Modern messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or SMS/iMessage, are transforming the customer service industry. They combine the accuracy and human touch of in-person service with the flexibility and convenience of digital. But what can messaging do for banking customers? Let’s take a look at what a customer’s experience might look like with – and without – modern messaging channels.

A day in the life with Ted, using messaging

The old way: Ted frowns as he irons the shoulder of his dress shirt. From the kitchen table, his phone says “your call is important to us” for the umpteenth time before the hold music goes back to driving him crazy. Fifteen minutes later, he finally gets through to a representative of the bank he recently switched to, who sounds like they’d rather be answering other calls than simple questions about his account. By the time they walk him through setting up his online banking account, he’s already late for work.

The new way: Ted has come to like messaging – it is the only way his twins would ever reply to the old man after all, and his iPhone is making it super easy to use. He decides to give his new bank’s messaging service a try. After texting them in his pajamas, Ted has a reply waiting for him by the time he gets out of the shower. His digital conversation with the representative continues throughout breakfast, which gives him time to read the paper before heading out the door.

The old way: Ted calls his bank again on his lunchbreak. Why not? He loves navigating their customer service directory. None of the options match his issue, so he hangs up and tries again. The second time, he just presses zero and asks to be transferred to the appropriate department. Fortunately, he has ample time to enjoy the scratchy hold music again as a representative tries to figure out why he hasn’t received the confirmation email to finish setting up his online banking account. He transfers the phone to his other ear and rubs the crick in his neck.

The new way: Ted notices that he hasn’t received the confirmation email when he checks his messages at work. Fortunately, his bank’s modern messaging system, powered by Sparkcentral, allows him to take care of it via Facebook Messenger – the messaging channel of his (twins’!) choice – during a routine work meeting that he doesn’t really need to be present for. He spends his lunchbreak enjoying the view from the breakroom balcony.

The old way: After work, Ted decides to open a money market account, but no representatives are available to take his call outside of normal business hours. He visits his bank’s website to use the live chat feature and encounters the same issue. He sets himself a reminder to try again tomorrow.

The new way: Ted’s new bank’s after-hours AI-powered virtual agent asks him some preliminary questions via a modern form of live chat that is always accessible, to verify the nature of his request. It then sends him some links about money market accounts with up-to-date interest rates and other pertinent information. The next day, a live agent follows up to handle the specifics, while their AI virtual counterpart again oversees the concluding CSAT survey for quality control. Satisfied that his needs have been met accurately, efficiently, professionally and securely, Ted gives them 10 out of 10.

The old way: Ted wants to send his children money for their birthdays. His son’s transfer is easy, but his daughter’s is complicated by the fact that she uses a different bank. Dreading another customer service call, Ted puts it off and then forgets about it.

The new way: Using his bank’s Facebook Messenger channel allows Ted to figureout how to transfer money to his daughter’s account without having to make a call, schedule time or break a sweat. His bank sends a simple link into the Messenger conversation that opens up a secure web browser pop-up. Ted knows that the lock icons in the browser signals a secure connection, and without Facebook being involved, he can securely perform the transaction he needs.

Be ahead of the digital transformation curve with messaging

Modern messaging that combines AI, human-assisted service, and secure Web technologies gives banks, insurance companies and other businesses the ability to provide customers with the personalized customer service they desire and deserve. Customers report that the ability to extend their personal modes of communication to the business realm would greatly improve their customer service experience, as well as their perception of the company. This, combined with the fact that these messaging systems are already used for private communication, makes it surprising that they’re not being used to connect people in the business world. Companies who want to be ahead of the digital transformation curve should consider combining modern messaging channels on one convenient, digital customer service platform.

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