Business relationships thrive on the principle of good and heartfelt communication – in the financial services sector, communication is even more crucial. Phone calls have historically been the preferred communication medium for customers. However, in recent years financial service organizations have added SMS/MMS messaging as well as website chat communications. Today, consistently delivering communications across a variety of interconnected channels is the key to success.
The three communication mediums
1. Communication via voice
Voice continues to be the preferred mode of communication. In fact, 77% of people believe a phone call is the most effective way to get an answer quickly. While phone calls can consume resources, automation technology can help ease the strain on financial services call agents.
Interactive voice response (IVR) automates the delivery of calls to the correct department based on verbal commands. Calls that don’t require a human agent – such as changing their password or making a payment – can be routed to self-service menu trees. Utilizing IVR helps automate simple agent tasks, freeing them up for more complicated needs, while delivering convenience and speed to callers.
2. Communication via SMS/MMS
Sending SMS or MMS texts to communicate with clients is becoming increasingly popular. The effective, short messages are beneficial on both sides. Sixty-six percent consider SMS/MMS texting to be their second communication mode of choice. Financial organizations benefit from this preference – text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or social.
Financial institutions that are focused on modernization have increased their use of SMS/MMS texting. SMS/MMS messages help institutions deliver:
- Fast, efficient, and reliable messages
- Automated self-service options, such as payment processing
- Triggered templated responses to incoming customer requests
- Client notifications such as payment reminders, appointment updates, account balances, and transaction alerts
- Account two-factor authentication, decreasing the risk of fraud
- One-time passwords to minimize cases of fraud and theft
- Theft and fraud alerts in real time
- Client/member satisfaction surveys
- Appointment scheduling and reminders
3. Communication via website chat
Websites continue to play an integral part of a financial institution’s communication strategy. Desktop websites aren’t enough. The website should also be mobile friendly as 41% of financial clients access financial websites using their mobile devices. (PaymentsJournal) Websites provide the ability for visitors to solve issues and complete tasks via self-service functionalities, review their account information, as well as conduct research.
Financial institutions should integrate AI-based chatbots, taking the website from a traditional website to a complete communication channel. Automated communication workflows, such as phone calls and texts, can be created to respond to forms and chatbots, ensuring visitors receive responses to their inquires in a timely manner.
Integrating voice, SMS/MMS, and website to create omnichannel communications
Providing multiple forms of communication isn’t enough. Clients not only require easy access to quickly get the information they need. They also require consistent, personalized, and intelligent experiences across all channels.
Omnichannel is a strategy that is focused on the customer experience, utilizing an interconnected brand experience, business process, tools, communications, and more across all channels. Omnichannel communications include a CRM integration, ensuring that customer information is captured and utilized to personalize every experience. Customers benefit from an improved connection with the financial institution and no longer need to repeat themselves when they interact across different channels.
Omnichannel and multichannel aren’t the same – omnichannel communications are triggered from a single platform, ensuring a seamless experience as customers move between communication modes. Multichannel communications are delivered via disparate platforms, creating an inconsistent experience and disjointed reporting. As an added benefit, omnichannel solutions deliver connected, comprehensive analytics, which financial institutions can leverage to continue to improve the client experience and optimize operational processes.
An innovative leader in financial services communication
IntelePeer is a leader in delivering innovative customer service automation to easily turbocharge client communications. Customer service automation is part of IntelePeer’s Communication API platform, which layers over the top (OTT) of pre-existing contact center and unified communication platforms to expand capabilities. To modernize your communications today, contact us.