Right now, virtual assistance is shaking up the financial services industry, offering a new level of support and convenience to customers just like yours.
As a financial institution, it allows you to boost efficiency, streamline customer experiences, and lay the foundations for long-term success.
Similarly, if you’re in the banking and insurance industries, companies in your space have begun to embrace this tech to provide round-the-clock support and meet ever-increasing customer expectations.
Today, we’ll be delving into the world of virtual assistance and the ways it affects you, as a financial service provider. We’ll explore what it is, what it does, and some best practices to make sure you’re positioned to utilise it effectively.
What Is Virtual Assistance?
Virtual assistance is something of a catchall term, referring to those digital technologies that change or influence – and, ideally, upgrade – the way your customers interact with you.
Powered by modern customer service solutions (such as co-browsing, digital forms and document exchange), virtual assistance helps provide a seamless and personalised experience for your customers. It also enables round-the-clock support, allowing your customers to access assistance whenever they need it.
The Role of Virtual Assistance For Financial Services
For financial service providers, virtual assistance can play a pivotal role in streamlining your customer journey. It enhances the customer experience by providing instant, digital solutions to your users’ inquiries and issues.
With virtual assistance, for instance, you can:
- Improve operational efficiency
- Reduce costs
- Deliver exceptional customer service
So what does this actually look like?
Let’s take an example: by offering self-service options, such as the ability to independently verify ID, you can meet and exceed customer expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Or, by having an agent co-browse a complicated (and, let’s face it, somewhat dry) financial contract alongside your customer in real-time, you help guide them to a faster, better-understood conclusion.
In other words, you lay the foundation for enhanced CX.
Let’s dive a little deeper and explore in more detail how virtual assistance can unlock operational and competitive advantages for your business.
Virtual assistance can streamline your operations by automating repetitive tasks – where possible – and providing quick access to information. This improves your efficiency and frees up members of your team to focus on more complex, valuable activities.
For instance, virtual assistants in the shape of AI chatbots can handle routine customer inquiries, process transactions, and provide account information in real-time.
In turn, you’ll reduce manual errors and streamline workflows, ultimately leading to cost savings and improved efficiency.
Enhancing Customer Experience
Customer-centricity is all about personalisation and expedience. In line with this, virtual assistance represents a huge CX opportunity for your business.
Automated virtual assistants can provide tailored recommendations, assist with financial planning, and offer insights on products and services, for example.
On the other hand, offering your customers the option to jump onto a video call with an agent (rather than traditional phone support) will be a huge plus-point for many users.
The digital revolution may be in full swing, but so many of us still prefer to see and speak to other humans. How often do you hear users talking about their desire to find “a real person on the other end of the line?”
By offering the option for a video call, you satisfy that CX requirement.
Financial Analysis & Reporting
Virtual assistance can also play a role for you internally, via analysis and reporting.
Using data to create analyses and forecasts is, of course, an important part of your business. But the issue is this: it takes time for a human to pull together that information, and work it into a meaningful presentation.
AI and data analytics, on the other hand, can analyse large volumes of financial data rapidly and generate real-time reports, enabling faster decision-making and more accurate insights.
This gives you a competitive edge, helping to identify trends and support strategic planning.
Virtual assistance can aid your risk management protocols, by continuously monitoring and analysing data to identify potential risks and fraud patterns.
Case in point: automated virtual assistants can detect suspicious activities, flag potential breaches, and assist in fraud prevention. This proactive approach helps you mitigate risks, safeguard customer assets, and maintain regulatory compliance.
Implementing Virtual Assistance – Challenges & Best Practices
As a financial service provider, the journey of implementation carries its own set of unique challenges and considerations. That said, by following best practices, you can lay the foundation for success.
Here are some key factors to consider:
- Data Security: Protecting customers’ financial data is absolutely a non-negotiable. Be sure to introduce bulletproof security measures, to safeguard sensitive customer information.
- Training and Development: A number of financial service leaders have noted some resistance to virtual assistant technology within their teams. This may be partly due to a fear of agents seeing their jobs become redundant, and also a lack of understanding. Some financial institutions suffer from a ‘way-we’ve-always-done-things’ mentality. Invest in comprehensive training programs to ensure that employees are well-equipped to work alongside virtual assistants; seeing them as a job-enhancer, rather than a job-replacer.
- Testing and Optimisation: Try to avoid seeing virtual assistance technology as a ‘one-and-done’ thing – companies rarely execute it perfectly right off the bat. Regularly test and optimise virtual assistance systems to improve performance and continually enhance your user experience.
- Regulatory Compliance: When introducing new technology to financial services, it’s always worth double-checking the laws and legislation around the industry. Be sure to adhere to relevant industry regulations and compliance standards; this is the best way to maintain trust and integrity.
- User Feedback: In many ways, your service users are your greatest source of wisdom. Continuously gather user feedback to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.
