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Artificial Intelligence Brings Concierge Service to Bank Customers

How many times have we endured what I term phony customer service? 

“Please hold, your call is very important to us…”  

Really? Is my call very important to you?  

And just to mention, while I’m on hold, thanks for the awful music and the repeated sales pitches.   

“Dear Valued Customer” 

Am I valued? Maybe if I hold another 7 minutes, I’ll feel more valued.  

I doubt it. 

Just in case you’re wondering what the answer is to those robotic statements, claiming that our call is oh-so important or we’re valued customers, it’s a simple “It ain’t so.” 

Simply because your customer service makes these nice statements doesn’t mean they are true. And it surely doesn’t mean that customers feel valued and important.  

Where is Customer Service When You Need it? 

Recently my savings & loan made an error doubling my monthly mortgage payment.  

That’s a hefty error – yet the bank never notified me. 

I’m the one who caught and reported the error.   

I’m fortunate to have a close relationship with my banker, so I didn’t go through customer service. They soon discovered the error affected many business clients.   

I couldn’t help but feel: what would have happened if I didn’t call? Are the savings & loan’s best testers its customers?  Where were the technology partners in this process?  

Here’s food for thought: What if the bank discovered the error first, contacted me, and proactively provided solutions?  

It would have transformed my experience – and my reaction.  

What Do Customers Want? 

Personal service, plain and simple. 

But personal Concierge Service is very expensive to provide, and it takes your very best Customer Service Representatives (CSR) to deliver. 

I speak from experience.  

I travel enough to be given personal concierge services from Delta and Marriott. When something goes wrong, Delta calls me to describe the situation and provide solutions – all well in advance of any public announcement.  

That’s a great service and I reward Delta with my loyalty.   

Imagine that type of concierge service for all your bank’s customers and clients.  

Without a doubt, chatbots are the best example of practical applications of artificial intelligence in today’s bank customer service. Once deployed, they can work 24/7, unlike humans who have fixed working hours.  

However, ChatBox is just a toy compared to what is coming.   

Artificial Intelligence Customer Service from the Customer Point of View 

Know Your Customer (KYC) takes on new meaning as banks discover customers’ needs, behaviors, contexts, and preferences.  

  • Needs: anticipating a customer’s needs before interaction. For example, determining if accounts are overdrawn, pending applications, service disruptions, etc. 
  • Behaviors: anticipating a customer’s behavior before interaction. For example, a service disruption may affect a person’s mood and make them less receptive to a sales pitch. Or do customers take calls in the evening but use digital during the day? 
  • Context: knowing the customer’s point of view (context) before interaction. For example: a young professional, moderate income, recently purchased a condo and may like to hear about insurance offerings. Or, an older woman recently widowed may like to hear about risk adverse investments opportunities.    
  • Preferences: knowing a customer’s salutations, best contact times, communication, and notification channels before interaction. For example: addressing a person by preferred name and pronouns. Notifying them by text rather than by phone, and communicating with them by phone rather than text.  

What does Artificial Intelligence promise to customers? 

  • Concierge Services 
  • No hold times 
  • Always pleasant 
  • Instant KYC 
  • Proactive solutions and problem solving 

Artificial Intelligence Service from the Bank’s Point of View 

With Artificial Intelligence, KYC is no longer just about regulatory compliance and risk mitigation.  

Those are now side effects, as banks use AI to truly know customers’ needs, behaviors, context and preferences. Once we truly know and understand our customers, then we can expect the following benefits: 

  • Increased access and scale: Access to newer and previously unavailable customer segments. Capture fintech dismediation of profitable financial services back into bank’s customer relationship and profit streams.  
  • Higher Efficiencies:  Reduced cost of acquisition (more cross-selling, partner platform led growth). 24/7 frictionless contact with much higher participation rates, ratings and sales.  
  • Lower cost to serve: Zero costs to possible profit center. Once established, AI keeps improving its relationship with customers and its own operational efficiencies. This drives costs down and hopefully, sales up.  
  • Higher customer lifetime value:  Stronger activation and usage of products. Higher engagement and reduced churn. Higher cross-selling of new products. Why? It’s much easier to sell when you know your customer’s needs and situation.
  • Product Innovation: better understanding of product utilization, product churn and customer desires. AI will help us better understand our bank and provide answers to questions such as: Why are certain products selling and others not? How do we make products better and more profitable?  

I founded my company, Gilman Patrick LLC, based on the belief that the banking industry is facing a major disruption – with local banks in a unique position to benefit. As this disruption takes place, I want my clients to be the winners in what I see as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To learn more about how I can assist your organization navigate inevitable change, reach out anytime & we’ll chat.  


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