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Open Banking: Customer intelligence for financial services

Customer intelligence has become one of the forces disrupting the competitive landscape of financial services.

In the midst of change and transformation driven by the PSD2 legislation, the financial services industry is discovering the true potential of Open Banking. With the ability to connect directly to consumers’ banks, as a secure way to access financial information, one of the clear advantages that the innovative technology poses for those embracing it is customer intelligence.

Customer intelligence consists of collecting data from consumers and utilising the insights to find the best possible ways to serve them. No matter what industry your business operates in, consumer data is key for companies to understand the needs of their audience, and to get a solid grip for developing strategies that can truly respond to their customers’ needs.

In the financial services sector, harnessing consumer data with accuracy is becoming essential in order for companies to deliver products and services that are personalised. A study by PWC analysing financial services technology and their impact, concluded:

“Customer Intelligence will be the most important predictor of revenue growth and profitability”.

Technology has for years been used to improve efficiency and to optimise costs – but the benefits are going beyond that. The latest advances, including Open Banking tools, are being developed to support legacy systems and complement traditional processes. Rather than a threat, it’s an opportunity: financial institutions are increasingly seeking partnerships with fintech startups that can help to catapult their operations to become more customer-intelligent businesses that offer more customer-friendly solutions.


Mastering customer-intelligence with Open Banking


Industry players in the financial sector are now trying to keep track of all the innovation and competition driving the market. The time is right for understanding the opportunities that Open Banking capabilities present, to adopt the technology and add it to the mix of tactics to master customer-intelligence.

Companies are putting their efforts on collecting data about consumers in order to understand them; this includes online habits, spending preferences, where they shop or what they buy, etc. But what about their financial information? It used to be the case that banks held up much of this information, and getting an accurate picture of individuals’ financial circumstances was a challenge; but Open Banking is changing this.

Understanding individuals’ financial circumstances is incredibly important for businesses operating in financial services, especially for those in lending and financial advice; in order to deliver the best solutions. Open Banking technology is now facilitating the collection of this financial data, for the benefit of both business and the end user.

For consumer intelligence to be effective, however, it’s essential to know that collecting data isn’t enough. The insights that are gathered from customers need to be analysed and processed in a way that allows businesses to drive development and strategies that resonate with their audience. Fortunately, AI and machine learning, are stepping in to take the weight off your shoulders. Some of the latest tools that incorporate Open Banking come with advanced features like spending categorisation, to help you make sense of the financial data that is gathered from consumers.

Open Banking allows people to share access to their financial data with regulated (or industry-approved) third parties providers. Whilst enabling access to individuals’ financial data-sharing in a secure way, it also gives customers control over their data. It’s a method that is much safer than previous ways of data-sharing, especially because of PSD2 legislation and regulations that are in place to subject the data to strong security and encryption practices.

PSD2 requires that banks and financial institutions go through strong processes for customer authentication, consent and reliability – leading to GDPR and, more recently, Open Banking. After the first six months of the initiative coming into force in the UK, findings by PwC and the Open Data Institute showed that by 2022 the market could be generating as much as £7.2 billion in value.


What kind of information can be attained with Open Banking?


When establishing a direct link to an individual’s bank, the technology can look into a specific bank account or credit card, for instance. It can then report back to the Account Service Information Provider (AISP) with extracted data on transactions and spending, income, bank statements, credit history. Because of the connection that is made to cross data between the individual and the bank, more can be achieved in terms of verifying ID and authenticating security details, which means Open Banking can also assist in anti-money laundering procedures.

The real customer intelligence trick happens when AI is able to follow up by categorising spending and flagging transactions, to help agents in financial services to assess affordability of individuals more efficiently and accurately.


The importance of capturing data in real-time


One of the key factors in achieving customer intelligence success is the ability to capture customer insights in real-time – this ensure relevance of the data, and can be a resource for a business to understand easier their customers and what works best for them.

Does this sound easier said than done? The truth is that automation and messaging technology has made great steps in gathering data in real-time and processing insights for effective follow-up, so it doesn’t have to be a laborious task.