Future Trends: The Evolving Landscape
Virtual assistance in financial services is in a state of evolution, and poised for significant advancements in the coming years. As technology continues to develop, several trends are shaping the landscape.
- AI Advancements: Already extremely sophisticated, AI will continue to improve its natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, allowing virtual assistant chatbots to understand and respond to complex queries more accurately.
- Omnichannel Integration: As it develops, virtual assistance will continue integrating across multiple channels, including websites, mobile apps, social media platforms… and the channels that aren’t yet fully-fledged! Imagine the potential of VR financial service assistance, or metaverse banking, for instance.
- Advanced Personalisation: Virtual agents will leverage ever-more impressive machine learning algorithms to offer stunningly personalised service, recommendations, and tailored financial advice.
- Voice-Activated Assistance: IVR looks set to give way to more advanced voice-enabled virtual assistants, powered by technologies like voice recognition and natural language understanding. These will become more prevalent, offering a hands-free and convenient user experience.
- Advanced Analytics and Insights: Data analytics capabilities will only grow more powerful, offering both financial institutions and your customers real-time insights.
Vizolution: Your Partner In Next-Gen Financial Services
In the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, virtual assistance has emerged as a genuine game-changer. By deploying the powers of cutting-edge CX solutions, you transform what is possible.
In other words; the instant solutions, real-time support, and self-service options that virtual assistance enables translates into improved customer journeys, loyalty, and ultimately, a competitive advantage in the market.
Let’s explore how these benefits can play out in real-world terms.
Imagine a customer encounters a technical glitch while using your app late at night. With 24/7 support, they can reach out for assistance and receive immediate help, resolving their issue swiftly.
This prompt resolution not only saves valuable time for your customer but also prevents frustration, leading to a more positive CX.
Alternatively, as an online retailer, you might offer 24/7 live chat support to provide recommendations or answer questions. This builds trust, enhancing the overall CX and increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases.
24/7 support also builds loyalty towards your brand. For instance, if you’re a bank and one of your customers suspects a fraudulent transaction at an odd hour, they could contact your 24/7 support team to resolve the issue quickly.
Your customer’s trust is reinforced, leading to an enhanced relationship and a better chance of positive word-of-mouth marketing.
4 Ways To Deliver 24/7 Support
Offering 24/7 support ensures your customers receive assistance whenever they need it, and also demonstrates a commitment to their satisfaction. Here are some key ways you can provide customers with 24/7 support:
- Live Chat and Chatbots: Imagine a customer who is working on a project late at night and encounters an issue. By having live chat or chatbot functionality available, they can easily reach out to you for immediate assistance, receiving real-time support even outside of regular business hours.
- Self-Service Options: By offering a comprehensive knowledge base or FAQ section, your customers can find step-by-step instructions or solutions to resolve their issue without having to wait; for instance, a customer troubleshooting a product glitch during the weekend when your support team is unavailable.
- Remote Support: Suppose a customer is travelling and faces connectivity issues with your software. With remote support tools, your team can remotely access their device, diagnose the problem, and provide a solution, regardless of the time zone or their location.
- Social Media Monitoring: It’s no secret that, these days, many customers will take to venting their frustrations on social media. Your business can use this platform as a way to provide round-the-clock service: if support is available on Facebook or Instagram, say, your customer has a way to resolve their issue, rather than publicly airing their negative experience.
What Comes Next? The Future of 24/7 Customer Support
Advancements in technology and changing expectations are shaping the evolution of customer support, and one exciting development is the advance of AI and chatbots into the support ecosystem.
These technologies can handle basic customer inquiries, provide instant responses, and escalate complex issues to human agents when needed. This ensures a balance between efficiency and delivering a human touch.
Another trend is the rise of self-service options, empowering your customers to find solutions independently.
Knowledge bases, FAQs, and community forums allow your customers to access information, transact, update records and troubleshoot common issues on their own terms.
Additionally, the increasing adoption of multichannel support enables customers to engage through their preferred communication channels, such as social media, messaging apps, and more.
Looking ahead, the future of 24/7 customer support looks to lie in integration, analytics, and personalisation.
How Vizolution Improves CX: 24/7 Support & More
The role of 24/7 customer support can’t be underestimated: it is a key driver in delivering exceptional CX and fostering long-term relationships.
By offering round-the-clock assistance, your business can provide immediate issue resolution, increase customer engagement, and build customer loyalty.
The benefits of 24/7 support are vast. It:
- Enhances your customer satisfaction
- Creates a competitive advantage
- Expands your global reach
- Prevents issues from escalating
If you’re looking to give your CX a boost, customer engagement technologies like our agent-assisted journeys can seamlessly support your customers, provide personalised interactions, and ensure compliance.
To find out how we can help your business deliver a superior CX, contact us today.