Driven by increased adoption of mobile channels, FS players are constantly evolving every interaction point: from innovative customer touchpoints to integrated application journeys, to consistency of experience across digital and human sales and servicing channels. Institutions providing hassle-free services, zero or low physical interaction and tailored solutions are attracting customers. Customer satisfaction has become a primary growth driver for FS.
Chatbots are disrupting various forms of customer engagement as they effectively meet customer needs for enhanced user experience through AI. To enhance consumer communication, chatbots can utilise natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide relevant information to customers. FS players have adopted them not just for instant customer servicing but also for payment transactions, customised alerts, sales reporting and assisted sales.
The next logical step in the evolution of chatbots is voice-related AI. A number of technology leaders already provide sophisticated voice-based digital assistants that take AI and NLP to the next level. PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series Report (Bot.Me) highlights the growing comfort of consumers with digital assistants: 42% of consumers, 72% of business executives and 53% of millennials are already using digital assistants.2 What’s more, business executives are looking at virtual personal assistants as key channels for consumer conversations and engagement.
According to you, which AI-powered solutions has the largest impact on your business?
Source: PwC’s Bot.Me: A revolutionary partnership report 2017
The adoption of such platforms would be beneficial for FS players, given the penetration of virtual assistance channels in terms of overall consumer experience delivery. A number of such platforms feed into Internet of things (IoT) devices to develop consolidated views of consumers and provide relevant insights. Machine learning (ML) algorithms allow these assistants to evolve and understand context so as to deliver meaningful information. More and more consumers are relying on these channels for information and recommendations, particularly from an FS perspective. According to PwC’s Bot.Me survey, 41% of respondents are likely to turn to AI assistants for financial advice instead of humans in the next five years:3
Source: PwC’s Bot.Me: A revolutionary partnership
Conversational FS is becoming more established as FS players have started using these virtual assistant platforms for service delivery. A number of banks, for example, have already developed voice-based payment solutions to allow customers to complete transactions via voice commands. These channels have the potential to develop the homes of customers into a new channel for FS players, allowing consumers to use the comfortable, familiar environment of their homes to not only get easy access to relevant information and advice, but also follow through with product purchases. Security and authentication will be a major area to look at, though voice biometrics have already entered the fray as a means for establishing identity.
Digital technologies have already been utilised to reduce the dependency on manual processes and improve customer experience. Be it in providing faster resolution to queries to completely digitising the application experience, consumers have grown to expect certain minimum standards of comfort and simplicity.
One space where there is a marked need for better digital processes is mortgages. PwC’s Home Lending Experience Radar 20184 finds that consumer preference for digital has increased even further across the various touchpoints of the mortgage process.
Source: PwC’s Home Lending Experience Lending Radar 2018
The increased comfort with digital technology across the mortgage process is a clear signal to mortgage providers. While lenders know that digitisation leads to higher customer satisfaction, the PwC study identifies specific areas where using digital tools for insights led to better customer satisfaction in the mortgage experience.
Digital tools for a new-age and customer-friendly mortgage process
Key insights from the study point towards a growing need for lenders to shift to a new paradigm for understanding digital experiences. Consumers are no longer satisfied with a digital application process that then migrates to a disparate set of online and offline tools. Instead, they are looking to tailor their own experience and choose which channels they use across the entire mortgage life cycle.
2PwC US. (2017). Bot.Me: A revolutionary partnership. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.in/assets/pdfs/consulting/digital-enablement-advisory1/pwc-botme-booklet.pdf (last accessed on 9 May 2018)
3PwC US. (2017). Bot.Me: A revolutionary partnership. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.in/assets/pdfs/consulting/digital-enablement-advisory1/pwc-botme-booklet.pdf (last accessed on 9 May 2018)
4Hernandez, R. (8 April 2018). Digital Mortgage 2.0 – A paradigm shift in customer experience – Key trends. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-mortgage-20-paradigm-shift-customer-key-trends-hernandez/ (last accessed on 9 May 2018)