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Voice AI for Banking: Streamline Outbound Calling

Himanshu Gupta

May 2, 2022

Skit.ai for Banking

The recent pandemic has reshaped consumer banking behaviours in many ways and has skyrocketed digital transformation in the banking sector. With social distancing becoming the new normal, most consumers prefer utilizing digital banking services over visiting the branch, even for important tasks. This in turn has spurred the evolution of agile business models backed by technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Blockchain etc. These technologies are also critical for cost reduction, an increasing priority for banks due to weak investment returns and market uncertainty.

As COVID-19 accelerates digital adoption across banks, CX will act as a major differentiator to help leapfrog competition by engaging customers with tailored and intelligent value propositions based on deep customer insights. In order to do so, banks need to transform their technology capabilities across the complex landscape of their technical assets, to deliver unique and highly personalized experiences at the right time, at scale. 

With the spike in the usage of digital banking, banks have also seen an influx of inbound calls. More customers are picking up their phones to get queries resolved. A similar trend is being seen in the number of outbound calls made by the banks for repayment reminders, Know-Your-Customer(KYC), and account registration.

Streamlining Outbound Calling 

Technologies such as Voice AI are empowering banks to automate inbound contact centres. This has enabled them to reduce average call waiting times, improve customer satisfaction scores and free agent bandwidth. While streamlining inbound calls is extremely critical for CX, equal attention needs to be given to streamlining outbound calls. 

Banks make thousands of calls each day to customers for various reasons. These calls can be for welcoming new customers, reminding them about a due payment, lead qualification, and more. By engaging with customers at the right time, banks strengthen their existing relationship with the customer which directly helps them in creating trust and building loyalty.

However, since all the calls are made by agents manually, banks are unable to meet the required goals. They’re in dire need to optimize the process and make it more efficient. To provide customers with a consistent experience they need to leverage new-age technologies like Voice AI.

Voice bots that are powered using Voice AI can converse with customers in a natural and multi-turn conversational style. The experience is very human-like. Voice bots can trigger outbound calls to engage with customers 24*7 in a scalable manner. You can completely customize the calls according to different parameters like frequency, during specific events, and more.

Lead Qualification

Banks receive millions of leads every month through various sources including the website, social media, partnerships and advertisements. Usually, agents call each lead up to understand the customer’s requirements better and gauge their interest level. However, a major problem is that a huge chunk of these leads are junk and agents end up spending their important time speaking to the wrong users rather than prioritizing the interested ones. This has a major impact on the number of conversions. 

However, voice bots can greatly help solve this problem for banks. Since the problem is with the qualification process, it can be completely handled by the voice bot without any human intervention. By seamlessly integrating with the CRM, the voice bot can fetch the customer’s phone number and trigger an outbound call. During the call, the voice bot asks the user different questions required to qualify them for a product. In case the customer has any questions, voice bots can also resolve them. If interested, the voice bot can directly transfer the call to the agent or schedule a convenient time for a callback. In case the call is missed, voice bots can also make periodic follow-up calls. 

According to the data collected by the voice bot, agents can prioritize their calls. This way they end up reaching the interested users first, significantly increasing the chances of conversion.

Let’s understand with an example. Assume, a user applies for a credit card online. They enter a few basic details like name, monthly salary, age, contact details, and more. Once the details are submitted, it is transferred to the voice bot. The bot fetches the contact details and triggers an outbound call. It asks the user multiple questions including the credit limit they were looking for, whether they have an existing bank account with them and more. All this information is automatically updated on the CRM. Agents can then go through all these users and filter out the interesting ones suitable for calling. 

Customer Activation

Converting a potential lead into a customer is not enough for banks. To generate revenue out of them, they need to ensure that they’re using their different products and services. For this, they need to focus on customer activation. They need to employ different strategies to help customers move faster in their life cycle. But onboarding thousands of customers every day requires a lot of resources and time. For banks to provide their users with a personalized onboarding experience and engage with them at regular intervals affordably, they’ll need to leverage the power of technology and automation.

