As exciting and beneficial as change can be in life, it often comes with a great deal of stress. Change by its very nature is disruptive. And changes caused by technology conversion events at a bank or credit union can be especially difficult. They can upset the day-to-day routines that both account holders and staff have become accustomed to.
That’s why it’s a good idea to safeguard your financial institution during conversion events by maximizing the quality of the member and customer experience. With advances in artificial intelligence and chat technologies, reaching members and customers where they are has never been easier. They allow you to preserve the trust you’ve built with account holders. By having a virtual agent designed to guide account holders throughout the disruption, your institution stands a much better chance of alleviating fears around potential customer impact and providing the right channel for immediate support.
The “Comm” Before the Storm
Conversion events are usually set in motion when your bank needs to update one of its technology platforms or your Financial Institutions merge with another. Either of these situations represents a significant change that can upend the account holder’s normal experience, making clear and upfront communication key.
Let’s talk about one of the more common system upgrades, Digital Banking. A Digital Banking conversion can be one of the most complex of all transformational events a financial institution undertakes. Other types of conversions may cause minor glitches for account holders—updated routing numbers, ATM screen verbiage, new ATM cards—but when the whole digital experience changes for them it can be exceptionally jarring for your customer. It’s essential that you communicate with them proactively.
Creating a sense of trust, security, and great experience is a Financial Institution's largest asset. If your account holders perceive that your financial institution is disorganized, uncertain, in chaos—essentially experiencing any sort of breakdown in service—going into a conversion event, it can rattle your customer base, sometimes sending them running to the next nearest financial institution. Don’t get us started on Disruptive Fintechs and Challenger Banks…
Get ahead of any possible misunderstandings. Use all the communications tools at your disposal to keep customers informed of possible roadblocks they may encounter and how they will be resolved.
Getting Staff on Board from the Start
Whenever you dramatically affect your account holder’s experience with your brand, you will also affect your staff’s employee experience. During a conversion event, your team does their best to service increased demands. These may spell a higher volume of phone calls, emails, walk-ins, and social media chatter—all of which will need to be handled promptly and with care.
Your staff may be shorthanded and easily overwhelmed by repetitive tasks and questions that can create costly bottlenecks. Ensure your team is effectively looped into the conversion planning and they are equipped with the tools it needs to efficiently address account holders’ queries (and complaints). They will feel more empowered and provide a better overall service experience.
Communication Is Key
Anytime your financial institution goes through a conversion event of any size or kind, it’s crucial to have a proactive communications strategy in place. Consider everything that will change, who it will affect, how it will affect them, and when it will affect them.
When the account holders’ actual experience matches their expectations about the future, they will feel a measure of control and certainty. A good communications plan explains clearly what account holders can expect from the change. This means it will be necessary to set expectations by communicating what the change entails and its benefits as it unfolds. For example, you should inform account holders and staff exactly how the change will occur and how it will affect them.
Then, build out your communication touch points by developing a multichannel approach that addresses all of it. Be sure to include content in the form of explainer videos, letters, FAQs, checklists, email and SMS updates, overview sheets, and chatbots. Voicebots and Chatbots powered by conversational AI can help to anchor your communications by directing customers to the most relevant content or personnel. They can dramatically help manage the communications process in a seamless manner, ensuring everything goes as smoothly as possible, without overwhelming staff or making customers wait in line for the information they need right away.
Once you’ve successfully completed the conversion event, it’s important to keep up that same level of care and attention you invested in your customer experience. Your customers will expect it.
In addition to providing 24/7 customer service, AI-powered voicebots and chatbots can reduce wait times, as well as improve customer self-service. Make human support as accessible as possible. Having a virtual agent that knows when it doesn't know something is essential to human support, and the right conversational AI platform can help you achieve this. As a result, it can elegantly guide account holders to the right advisor without having to exit the chat window.
Financial institutions can greatly benefit from automated service. As artificial intelligence and technology advance, connecting with your account holders during conversion events is easier than ever. As a result, your brand can be more accessible to them than ever before.
Discover how conversational AI can significantly improve the customer experience your bank offers. Learn More.