess individuals’ affordability, credit history and spending habits.  

If you are looking for a chat solution, you’ll find in Ibby a platform you can rely on for implementing automations tailored for the financial services industry, to help your business to improve sales and support.

Sign up to start your free trial and discover the power of conversational automations for financial advice.



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How chatbots and automations are changing the game in the banking sector

Banks and credit unions are having to keep up with the quick advances in modern messaging and online digital technologies. What’s next?

The banking sector has been evolving at a steady pace. Technology has come a long way since the industry was disrupted with Internet banking in the 1990s, and then with mobile banking – when smartphones took over for good. The next step? Chatbots and automations.

Chatbots are revolutionising the way businesses interact with consumers in many industries, and the banking sector is no exception. Equipped with AI and able to automate queries, bots can connect consumers with banks in a conversational way to offer immediate and accurate answers, assisting with a wide range of simple tasks.

The time that agents can save by implementing chat automation is highly valuable, which is why the technology’s popularity is on the rise. Bots can act as humans to provide instant answers and help customers with things that could otherwise take users a long time to find online.

Indeed, advances in chatbot technology were making a lot of noise just a few years ago.  Promises that ‘chatbots were going to take over the world’ led to high expectations and a definite hype. However, the advances in machine learning have not stopped; virtual assistants and bots have continued to evolve and, now more than ever, banks and credit unions around the world are adopting these digital solutions to enhance customer experience.

Findings from a survey by Aspect showed that almost 70% of consumers interact with a virtual assistant or chatbot at least once a month, and we can only expect these interactions to increase over time.


Chatbots in banking: How are they used?


Primarily, chatbots are helping banking organizations to reduce costs by facilitating communication. In many cases, they can replace some traditional channels like phone, email and text, and provide speedy assistance online to the increasingly tech-savvy consumer.

Typical uses for chatbot solutions in banking include help with tasks such as account balance enquiries, personal details, loan queries, etc. Complicated issues though are best dealt with by agents, creating the human and machine hybrid approach that is marking the trend in banking support.  

Bots are leading the game in conversational banking, integrated into applications and websites. They act as advisors within a bank’s platform to deliver instant answers to simple questions, direct customers to websites and provide information 24 hours a day. And, as the most diligent assistant, they are always ready to connect customers to an agent when the time is right.

Predictions for the next decade are pointing out that chatbot solutions will continue to be implemented by banks as a means to automate support and reduce costs significantly. A report by Juniper predicted that by 2022, chatbots will be responsible for over $8 billion annual cost savings. Meanwhile, Gartner has predicted that chatbots will take over as much as 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020. 


A couple of real-life examples:

Bank of America: Erica, the virtual assistant

Bank of America’s virtual assistant, Erica, interacts with customers via text or voice to assist with day-to-day banking needs. In a real-time chat environment, Erica can show a customer his or her current account balance, provide assistance for transfers, block a credit card, and more. 

Mastercard: Conversational banking with Facebook Messenger

The Mastercard bot for banks and merchants lets customers get help with financial questions through Facebook Messenger. Mastercard’s chatbot platform uses AI to allow users to transact, manage finances and make payments via Messenger.


Moving beyond bots


Granted, we can expect to find more and more banking support tasks being handled by bots within a simple chatbox – but it will not stop there. AI and new technologies are providing the banking industry with extended forms of engagement.

Co-browsing, video interactions and digital voice messaging are some of the latest features that are now having a big impact in digital banking.

With co-browsing, agents can navigate hand-in-hand with consumers on a specific web page, to assist with complicated forms, application processes, or more. The technology provides a unique customer experience and a platform for the representative to deliver an in-person service – an effective strategy to boost customer engagement. 

Open banking developments are also unavoidably spreading across countries, promising to revolutionise the way banks interact with consumers. With open banking facilities integrated within a web chat box, customers can easily share financial data online in a quick and completely secure manner – while banking organisations can instantly get accurate information needed for a multitude of processes.

While chatbots and virtual assistants have their limitations, these newer technologies have been introduced to fill the gaps and supercharge banking agents with tools that further aid in sales and support. From responding to initial product enquiries with live chat and bots, to onboarding potential customers with co-browsing – Banks and credit unions will be able to implement these technologies to assist customers throughout the entire journey and elevate the online experience.


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How to power lead nurturing with automations

Automations help companies to implement lead nurturing strategies to connect effectively with customers in different stages of the lifecycle. Here’s how it works.

Personalising every interaction and conversation across the usually complicated sales cycle can be a daunting task for a business – and incredibly time consuming too.

Making sure you are sending relevant information to the right contacts, at the right time, can be a real challenge.

This is where automation can be massively helpful for sales and marketing teams; helping brands to streamline communications across various channels, to improve efficiency and drive sales. It stands to reason why marketing automation keeps growing at an astonishing rate, and the importance of lead nurturing is now as crucial as ever for businesses of all kinds and sizes.