When a retail customer opens a savings account, s/he doesn’t only get access to the account but other services such as net banking, debit card, phone banking and more. However, most customers don’t end up using these services. This is why banks need to onboard them and send periodic reminders to nudge them to use the product. Few banks do have dedicated in-house or outsourced teams who handle this. However, the process is not scalable and is extremely difficult to follow for all the customers. 

So, how can banks solve this? 

To onboard customers and engage with them across the customer journey, banks can leverage voice bots. Firstly, the bot can call each customer and onboard them by taking them through each service, answering FAQs, and resolving questions in case any. By educating them it removes the initial friction the customer might have in trying a particular service. Further, a voice bot can call the customer after a certain period to understand their experience and suggest different services. This helps banks in delivering personalized engagement across the customer lifecycle consistently. 

To further improve customer activation, banks can – 

Map the customer journey – Banks can map out all the important stages to ensure they engage with customers at the right time. For example, for a credit card user, different stages can be –

  • Credit Card Activation
  • First transaction
  • Reward Redemption

Customer Segmentation – To deliver a personalised customer and effective communication, banks need to segment their customers. Without this banks can end up spamming users with notifications each day making for a very poor experience.

Improving Propensity 

Most banks use product propensity to increase customer’s lifetime value and reduce attrition. For example, if there’s a customer X who’s been using the bank’s credit card services for multiple years, the bank can upsell a home loan to them at a special interest rate. Hence, by leveraging rich customer insights and segmentation, banks can with minimal effort upsell and cross-sell related products. This acts as an important lever for growth by directly contributing to the total revenue.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that even with data analytics and machine learning models, the number of customers who actually end up buying a product or showing interest is substantially lower. This is a huge problem for agents who usually are the ones who end up calling these customers. They end up wasting a lot of their important time. This is also one of the reasons why banks haven’t set up dedicated teams. 

One effective way to solve this is by doing a pre-qualification through a voice bot. Voice bots can call the customer and share the offer details. The bot can collect the interest level of the customer, get additional details required to process the offer and also answer common questions. By doing this pre-qualification, agents end up only speaking to customers who’re interested in the offer.

Not only does it save agent bandwidth but also increases agent productivity and reduces operational costs.

Friendly Payment Reminders 

Banks continually invest in resources and implement strategies to improve their payment collection rate. This is because even a marginal drop has a negative impact on their business and increases collection costs.

While often underutilized, the simplest way to ensure customers pay in a timely manner is by triggering reminders a few days before the repayment (be it credit cards or loans). This can be through different channels including calls, text messages and emails. By doing this customers can make repayments on time and avoid unwanted hassle and late payment charges. 

Banks can further increase the effectiveness of their reminders by using a voice bot. Unlike playing a recorded message, voice bots can allow banks to send personalized reminders, collect information and even help them to make payments in real-time. For example, if a user wants to make a repayment, voice bots can send a payment link on Whatsapp or text message. The voice bot can also help customers enable automatic payments or change the payment type. 

By enhancing the repayment experience, banks can significantly improve the collection rate and reduce collection costs. 

What’s Next? 

Banks have taken many rapid decisions to meet the changing customer needs. Be it ramping up security, digital banking capabilities or launching products that fit customer’s needs. This is the reason why they were so quick to adapt to the changes made by the pandemic. However, they need to continually innovate and launch new initiatives that focus on customer’s needs and their banking experience.

About Skit

Skit is an Augmented Voice Intelligence Platform, helping businesses modernize their contact centers and customer experience by automating and improving voice communications at scale. By enabling preemptive, intelligent problem solving and seamless live interactions, we have automated over 15 million calls for global enterprises across industries. We help our customers streamline their contact center operations, reduce costs, and also enhance customer experience and engagement.

Connect with us if you’re interested in learning more about the platform and how it can modernize and transform your contact center.


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