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Automating Customer Service in Banking, Insurance and Financial Services Sectors

According to Statista, automation is continuing to ramp up. In 2021, the automation industry is estimated to generate over 214 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. Process automation is expected to exceed 74 billion U.S. dollars, robotics – 23.9, and artificial intelligence – 17.6 by 2021. 

Automation minimises human error and allows industries to innovate and grow in size. This article focuses on customer care automation in banking, insurance, and financial sectors. We’ll talk about technologies and benefits, as well as give the roadmap of customer services automation.

automation market

Statista. Automation market size in 2019 and 2021

Why Automate Customer Service in Banking, Insurance, and Financial Sectors?

Greater efficiency 

Automation is not a replacement for human agents. However, it considerably reduces efforts in common, repetitive tasks (for example tracking compliance and regulations, analyzing status reports, handling reconciliation and IT tasks such as password resets, software updates, and troubleshooting) and offers alternate solutions. Through intelligent automation, banks and insurance companies can reduce the overall resources spent on them, and ensure greater efficiency. Take a look at these statistics

  • reduced processing times by 78%, 
  • decrease in error rates from 29.7% to 2.0%,
  • twofold increase in the number of accounts processed, 
  • decreased average handling time (AHT) by 28% for policy compliance verification.

Real-time data management and processing

One of the biggest challenges for the financial services and insurance industries is having to collect, process, control and analyze millions of unstructured and fluctuant data. Thanks to customer service automation techniques, companies can not only process big data simultaneously but also minimize human errors. Real-time data processing is widely used in risk management, intelligent cash management, trade monitoring, and many more cases.

Reduced costs and overheads

Having dedicated resources to answer repetitive calls creates overhead in two ways: you have to hire more agents to take on the extra work, and growing agent attrition because of job dissatisfaction, resulting in new hires and added training costs.

Customer support automation saves time and money you would have had to spend on recruitment and training.  Also, there is usually only a one-time fee for implementing automation systems, and companies can always upgrade automation tools when they require.

Enhanced customer experience

Customers’ diverse priorities, needs, and preferences force banks, financial service companies, and insurance companies to redefine their approach to customer service. AI tools can now track, analyze customer data (demographics, behavior, location etc.) and determine the customer identity. It allows companies to provide the best services to customers, therefore, exponentially enhance the overall customer experience. What’s more, service automation enables customers to get the information at a time of their choosing. Any form of self-support is available 24×7.

Let’s consider onboarding as an example of service automation. Customers can now fill up all necessary forms through an application, verify their IDs and sign documents without face-to-face interaction with a bank or insurance officer.

Technologies Used for Automation of Customer Service

If you are wondering how to improve customer service in the banking industry, insurance, and financial services, take a look at these customer service information technologies:

– Artificial Intelligence

AI-powered conversational bots (chatbots) already know customers better than humans and automate most customer services interactions. Completely automated customer service with chatbots is still impossible, but it could drastically reduce the workforce in handling most routine operations. Chatbots can offer a compelling personalized experience by predicting customer intent and helping users engage with products and brands.

– Machine Learning

Machine Learning is used to understand customers, drive personalization, and create convenient and memorable customer experiences. Information taken from sensors, images, videos, and other digital sources is being used to streamline processes.

– Robotic Process Automation

RPA is considered to be one of the newest frontiers in customer service. It is an application that processes transactions, manipulates data or triggers responses, depending on the scope of the request. RPA technology is especially beneficial for regulated industries with high volume and transactional business processes.

– Intelligent Automation

IA is a combination of AI and RPA. It is used to mimic the behavior of the customer by using applications to find and transform data into business processes and workflows. In customer service, IA can be used to capture valuable data that supports and manages customer interactions automatically. It is a supplemental tool for providing necessary information and assistance to customers and agents alike.

– Blockchain

The technology improves access for disadvantaged customers, making businesses more accountable, and increasing security in all kinds of business-customer interactions. Also, a blockchain-based loyalty rewards program reduces system management costs with smart contracts that report tracked, secure, transparent transactions to legacy systems. It reduces costs associated with errors and fraud.

Guide: How to Automate Customer Services

We’ve broken down the journey to customer service automation into six steps: from setting the strategy to enjoying the fully-fledged automated workflow.

1. Get the end state vision and develop the strategy

Successful banks, as well as financial and insurance businesses develop a company-wide vision for the future, reimagining how they will be organized and how work will get done — both with the automation capabilities that exist today and those that will be implemented.It’s crucial to focus on automating the processes that are essential to their long-term competitiveness. Start with a rapid diagnostic to assess the full value at stake, define organizational aspirations, and develop a high-level implementation sequencing (aka roadmap) to achieve those aspirations.

2. Set up a small team to manage the automation processes

Next step is to put a well-run center of excellence (COE) in place. It administers the enterprise-wide approach to transformation and plays a number of critical roles, such as managing vendor relationships, building capabilities, as well as interfacing with the business and critical support functions (e.g., IT and human resources). COE’s capabilities should include not only technical capabilities but those needed to reimagine groups and organizations, redefine the way people will work with technology and multiple stakeholders across the company, as well translate new ways of working into measurable efficiencies.

3. Find a tech partner

A close partnership with IT is particularly important. A tech partner designs the overall systems lifecycle, supports development, manages the rollout against IT priorities, and performs ongoing maintenance. A successful partnership requires early and ongoing engagement with IT through a program steering committee and governance structures.

4. Create detailed roadmaps with your tech partner

Some of the implementation of new customer service automation capabilities will take place relatively quickly. However, banks, insurance and financial companies may spend several years rolling out the transformation across the businesses. To succeed in the long term, they need a clear plan for each business and function, as well as for the entire enterprise.

5. Define deadlines considering risks

For example, incorrect capacity (number of users), absence of human connection (some questions need human assistance), unclear customer service structure or improper configuration.

6. Enjoy the benefits of Customer Service automation and as a result customer service improvement!

Conclusion

Insurance, financial service or banking automation should necessarily include customer service automation to enable a consistent workflow, minimize human errors, and help in customer retention. We advise you to consider introducing various automation techniques depending on the scale of your business.

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