In Ibby, for instance, we are combining the power of live chat and chat automations with Open Banking functionality. Our solution allows companies to engage in conversation with visitors and customers in real-time, in an instant messaging environment. Customers can share financial data in a secure way and when it is appropriate while chatting to agents, and share their contact details so that these can be saved into a smart CRM system, that can then trigger relevant messages at further stages of the funnel. The process of gathering data this way is real-time, smooth and painless.

Ibby can make the process of collecting bank statements simpler by allowing authentication through the individuals’ banking apps on any device, via live chat. In many cases, this involves the slickest authentication steps such as face recognition and finger-print technology, reducing friction and enhancing user experience.

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What is Co-browsing and why your business should know about it

New technologies are taking the world of banking and finance by storm. The use of co-browsing software is spreading quickly in the industry; here’s why.

As new applications and software developments keep gaining momentum and reshaping the ways companies in financial services operate, co-browsing is one of the latest technologies that is making an impact and getting noticed.

Agents in banks, insurance and lending firms, loan brokers and firms operating in the wider finances market as well as other industries, are increasingly adopting co-browsing as a means of building engagement and improving the overall customer experience.


What is co-browsing?

Co-browsing is short for collaborative browsing and, as its name suggests, it’s a technology brought to life by SaaS companies to allow representatives to navigate on a webpage at the same time as a visitor or customer online, to assist in different processes and in different stages of the customer journey.

By browsing together, a customer representative can show individuals around a page, and use extra features that usually come with co-browsing, such as dual-cursor and annotations, to make handy notes on the screen and interact with the user on the other side. This provides an online resource for assisting users more proactively, and can therefore be very effective for various procedures.

The functionality can be used alongside other channels to complement communication, such as video call, live chat, messenger, or even a traditional phone call. This way, co-browsing provides an extra layer in customer contact that adds a personal touch and creates a space for building loyalty and engagement.


Why is co-browsing relevant for the financial services market?


Many firms in banking and finances, including businesses in insurance and lending, still operate with lengthy and complicated processes. Even though digitisation has progressively taken businesses to move the process to the online space, the result is often a website that is not optimised for providing the best user experience. Customers applying for loans, credit cards or navigating through bank accounts can find websites to be tedious, and application forms to be confusing or very time-consuming.

Digital banking has innovated significantly especially in the last few years, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. It’s not uncommon for consumers to get stuck in the middle of an application process online, to get confused about what to enter in a specific field, or to give up along the process because it’s all taking too much of their time. 

Sometimes, all that users need is a simple conversation with an agent, and a question to be answered instantly. In this case, a live chat or instant messaging platform can be just what a business needs to qualify and convert the lead. The problem is that the challenge can be much greater when it comes to complicated websites and forms. Customers may not know how to word their doubts, and agents can struggle to provide an answer that makes sense on the screen. How to tell a customer “click on this button” when there’s 20 other buttons on the page? This is when co-browsing software can be tremendously handy.

Co-browsing is a tool that can help to fill this gap in the online journey. With a simple click, a representative can request the online user to grant access to browse together, and without any need for downloads or installation – the co-browsing session begins. The ‘show and tell’ form of interaction that is enabled through co-browsing creates an ideal flow for users needing assistance online.

Helping potential customers with co-browsing has proven to be more engaging and personalised; it helps businesses to convert leads quicker while contributing to customer success.


What about screen-sharing?


Screen-sharing is an older technology, which understandably gets often confused with co-browsing.

Both tools provide visual forms of engagement to assist in sales and support scenarios. They are also similar in the fact that demonstrations or sessions happen online and in real-time, making them effective resources to solve problems quicker. There are, however, some key differences between the two solutions. The advantages that each technology represents can make one or the other more appropriate depending on your business’ objectives and needs.


