The Power of Chat Can Improve Engagement and Sales Effectiveness

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Financial institutions have been increasingly using chat functionality for customer engagement in recent years, whether on mobile apps, within online banking, or on their website.

The research indicates that the extent to which organizations effectively leverage this functionality varies.

For instance, the greatest usage of high-level chat communication is evident from the largest financial institutions. Others who are advanced tend to be the smaller financial institutions that have collaborated with the most advanced third-party chat communication providers in the industry.

The research also found that the level of focus on chat communication is greatest for those organizations that integrate chat as part of the overarching customer service business model.

Chat functionality can be used to meet several business objectives, including customer engagement and support, sales and account management. Here are some of the ways financial institutions currently leverage chat functionality:

  • Customer Engagement and Support: Financial institutions are using chat functionality to provide timely and personalized customer support. People can communicate with customer service representatives in real-time, enabling them to get quick answers to their questions and resolve issues more efficiently. The advancement of conversational AI is expected to exponentially improve the level of chat communication and integration with human support in years to come.
  • Sales: Financial institutions are using chat functionality to sell products and services to customers, often on a proactive basis leveraging data, analytics and advanced modeling. Chatbots can be used to incrementally guide customers through the sales process and answer questions along the way. Human agents usually step in when necessary to provide more personalized assistance.
  • Account Management: Financial institutions are also using chat functionality to help customers manage their accounts, help with budgeting needs and begin basic activities, such as bill payments, account transfers and cashflow projections.

With the advances heralded by ChatGPT and other conversational AI tools, chat functionality will become an increasingly valuable tool for financial institutions to use when engaging with their customers. By providing timely and personalized support, offering relevant products and services, and assisting with account management, financial institutions will increase customer engagement and simplify the overall buying process for the customer.

Despite the potential power of chat communications, it will be important for financial institutions to ensure that their chat functionality is user-friendly, with a continued focus on privacy and data management. Done well, chat will most likely not eliminate human engagement, but move the level of potential human engagement to a much higher level.