1. looking for the sweet spot
In the last article, Conversational Banking in action, we already presented some possible uses of conversational banking. Even if all potential use cases sound equally promising, companies should initially focus on one or two use cases. And these are not the same for every financial services provider: The goal should always be to generate added value for the bank and its customers. To do this, one should first look at the entire customer journey and thus check at which points a chat could be used. Once these touch points have been defined, they are analyzed individually. The focus here is on the question of at which contact points a messenger brings the greatest added value. Is communication at eye level essential for the further course of the conversation at a particular touch point? Or does a contact point offer particularly good conditions for automating the dialog using a chatbot? As soon as everyone in the team agrees on this, the possible touch points can be prioritized and the most important ones planned in detail.
2. team composition as a factor for success
Speaking of the team: Unfortunately, one reason for the failure of chatbot projects is often “the wrong team” or the wrong team composition. It is important to involve all stakeholders in the project as early as possible and to include them in the chatbot team accordingly. In addition to customer service and IT, this also includes the compliance department and, depending on the distribution of tasks, colleagues from marketing and communications. For a successful chatbot project, the interests of these stakeholders should be taken into account from the beginning and included in the consensus.
3. speak the language of the target group
This point is primarily aimed at those financial institutions that start with a chat or voicebot when introducing conversational banking. In this case, it must be precisely defined which topics a bot is to answer and which tonality may be used. The issue of tonality should not be underestimated and it is advisable to conduct separate workshops on bot personality, possibly even with target group tests. This is also confirmed by science: More and more studies show that the choice of chatbot personality is essential for its success.
4. technology: a difficult choice
Whether chatbot, live chat or video chat – sooner or later, every company has to decide on a technology as part of a conversational banking project. That’s not so easy, because the days when there was only one possible provider are definitely over. Banks can now choose from a wide range of technologies and providers. Therefore, it is important to consider the following points:
5. do not forget testing!
Proper and error-free implementation is a matter of course. Nevertheless, many companies forget to extensively test their live chat, messenger or chatbot before making the new communication channel available to the masses. Ideally, a new touch point should also be tested in a small circle first. Only then is the new channel or the new use case available to everyone.
6. create attention
The last but perhaps most important point is that you have to communicate the innovation. How else would the target group know that conversational banking is possible? Banks often make the mistake of not informing customers about the new tools, or not informing them sufficiently. The result: the new channels are not used and the conversational banking project is considered a failure. That’s why it’s crucial that companies adequately promote the new touch point and draw attention to it.
Done? Not quite – because conversational banking never ends. The next article will explain what comes after the launch.
Sophie Hundertmark is a PhD student at the Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ and also works as an independent consultant for the strategic support and implementation of chatbot projects. She is doing her PhD on the use of chatbots in the banking and insurance sector.