Co-browsing vs Screen-share: The differences

  • With Co-browsing, sales or support representatives can interact with the browsers to provide live assistance in an online session, but this is limited to a specific webpage. In Screen-sharing, the agent can access and control the whole screen of the user.
  • Co-browsing can be enabled on specific pages online, which means once this is done, each session doesn’t require further downloads or installation from either party – all that is required is permission from the visitor or customer. Screen-sharing typically does require both the agent and the online user to install the application that enables the session. In this sense, co-browsing helps to save time and minimise malware threats.
  • In terms of security and protection of the end user, co-browsing is a much safer tool to use. The latest co-browsing software tools include features to protect and mask sensitive information on the screen, such as confidential data or credit card numbers, so that users aren’t at risk of giving away this information. Also, as mentioned before, co-browsing sessions are limited to a single webpage; access to other tabs or pages on the browser are restricted, further protecting consumers’ personal data.
  • In screen share, the agent has full control and can take over to solve a problem, with little or no interaction from the end user. Co-browsing, on the other hand, is more designed for demonstration purposes, which means the agent doesn’t require the same level of control over the user’s interface. With features like notes on the screen and dual-cursor, they can simply show the user what to do, pinpoint elements or highlight sections on the screen, in order to get the end user to complete a task.


Where to go from here

For businesses, and especially those operating in the financial services space, visual engagement tools can be highly effective for both sales and support objectives. It can also make a huge difference in enhanced customer experience, helping you to stand out from the competition.

Co-browsing presents a safer alternative to screen-sharing, that can be used for guiding customers along the online journey, to engage with them from the moment contact is made and to prevent drop-off points on their business site – aiding in conversion, quicker sales, and customer success rates.


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Introducing Ibby: Messaging tools for marketing, sales & support

Empowering teams to boost sales & support

Last week we launched Ibby in beta, giving all our early subscribers the chance to try a brand-new messaging platform that empowers teams to better collaborate in real-time to engage with prospects, drive sales and scale customer support.

Ibby integrates modern messaging channels combining: live chat, email and SMS, within integrated sales & support modules, providing a workspace designed for team collaboration and business growth.

 

Why did we build Ibby?

 

With messaging increasingly dominating the future of business communications, we wanted to create a product that puts messaging at the centre of the sales process to enhance the entire customer journey. We decided this would have to start with live chat, but knew we had to go way beyond.

Although it’s been around for years, live chat has been changing the game for ecommerce more recently than ever – growing in popularity as the channel people prefer for customer contact. But businesses often fail to meet live chat demands. Consumers reaching out for help online are frequently met with a robotic experience, slow response or poor-quality service.

Consumers want to get information in a quick and accurate way, and getting help from a live person is regarded as one of the most important features a website can offer. As live chat continues to evolve as a channel to facilitate this, we asked ourselves; what can we do to help teams do live chat right?

We decided that live chat had to allow teams to work better together; as humans, and collectively. So, we created Ibby with a plethora of tools to make teamwork real-time and more effective, in order to boost conversion, sales and retention.

We found some key issues that are currently stopping live chat and real-time messaging from reaching its full potential and tackled every single one with a solution.

 

Problem Number 1:

Live chat is traditionally one-to-one, but it’s often not just one person who can solve a problem.

 

How often do customers have to wait in line to get an answer, or get in contact again to have a problem solved? Far too often. Reportedly, as much as 62% of customers have to contact a business multiple times to resolve an issue.

We flagged an important issue here: how challenging it is for teams to act quickly and effectively as a group when they need to. Teammates need each other’s help to respond accurately or to solve complicated questions, and disjointed channels to communicate with don’t make this an easy task.

Think of a case where marketing needs input from the sales team to answer a question, or customer service needs technical support to help with a case. Sounds familiar? We decided to break these barriers.

We designed our live chat to be not just one-to-one, but team(s)-to-one. With Ibby’s Private Chat, users can mention colleagues in conversations, so that several teammates can get involved when required and talk to visitors or customers as a team to provide a more effective, delightful service.

The private chat allows teammates to chat behind-the-scenes, exchange notes in real-time; in the same space, without the visitor finding out. With this functionality, teams can act quicker – no need no need to rely on email to get things done!

 

Problem Number 2

Customers want to engage at their convenience and businesses struggle to cater for them.

 

In a world with so many communication channels, and customers who are increasingly multi-tasking, the need for a solution that eases communication and engagement is becoming more and more important.