 

What lead nurturing is all about

 

Lead nurturing, also known as drip marketing, is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every step of the customer journey.

Lead nurturing enables businesses to automate thoughtful communications, relevant to specific audiences – making it the most powerful element of a marketing automation system.

Research has found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

Automated workflows allow you to automate emails and SMS communications with ease to help you customise nurturing on a granular basis. This means your team doesn’t have to waste time repeatedly finding content for specific leads, remembering to send it out or manually chasing and following up.

 

Types of Campaigns

 

The different types of campaigns you can run with workflow automations can cover the length of the entire customer lifecycle – starting with initial awareness, through to loyalty and retention.

When automating communications to power the customer journey, think about creating campaigns with a specific goal in mind. Here’s a few of the most effective campaigns that brands and businesses run to nurture leads and move contacts through the funnel:

 

  • Campaigns to connect

As initial touch-point communications with your contacts, these campaigns provide great value and a starting point for building customer relationship.

A ‘welcome’ campaign is a typical example of automations to connect. Generally simple to automate, a welcome message serves as an opportunity to confirm to your leads they are on board with a specific product or service, and to remind them what they can expect from your company in order to spark interest.

Further campaigns to connect can help with top-of-mind brand awareness and prevent early-stage leads from falling off the radar. The content for this type of drip usually focuses on promoting value to the prospect, making use of interesting posts and information to keep them thinking about your brand.

These campaigns can also be planned for re-engaging leads that have shown no signs of activity for a while. Inactive leads can be targeted with new content to encourage them to re-enter the sales cycle and take action.

 

  • Campaigns to educate

As you connect with prospects and early-stage leads, your campaigns can help to trigger actions to identify more engaged leads that can be moved to a more product-focused path – then address them with campaigns dedicated to educating and nurturing.

The drips for educating prospects usually focus on highlighting product features and benefits to try and gain a competitive edge against other industry players. Customer testimonials, in-depth reviews and case studies can be powerful content at this stage.

 

  • Campaigns to close

Helping to drive sales to a close, these campaigns can be used for prospects in the middle of the funnel to reinforce why your product or service is the best choice.

One approach to consider for closing is to share promotions or special discounts that can help to create a sense of urgency and encourage purchase. This type of campaign can be useful for companies running trial schemes, to help prospects and hot leads to commit.

 

  • Campaigns to engage

Campaigns to engage are post-sale communications, essential for appropriate on-boarding and strengthening customer relationships right from the moment of purchase. Onboarding campaigns can involve useful resources such as training sessions, step-by-step user guides, FAQs.

Automating workflows to engage can be very effective to keep your customers informed about the product or service they acquired and how to make the most of it – keeping them engaged with your brand.

These workflows can also be automated to follow up on customer service queries and support tickets, providing an opportunity for feedback surveys.

At this stage, it’s also practical to segment customer lists to deploy drips designed to up-sell and/or cross-sell. For instance, these campaigns can be focused on the benefits of complementing a product with extra features or offer incentives for upgrading a plan.

 

  • Campaigns to retain

It’s very important not to neglect the final stages of the life cycle in order to keep your existing customers. These campaigns will be an essential part of your retention strategy; they can help to promote attachment to your brand and boost customer lifetime.

Campaigns designed to retain customers can involve loyalty schemes, customer referral programmes or other promotions to reward customers, as well as renewal campaigns.

Renewal drips are convenient reminders for your customers when it’s time for them to renew their subscription or contract.

A renewal campaign can be triggered weeks before the renewal date, followed by further automated reminders if no action takes place. This type of workflow is very effective for reducing the chances of customers missing renewals, while saving your service reps the hassle of a manual process.

 

Nurture leads on autopilot with Ibby

 

Automation workflows will help to align your marketing efforts and messages to ensure your leads receive relevant messages at the right time.

Ibby makes the process simple and smooth: you can create emails and text messages ahead of time and set them to launch automatically whenever a user completes a specific action.

One of the key factors in the process is choosing your contacts – also known as segmentation. Every contact in your database deserves a level of attention in order to circulate the sales funnel. So, the first step is to segment your contacts and determine who will get enrolled in your workflows, and when.

With Ibby, you can make the most of all the stored data from your contacts CRM to choose the right contacts and create targeted workflows with personalised content for different types of recipients.

When setting up your workflow, create a series of messages that can guide your contacts through your funnel and define your automatic triggers and actions. Your triggers will automate your communications and launch messages to contacts based on actions – these can range from visiting a webpage, opening or not opening your email, etc. Ibby also allows you to set waiting times for delayed or timed actions, and use decision branches for more intricate automations.

You can also automate tasks within your workflows, assign them to users and set auto-reminders to ensure your team stays on top of every action required to effectively follow up with contacts.

 

 

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Finding the balance between automation and human support

AI and automation keep infiltrating business areas, and customer service is no exception. But can you really afford to lose the human touch?

