It’s no secret that technology is transforming how we live. Customer service is no exception. Innovations in technology - such as co-browsing, live chat, and video calls - are empowering banks and insurance companies to deliver a more personalized, engaging, and intuitive customer service. But are we doing enough? The demands of millennials are different to those of previous generations. They want speed, convenience, and efficiency - but also a personal touch. Rather than replacing humans, technology can bridge the gap between the human and digital, creating a hybrid experience that meets these changing expectations.

Statistics about communication channels

Today’s customers are communicating with customer service via various digital channels. It’s not about simply fielding phone calls. Advisors must also respond to inquiries on email inquiries and social media. Technology can ease this workload with chatbots, voice-activated personal assistants, and other self-service tools. Not only does this reduce support costs but it’s what customers are coming to expect.

Email is the most common digital channel for contacting customer service, with 54% of customers reporting to have used it in the last year (Forrester, 2018).

But for simple inquiries, 63% of U.S. consumers say their go-to channels are digital self-service tools like websites, applications, and chatbots (American Express, 2017).

Social media is also a popular channel - where 37% of consumers expect a response within 24 hours (Statistica, 2018).

But customer service is also lagging behind. While 54% of customers are likely to use voice-activated assistants to communicate with a company, only 20% of customer service teams offer that channel (Salesforce, 2018).

Statistics about customer loyalty

Building a community around your brand depends on securing customer loyalty. What makes customers stick with a brand? It’s about showing you understand. Customers expect a personalized customer service that offers guidance that’s specific to them. Advisors need the tools to provide this customized service.

Understanding any problems in the customer journey is key. 74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult (Salesforce, 2019).

Learn about your customer. 72% of consumers expect advisors to “know who they are, what they have purchased and have insights into their previous engagements.” (Microsoft, 2017).

Customers want help that is specific to their needs. 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so because personalization was missing (Accenture, 2017).

Statistics about digital banking

People’s relationship with their bank is changing. Younger generations don’t just open an account with whichever branch is most convenient. Plus, they’ll happily change bank according to personal recommendations or for better digital services. They still value human-to-human exchange but consumers today also want the speed and efficiency of digital platforms.

Consumers under 35 are more likely to open a primary account with a bank because of a recommendation from friends or family (50%) than because it’s local (30%) (PwC, 2019).

Plus, 50% of customers are just as likely to open their next account with a new bank as they are with their existing bank (PwC, 2019).

Consumers are looking for an omnichannel experience. More than half of those surveyed by Accenture expressed a desire to be able to switch between human and digital channels (Accenture, 2019).

Statistics about millennials

It’s millennials who are driving these trends. For the younger generation, digital platforms are a valued part of everyday life, and they expect the same from customer service. Reports claim that millennials lack trust in banks. Customer service can be used to revive this relationship - but only as long as it meets demands for a more digitized and personalized online banking experience.

Millennials don’t trust banks. Only 28% of more than 30,000 millennials surveyed said that they trusted banks to be fair and honest (WEF, 2017).

Customer service can rebuild this trust - but only if companies provides a digital experience. For example, 63% of millennials start their customer service interactions online (Microsoft, 2017).

And 43% of millennials use their mobile devices to initiate customer service engagements. (Microsoft, 2017).

Banks need to optimize their service to engage this generation. The rewards are worth it. Millennials say they will spend 21% more to do business with companies who excel at customer service (American Express, 2017).

Statistics about artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence, one of the most high-profile new technologies, is making waves in customer service. Virtual assistants and chatbots are already commonplace. However, AI technologies are - at the moment - unlikely to entirely replace human advisors given that customers feel that chatbots and virtual assistants often fail to offer the same level of human communication as real people.

In 2018, 37% of customers reported that in the last year they had used a virtual agent or chatbot on a website or smartphone (32%) (Forrester, 2018).

And analysts claim that by 2020, 85% of consumers will interact with businesses without even speaking to a human (Gartner, 2019).

Will there still be a need for human advisors? It’s likely. 59% of respondents said that chatbots often misunderstood the nuances of human communication (Spiceworks, 2018).

Conversational banking and Unblu

For the ideal combination of human and high-tech, choose Unblu’s conversational banking solution. Customers can begin a conversation with chatbots but transfer seamlessly to an advisor at any time.

Learn more about how to bridge the gap between the digital and personal by booking a demo here and a member of the Unblu team will reach out to help.

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