Fully aware of this, we designed our Conversations Inbox to support not just live chat, but also email, SMS, and (soon to be implemented) Facebook Messenger and other popular channels. Your customers will want to reach you the way they want, and it doesn’t have to be a problem anymore.

Ibby organises all conversations in one unified inbox for your team to manage communications easily and effectively.

 

Problem Number 3

Agents can’t always be there, and chat bots are not always a good solution.

 

When it comes to live chat, users want better human service. Until chat bots get as smart as humans, the preference will remain for consumers to talk to a person. For most companies, however, it’s not humanly possible to provide 24/7 support via live chat.

We thought of tools that were essential for businesses to capture and qualify leads effectively to close more sales, without relying on bots. This led us to the development of Ibby’s powerful automation workflows, to provide teams with the support they need.

We created Ibby with the capability to capture leads for you. In your workflow builder, you can set up Ibby bot to respond automatically to contacts when they start a conversation on live chat, asking your visitor to provide their name and email address. The system will save the contact for you, and you can automate tasks or emails for your team to follow up effectively.

You can also automate unique chat messages to greet visitors on your website. You can connect auto messages to web pages, or even combine them with emails; to nurture your leads and encourage real-time conversations in a personal way.

There’s much more you can do with Ibby’s automations. You can create workflows to support every part of your lifecycle and keep customer engagement on a high note: automate email and SMS, set timed messages to move prospects down the funnel and keep customers happy.

 

With a solution for each of these common problems, we can help businesses to really exploit the benefits of modern messaging, and make the most of a rich toolkit that can aid in conversion through to support, loyalty and retention.

So, go ahead, take Ibby for a spin. We are offering our early bird adopters a 3 month free trial, for a limited time only!

Getting stated is easy, and you won’t have to enter any credit card details.

Subscribe to our early bird list here.

See you on the other side!

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Ibby beta is here! Check out the features

It’s an exciting day for us at Ibby, as today we are releasing our beta product. Take a look at what’s here!

Here’s an overview of the features that our valued early subscribers are getting to try free for 3 months!

Sales & Support Workspaces

Ibby is designed to integrate sales and support teams to work together in one environment. Users can switch between the modules right from the top, to find slightly different functionalities:

Sales workspace

If your live chat widget is connected to a sales workspace, live chat messages from your visitors will appear under the Conversations tab in the sales module.

In Contacts, you can select contact statuses and sources where your contacts come from, to keep your contacts organised. You can then create workflows for your sales module based on this data, to automate actions through your sales cycle.

Support workspace

If your live chat widget is connected to a support workspace, live chat messages from your visitors will appear under the Tickets tab in the support workspace.

You can assign tickets to users, and use filters to find what you need. You can also create workflows for your support workspace based on this data.

Live chat

The power of live chat for engaging with visitors and turning them into customers cannot be underestimated!

We have worked on a state-of-the-art messenger for teams to exploit the real benefits of live chat. It is a stylish widget equipped with automations, emojis, file upload, chat history and options for customisation.

Several users are able to participate in conversations to chat with visitors and customers as a team, rather than just 1-2-1. This is a great feature for teams, to solve queries quickly and delight customers with the level of service!

Auto messages in live chat can be triggered with Ibby’s automation workflows, and there’s a handy lead capture form that can also be automated to ask for your visitor’s email address while you’re offline.

The Ibby chat widget can be easily added to your website by simply copy-pasting the code snippet, which can be found in the user’s account settings. If you’re adding the widget to a WordPress site, check out this video.

Widget customisation

The widget can be customised to match your website and express your brand’s tone of voice. Here’s what you can do within settings to customise your chat:

New visitor welcome message 1 – this is the message that will appear on the main screen of your widget for new visitors.
New visitor welcome message 2 – the text following the prior message
Returning visitor message – this message will appear on the top of the widget screen for returning contacts who had previous conversations with you.
Primary colour – select a colour for the widget to match your website

Private chat

Users are able to use the private chat window to exchange comments behind the scenes while chatting to visitors and customers. This handy feature can help teammates to discuss and collaborate in real-time to solve questions quicker, without visitors finding out.

