Mastering the online human touch in the financial sector

How can an online web journey retain an element of human interaction?

Ever since the dawn of the Ecommerce platform almost 30 years ago, financial institutions have sought to perpetually optimise their online journeys. Bounce rates have reduced, UX inertia is being continuously ground down, and more users are being lead through the funnel than ever before. Unquestionably, the process of financial applications has been getting slicker and slicker as the years have gone by, but as these processes become more and more automated, are they inadvertently putting off a key demographic who look for a recognisably human interaction?

Naturally, by streamlining online journeys, an element of human touch has been lost. While a streamlined journey in theory is beneficial for business, the absence of human style interaction features can cause distrust, and can lead to missed sales opportunities as the user doesn’t have adequate purchase support. But is it possible to retain an element of human interaction within an online sales journey?

In short, yes! While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to any customer journey, an audit of key drop off phases in the journey and potentially confusing application points should reveal clear opportunities for human interaction based enhancements. Banks, financial institutions, and credit unions have all historically not been the most forward-thinking when it comes to tech advancements. However, the human interaction these businesses are crying out for can more often than not, be solved by tech advancements.

Humanising the digital journey with conversations

Fintech, as well as automating laborious processes, can allow for a modern human interaction in the financial services and banking industry. In years gone by, when a customer would be looking to choose between a range of financial products, they’d need to come out of the online funnel, and either call up a contact centre, or engage face to face with someone in a branch. Thanks to tools like live chat, the human interaction element can be retained, while the user keeps or even advances their position in the online sales journey.

Live chat functionality allows the user to have a full conversation with a financial services specialist, to eliminate any concerns or misunderstandings they may have. If correctly staffed, a seamless switch between browsing, to chatting, and on to purchasing or applying for a financial product can be achieved.

Research has found that customers value high-quality support over speed when buying online; there is a real desire from the end consumer to have a human interaction, personalised to their query, which live chat can provide. As well as the benefits the technology represents on the sales front; human interactions also reap long term benefits for companies who invest in it.

Human support that comes to life on the screen

Depending on the nature of your product offering and target demographic, other fintech advancements may also be of use in giving the customers the human interaction they are craving as part of their purchasing journey. Either alongside, or in place of a chatbox on a website, Co-browsing has also proven to be a beneficial inclusion to online journeys in the financial sector. While filling out online forms or navigating jargon-laden applications, often real-time human support, walking through the journey with you while you browse can be beneficial. This is exactly what co-browsing software can bring to the table.

If used in the correct scenario, the ability to overcome online journey obstacles together with the user can be invaluable, as it eradicates potential confusion over having to describe the situation. The human interaction brought about by way of this software can provide absolute clarity, which enables trust to develop between the consumer and business. As with any online feature, the proof is very much in the customer feedback. A study by Forrester showed that customer satisfaction for co-browsing interactions was actually higher (78%) than phone help (74%). This is surely in no small part down to the level of convenience brought about by having live personalised support, without having to deviate away from the end goal of completing an application or sale.  

Using chatbots to bridge any resource gap

A fully resourced online support team ready to hop in to assist customers proactively is widely regarded as best practice, however, this is often not possible within the financial confines of modern business. If the nature of your product or financial service leads to highly repetitive customer queries, to which you can provide a clear and concise answer, chat bot software may be useful to bridge the resource gap, while freeing up staff to cope with more complex cases. A well-tailored chat bot would even be capable of triaging customer queries between relevant departments, while weeding out the less complex questions that can be answered with a single line or two of advice, or link to a support article.

If a financial organisation is focusing solely on conversion metrics without looking to gain an understanding of the human interaction element of their offering, they may find themselves underperforming, without having a clear understanding why.

By remembering that any business is created by people, with a view to serving other people, a level of perspective can be realised. By Identifying where people need help and support along your sales journey, a clear scope can be realised for human interaction based fintech software. While each business is different, efficiency will be key across the board.

Find the right balance between a slick journey and intuitive support to continue to unlock the potential of your financial service business.


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