How Financial Services Firms Can Use AI to Improve Customer Experience

Financial services firms will need to expand use of artificial intelligence to win customer trust with high quality fast service and security.

“From 2010 to 2020 the amount of data created, captured, copied and consumed in the world increased from 1.2 trillion gigabytes to 59 trillion gigabytes,” according to a Smartstream whitepaper.

“A 2020 Statista prediction indicated that data creation globally was likely to grow to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025. Yet, for all this abundance of data, the financial services industry remains surprisingly information poor.”

Four in five senior banking executives agree that unlocking value from AI will distinguish financial services winners from losers, according to a report from The Economist. “But firms are treading carefully, balancing business benefits against regulatory complexity and the need to maintain customers’ trust. Most banks (62%) agree that the complexity and risks associated with handling personal data for AI projects often outweigh the benefits to customer experience.”

Financial services firms have been using basic AI for targeted marketing and other basic uses for a few years. But to better serve customers and intelligently use the massive amount of data they collect, financial services firms are turning to AI for an increasing amount of uses. 

Below are four examples of how financial services firms are using AI to take CX to the next level:

1. Improved Sentiment Analysis

Turkey-based DenizBank turned to speech analytics to better understand customer sentiments and needs during the pandemic. With agents going remote, the solution and related technology were critical in helping improve customer service, said Altug Merhap, senior vice president of DenizBank. 

The AI-based speech analytics program enabled the bank to achieve an accuracy score of 95% for customer inquiries, meaning bank employees could more accurately understand the root causes of problems, resulting in quicker responses to customer needs, Merhap added. The analytics solution helped more effectively identify what was needed, enabling agents to take prompt action to move the customer journey forward. “As the pace of change accelerates, we continue to work on maximizing agent performance and creating satisfied customers,” Merhap said.

Related Article: 4 Ways to Boost Hype-Personalization for Financial Services

2. Quality Assurance

Banks are leveraging AI for the quality assurance (QA) process and review in the contact center, said Bill Staikos, senior vice president, evangelist and head of community engagement at Medallia, though he noted the efforts aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Typically, financial services contact centers review only 2% to 4% of all calls each day.

The more advanced financial services contact centers automate the QA listening and review process, so that all calls are analyzed and rated in real time, Staikos said. “This has benefits for the customer, the agent and the business overall. The agent supervisor can use this information for in-the-moment coaching; platforms also deliver QA insights to the agent directly so they can make changes in real time as well. The consumer benefits because the quality of the calls improve over time.” 

The financial institution benefits as well, Staikos said. “Because individuals are not reviewing the calls, these teams can be repurposed within the organization. Given all calls are analyzed and scored by the AI, corporate risk is reduced as the AI can be trained to listen for agent rudeness, fraudulent behavior or other customer-detracting behavior.

3. Improved Response Times

Research by Mitto, an omnichannel communications solutions provider, found that one-third of respondents with a negative bank experience would rather make a trip to the dentist than interact with their financial institution, said Andrea Giacomini, Mitto CEO.

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