To use private notes, click on ‘private chat’ on the top left of conversations, and type @ to find and mention other users you want to talk to.

Dashboard

The Ibby dashboard contains handy visualisations with number of website visitors, contacts added and number of assigned/unassigned conversations.

You can alter the size of each graph and position to suit your needs!

Contacts

Contacts will be your go-to place with all of your customer data. In here, you can add contacts, edit details, set contact statuses and lead sources to keep your contacts organised. Switch between table and board view for convenience.

Conversations

The Ibby conversations inbox is designed for teams to work better together. Users will be able to manage messages from live chat, email and SMS – all from one place.

We will soon be adding Facebook Messenger functionality, so that these messages can also be managed within Conversations.

Tasks

With Ibby’s task system you can create tasks for you and your team; assign tasks to users, set due dates and set up reminders. Mark tasks as complete to stay on top of your workload.

The creation of tasks can also be automated, using Ibby’s workflows. You can trigger tasks to be generated following specific events, such as a contact status change, an email getting open by customers, conversation started by contacts, and more.

Automation workflows

Ibby’s powerful workflows allow teams to automate messages, tasks, and CRM actions based on a number of events – a.k.a. triggers.

The friendly UI of Ibby’s workflows will make it easy for you to select triggers, set actions to follow, insert waiting times when appropriate, and decision branches to create action paths with ease.

Users can select from triggers such as contact status change, conversation started (via SMS, email, live chat), web page visited (specific URL) and more. Actions that can be automated go beyond messaging: you can automate tasks, contact status changes or lead scores.

There’s really countless things to do with Ibby’s automations!

Tickets

Tickets are similar to conversations, but they’re found within your support module.

Your customers will be able to open tickets in your support module by messaging you via live chat, or emailing you to an allocated Ibby email address. When you connect live chat on your website to your support module, you will allow visitors to open tickets by messaging you right from your website.

You can select from a list of statuses for tickets to keep them organised, and assign to teammates to ensure follow up of every customer query.

More features to come!

We’re super thrilled to get all our early subscribers to test Ibby in beta stage, and discover new exciting features to come in the next weeks.

If you’re not on our beta list and want to take Ibby for a spin, talk to us! We’ll be happy to set you up for a free trial. Just message us via the widget on this page, or email us at support@getibby.com

We’re looking forward to having you onboard and receiving your feedback. Get ready to start converting visitors and delighting customers!

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Responding to leads: Are you moving fast enough?

A new lead comes in – the clock’s ticking. How much time do you have to respond before your lead falls off the radar?

Everyone seems to know that, when there’s an opportunity to close a sale, time is of the essence. Yet, research statistics out of Harvard Business Review show that most companies are slow to respond to leads, meaning they aren’t handling online queries effectively.

Looking at over two thousand U.S. companies to gauge how long they took to respond to a web-generated test lead, the results found that 24% took more than 24 hours — and 23% of the companies never responded at all.

What’s even more interesting, is the stat that reflects just how important timely responses can be. The research suggests that companies that respond to leads within an hour, are 7 times more likely to convert leads to sales.

Companies that try to contact leads within 60 minutes of receiving a query “are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later” – the report reads. However, only 37% of companies manage to follow up with leads within an hour.

 

Every minute counts

 

The Harvard Business Review demonstrates the importance of responding within an hour, but what happens when looking more closely; at the minutes that follow the submission of a lead?

The Lead Response Management Study shows just how much every minute can cost you when your leads are awaiting response:

 

  • “The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the first hour.”
  • “The odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.”

 

Why is response time so important?

 

The reason why the time you take to respond to leads matters so much is not only to do with top-of-mind-awareness (a vendor is still fresh on the consumer’s mind when the contact occurs), but also because of the so-called “wow effect”.

Would it freak people out if you got back to them seconds after receiving a lead? Perhaps there was a time when this could have been a bit of a concern – but with all the recent advances in AI and technology, the truth is that consumers nowadays want and expect an instant response.

Responding fast to a potential customer is a great way to make a good first impression. It shows that you’re interested, and it tells them a bit about how quick your service can be – helping to build trust right from the start.

