In August, we pointed out that financial institutions can use Conversational Banking to communicate digitally with their customers and therefore ensure a seamless narrative across all channels. This can significantly improve the customer journey; for example, when offering loans to retail customers and SMEs, before deciding to accept an offer, there is an inherent need for a conversation to take place. Using retail banking as an example, we discuss how this approach can reduce effort and complexity – for both the customer and the bank. Therefore, completion rates can be significantly increased.
The consumer goods industry has always used the tactics of personalisation and customisation: a piece of jewellery adapted to the taste of the individual, the unique pair of trainers offered to an individual, the dream car that no one else is driving. But, what about banking? Although messaging services and new digital solutions make it possible in theory, in practice mass customisation is still rare in retail banking. And yet, the benefits would be obvious: each customer is addressed as an individual – with a minimum of effort. This starts right at the beginning of the customer journey, in marketing and sales. Not only is the customer offered a product that suits their situation, but the bank interacts with them personally via a messenger service and therefore establishes a close relationship with the customer.
Home financing: choosing a bank is a decision for life
Europace, Germany’s largest transaction platform for home financing, provides detailed insights into the customer journey as well as the pains and gains of real estate buyers in its white paper entitled “Construction Financing for Millennials”. On average, buyers are 38 years old, most of them belong to Generation Y and X and are very digitally-savvy. They do not like to rely on consultants; instead they want and need to participate in the process digitally so they can make well-informed decisions that are based on knowledge.
In addition, for most people, buying real estate is the biggest investment they will make in their lives. Deciding which financing offer to take often brings with it a high level of uncertainty, fear and mistrust towards the providers. The authors of the Europace paper go on to say that “consumers want property, they don’t really want to raise finance, but they have no choice.”
Our conclusion: the earlier a bank demonstrates value to this target group as a digitally competent and trustworthy partner, the better it will position itself in the market.
Property financing within the customer journey: seamless, continuous conversation
In a normal scenario, a digitally-savvy house buyer contacts a bank by using an online calculator in order to learn about the conditions of a loan. Then, they are often asked to submit a contact form to arrange an appointment, which means they have to re-submit all the data that they already entered online. So, it is the bank that engages with the potential customer at the very outset that stands to gain a competitive advantage. Conversational banking allows this to happen seamlessly: a secure messenger system integrated into the website makes text, voice or video-based interactions possible, then an automated chat bot or a personal advisor continues the interaction, right up to the contractual offer that the bank sends the customer via the messenger as a PDF. Naturally, it is also possible to start a conversation via one of the popular messenger services such as WhatsApp, but this often does not work due to security concerns.
Within the framework of Conversational Banking, the process continues effortlessly: should the prospect not yet be a customer, they can prove their identity securely online at any time. Once the customer is identified and in a secure environment, they can complete the financing agreement with the bank using the channel of their choice, for example via their mobile phone, using an electronic signature.
Conversational Retail Banking: Bank lending with high customer satisfaction and completion rates
Conversational Banking from CREALOGIX offers a secure and robust environment that complies with banking standards and enables communication with customers via the channel of their choice. While the practice of choosing the right construction loan might remain complex, Conversational Banking makes it much easier for a customer to work with their bank. Supported by automated chatbots, a bank advisor can guide their customers safely through the entire process until the loan or mortgage is agreed and set up. Time and effort lost due to a lack of seamless communication and redundant enquiries, which previously needed to be answered in person, are now a thing of the past; consulting and management procedures are now much more efficient.
However, Conversational Banking is not limited to bank lending. Financial service providers can benefit from the advantages we have discussed across the entire retail sector. Once implemented, the application forms the basis for a variety of scenarios. Integrated, consistent communication allows organisations to deliver outstanding customer experience – and satisfied customers.
Learn more from our whitepaper “Conversational Banking”.
Would you like to get started and learn more?