- The way people communicate has changed, and digital engagement is a top priority.
- People from all generations are moving toward a more digital approach to financial services.
- Artificial intelligence, analytics, and employee collaboration tools are all key components of a digital engagement strategy for financial services.
👀 Curious about digital engagement trends in financial services? Grab our guide for a look ahead.
People have always communicated, but the way they communicate has changed over time. There was a period when a phone call was enough to relay the right message. Now, many individuals prefer newer and more private ways of holding discussions.
The age of digital communications has arrived. Here are a few stats that prove this:
- 75 percent of customers prefer to use private messaging over traditional channels.
- 58 percent of consumers have tried to reply with text messages after missing calls from businesses.
- Consumers are four times more likely to respond with text messages than call back to voicemails.
- 46 percent of internet users spent more time on messaging apps during the lockdown.
The financial services industry is rethinking how to provide information to customers. Executives are looking to evolve so they can meet customer expectations and competitive pressures, and digitizing communications is one of the methods they’re employing.
Digital engagement: not just for younger customers anymore
Many of the mentioned digital engagement trends were first attributed to younger generations. With so many Millennials and Generation Z members attached to their mobile devices, financial services at first thought implementing digital communication methods was good mostly for keeping younger customers happy.
But digital communication trends don’t belong to a single generation. People of all ages are engaging with financial institutions digitally.
Digital engagement has led to a 50 percent improvement in customer satisfaction in some cases. This is significant for financial institutions, as banks with high customer satisfaction rates saw quick deposits surge by 84 percent. The formula is simple; adding digital engagement improves your business and boosts revenue.
In a recent WSTA seminar sponsored by RingCentral, three primary topics surrounding digital engagement were explored:
- Artificial intelligence
- Employee collaboration
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Artificial intelligence offers tools that can improve digital engagement strategies for financial services firms. Some of them are:
Chatbots enable quick response time to customers, which, in turn, helps to prevent troublesome issues from escalating and leading to customer attrition.
Chatbots also free up your agents for more important matters. If an issue occurs that requires more hands-on assistance, you’ll have more agents available for these important tasks. Chatbots can handle 50-80 percent of current issues and help your contact center add new channels quickly to prevent volume surge.
Intelligent call routing
Intelligent call routing involves sending calls and messages to the right people for first call resolution. This can boost customer satisfaction by ensuring issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. The full message history for a customer is included when calls are routed so the agent is clear on the situation, thus reducing questions and saving time.
Analytics allow you to monitor the performance of your business and employees. You can also monitor customers and get a better understanding of what they need from your financial services organization.
Analytics allow you to:
- Gain actionable insights from customer interactions across voice and text channels and make impactful business decisions.
- Categorize interactions based on discussion topics, frustration detection, and expressed sentiment.
- Identify agent behaviors to improve coaching effectiveness and agent ramp time.
- Reduce compliance risk by analyzing every interaction for potential issues.
Employee collaboration tools
Employee collaboration tools are an essential part of financial services today, as many organizations are working with a remote workforce.
Integrated unified communications
Platforms that provide integrated unified communications connect branches and agents so conversations are transferred easily. Agents taking escalated issues are given the information they need about a customer so their issue can be resolved quickly.
Integrated unified communications also allow agents to connect to industry experts. Call center agents may not always have the knowledge they need to handle escalated issues. Access to those who can help them will ensure they obtain appropriate assistance and data. You can also involve customer service stakeholders through proactive alerts.
Workforce engagement management
In addition to providing personalized coaching, scheduling, and training with your teams for maximum efficiency, you can also provide a collaborative work environment for the new office/remote hybrid model many financial institutions are employing.
In the post-COVID era, it is common to see financial companies utilizing remote and in-house workers to complete tasks. So, it’s important to ensure all employees can work and communicate with each other effectively regardless of their locations. Such a collaboration platform enables better innovation and faster time to market for new offerings, products, and services.
Best practices for designing differentiated experiences
There are several things you can do to make digital engagement positive and productive for customers. You can make things:
Allow customers to open a service request through any device. This way, they don’t have to browse through your whole website to find the right outlet. They can get in touch anywhere, at any time, and at their convenience.
Provide your customers’ full history to call center agents so conversations can continue without interruption across devices.
It’s important to limit response times so customers feel validated. Respond to issues in as little time as possible or otherwise provide a clear time to resolution in order to improve the experience.
Customers don’t want to fill out long, detailed forms so their calls go to the right people. Instead, provide chatbots or live video chat options so their needs are examined quickly.
Customers expect you to know them and understand what they’re looking to accomplish. Use your prior knowledge of a customer and his/her journey to provide personalized communication and tackle their issue with full force.
A customer success story
Multinational insurance firm AXA had an immature engagement program that only allowed it to answer 100 messages or calls a month. RingCentral helped the firm implement basic digital engagement protocols that saw AXA’s monthly return message rate go from 100 to 4,000.
Among the benefit aspects integrated by RingCentral was improved customer interaction through personalization. This made the company’s customer satisfaction rates surge. Some customer calls were also moved from phones to SMS messaging systems. This included Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Wait times were shortened, and activity management of contact centers was eased. This also reduced customer service costs.
1,000 calls were deflected to digital SMS platforms each month, and 5 percent of customers calling for documents chose digital means of communication, while digital conversations grew 2.5 times.
Stay on trend with RingCentral communications solutions
RingCentral is a leader in global communications. We have invested heavily in the enhancement of digital customer service over the past five years and can quickly turn companies into fully customer-centric enterprises.
RingCentral’s primary product is MVP, which offers message, voice, and phone to customers. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. RingCentral also offers contact center solutions to enhance communication and customer engagement. Let RingCentral help you build a valid and reliable communications ecosystem for your business. See how it works today.
Originally published Feb 03, 2022