 

Beating your competitors to the punch

 

As much as 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. So, how can you make sure you are handling leads effectively and be the first to respond?

 

1. Equip your team with the latest live chat technology 

More than ever, consumers are demanding immediate attention, which is why businesses are increasingly turning to live chat software that can facilitate an instant response.

Ibby’s modern live chat tool can allow your sales team to be ready to strike a conversation whenever someone is interested in your product or service; and engage in conversation to answer questions in real-time.

With no need for submitting forms online, or consumers having to wait for your emails; live chat can simplify the funnel to a single conversation.

Aim to get back within 5 minutes for optimising your chances of success.

 

2. Use automations for tailored responses

Automated responses can provide good support for when you can’t provide an immediate personal response – providing your team is able to pick up and follow up, as appropriate.

In the usage of automated responses, it’s important to avoid auto-responders that come across as a canned response. Make an effort to personalise your messages. A good automation tool allows you to tailor messages to customers’ behaviours and actions, ensuring content is not only timely, but relevant and to the point.

With Ibby, you can also take it further and automate tasks for your team. Tasking users in connection to personalised auto-messages can help your team to stay on top of every action required to close more sales and move prospects through the funnel.

 

3. Follow up effectively

Apart from commonly slow response standards, statistics also show that companies aren’t persistent enough at following up on leads. On average, companies try to contact a lead only 1.3 times before quitting.

Think about how many choices consumers have out there. Your potential customers can be hesitant and require a level of attention that can only be achieved through appropriate following up. This is why persistency can be so important.

Workflow automations can be of massive help for following up, so that agents don’t have to manually chase leads and perform repetitive tasks. Workflows help companies to keep potential customers advancing through their decision cycle by communicating consistently with them.

By not following up effectively, you’re letting your leads fall off the radar and giving your competitors space for stepping in.

 

Conclusion

 

Delaying your response to inbound leads can easily result in money lost. Responses within an hour increase the chances of conversion by as much as 7 times, and your best odds of making a successful contact with a lead are within 5 minutes.

Responding to leads quickly is largely down to having the right tools to do so. Speed is critical, but so is relevancy. Make sure you equip your team with tools that allow them to respond fast and to send the right message at the right time. And remember – every minute counts!

 

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Get your hands on the latest messaging tools to be the first to respond and convert more customers. Sign up with Ibby today, you can get started for free!

 

Chat as a team: break down the barriers!

Marketing and sales working in silos, disjointed channels for customer service and technical support… Sound familiar? Find out how Ibby’s live chat solves the problem.

We’ve all been there – as customers – in the unfortunate event where we get transferred to lots of different agents or departments; other times asked to send an email or call a number to get the support required. Not only it’s time consuming, but massively frustrating.

Uncertainty is the worst enemy of customer satisfaction. Customers often have to try different channels; or explain what they need more than once to different people – it’s the kind of thing that results in poor customer experience and really hurts your funnel.

The divisions between business departments is a problem companies have faced for many years. The answer? Spare customers the pain and route requests in real-time with live chat.

Live chat is traditionally a one-to-one communication channel – but we changed this. With Ibby, we reinvented live chat to work as a channel where customer requests can be dealt with as a team, immediately – no need for transfers!

 

Collaborate behind-the-scenes

 

When several agents are in a conversation, they can use private notes to communicate behind-the-scenes in the same conversation thread. This means team collaboration happens in real-time, without the visitor finding out.

A typical scenario: a customer needs help from support and tries live chat, but he reaches the sales department. How to deal with this effectively: bring in support to the conversation.

 

 

The ability to chat as a team helps to break down the barriers between agents and departments, reducing friction and making it easier to deal with things.

 

The end result

 

Agents can work more efficiently, and customers are more satisfied with their experiences.

A plus side to chatting as a team is that customers don’t usually expect to talk to more than one agent on live chat, so not only will you be able to support them better, but also delight customers with the level of service!

 

Ready to deliver a increase sales and enhance customer support with live chat? Sign up with Ibby today, you can get started for free!

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