Customer service is experiencing a revolution, driven by the rise of mobile messaging, AI, machine learning and bots. Expectations are quickly shifting, and companies are being forced to rethink their practices.

Gartner has estimated that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions with a company will be handled without human involvement. In the meantime, chatbots are quickly spreading. Reportedly, 69% of consumers interact with a virtual assistant or chatbot at least once a month. Does this mean automation will completely take over customer support?

Perhaps it will, perhaps not. As messaging is on the rise as a channel for support, businesses are using automation to connect with customers in a more personalised way, while saving time and money. However, before deciding whether automation is the way forward, companies should really understand that it shouldn’t be just about covering the basics of customer support – but always aim for customer satisfaction.

With a plethora of reports online and research pieces analysing if robots are outperforming humans in customer service – it seems that we are sometimes missing the point:  Business is built on relationships.

Customer satisfaction largely comes from establishing good relationships – these relationships are essential to the success of every business. But without human interaction; there can be no relationship in the first place. As engaging as robots can be, customers still bond with people.

As engaging as robots can be, customers still bond with people. #CustomerService Click To Tweet

Indeed, as more and more consumers demand quick answers and seek self-help options, AI and machines are presenting viable solutions. A major point in favour of using chatbots is response time, because – unlike humans – bots can manage thousands of interactions simultaneously.

But just because we can automate something, doesn’t mean we should. The reality is that robots have their limitations too. Make a chatbot your primary customer touchpoint, and there will be a very limited number of queries he’ll be able to handle. If you truly value your customers, you have to ask yourself if it is worth the risk.

People expect quick service, but they also want their interactions to be (or at least feel) “human”. So, businesses should provide customers the option of whether to interact with a bot or a human – or a hybrid of both.

 

What does the future look like for customer service?

 

Machines are here to make things easier for both agents and customers; but humans must be present to step in when something goes wrong. Hence, the best solution for managing customer relationships would seem to draw from combining both; the efficiency of automation with human engagement.

The important thing for companies implementing automated processes is to recognise when a person should take over – and find the right balance of automation and human interaction for delivering the right customer treatment.

The role of automation is becoming paramount to deliver a seamless customer experience. While it cannot fully replace humans, it super-charges them; making it infinitely easier to attend multiple queries, deliver and respond more efficiently.

 

Mastering the art of automation

 

Automation can help businesses to save time and money, but when it’s not used thoughtfully it can end up hurting engagement and retention. How can you make sure your company is automating the right way and for the best?

Here’s a few things to factor in:

 

  • Automate where it makes sense

Think about the problems you’d like to solve and be selective about the areas where automation can be useful, for both your agents and your customers.

If you want to incorporate automation for customer service, consider implementing it for repetitive tasks and simple queries. When it comes to messaging, automation usually works well for responding to questions that are frequent and simple to answer; this helps to free up some valuable time for your agents to focus on more important tasks.

 

  • Contextual data makes the difference

Contextual data is incredibly important when automating communications with customers – in context lies the power to deliver personalised, relevant content. This is crucial, especially when as much as 83% of consumers now expect a personalised experience.

Customer profiles should feed into your content strategy to provide an understanding of each customer. Companies should integrate this data into automated processes such as drip campaigns and general marketing communications, in order to send the right message at the right time.

Whether it is an auto message in live chat or an automated response via email – a little bit of context to tailor your communication can go a long way in making the customer feel that it’s not just another machine-generated message.

 

  • Timely follow-ups

One of the best uses of automation is the power it gives sales and service agents to follow up with both prospects and customers.

Workflows allow you to automate parts of your business that are essential to marketing, sales and service. From customer messaging to internal processes, automation can help organisations to increase productivity, drive sales and boost customer engagement.

 

  • Automating internally

The ability to streamline internal processes with automations cannot be underestimated. In addition to running communications, with Ibby’s workflows you can automate lead scores, contact statuses, tasks for your team and more; to easily manage your data and stay on top of every action required to convert leads, up-sell and retain customers.

You can trigger notifications for your agents based on your contacts actions and generate tasks automatically for your team to follow up. The possibilities to drive productivity are endless.

 

  • Be receptive to feedback

It can take time and effort to find the right balance for automated processes, so it’s important to gather feedback from your customers. Make sure you take their opinions into account and make adjustments in order to keep your customers happy.

 

Wrapping up

 

Automating processes can help you to gain a competitive edge, just make sure you’re improving the experience for customers, rather than just looking to save time and money – as this could do more harm than good.

Human interactions are still your best shot for building a bond with customers and solving difficult issues. From now on, a hybrid approach that incorporates automation (or AI) with live agents will be the key to successfully manage customer relationships.

AI is on its way to become an indispensable tool for customer service. Predictions indicate that advances in AI and automation will enable agents to enhance efficiency and performance, so companies need to be ready to adapt to future expectations and new industry standards.

 

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