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About this episode

Sinch's Annual CX Report shows that customers are ready for two-way automated conversations. The data also suggests that one in three under 40 have switched banks to get a better mobile experience.

The future of financial institutions will depend on how good they'll be at real-time, personalized communication. And, with AI here to stay, companies must find the best way to use it -- not to replace the human workforce, but to add to its efficiency.

In this episode of Sinch Talks, host Isabella Rahm welcomes Peter I'Bell, Channel Partner Manager at WhatsApp, and Alejandro Murcia, Director of Global Financial Services at Sinch, to discuss:

Key insights

  • Financial institutions must shift their focus to CX

    All industries, including financial services, are experiencing a shift in customer behavior and expectations. As a result, it's important to adopt a personalized approach to provide the best possible customer experience. Both new fintechs and established banks are investing in CX -- and there are a few important things they're doing to communicate better, and with different audiences. 

  • Traditional methods are still relevant

    Companies that will see exponential growth are those that are investing in innovation. However, institutions that are serving various demographics, like financial institutions, must consider all their customers, because some customers will like to see new, modern tools, while others may be satisfied with what they already use. They key? It's all about understanding where your customers are, what their preferences are, where they feel comfortable talking with you, and being able to provide the channels you want.

  • Automation, if done right, can help personalization

    Companies must achieve a balance between the efficiency of AI and the value a human brings to the conversation. Customers might be leaning toward a self-service option, but many still want to know a human is behind the brand and can jump in to help whenever they need it. Tools like ChatGPT can help, but companies need to make sure they're using it in ways that don't compromise CX.

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Customer preferences are driving digital transition

"People's expectations of businesses are changing. We're used to being able to talk to our friends and family anywhere in the world, from any device, at any time of day. And people now are expecting that of businesses. 

They don't want to sit on hold for an hour at lunchtime. They want to be able to buy a product while they're sitting on the sofa watching the kids or whatever it might be.  

If we're not addressing those needs, we see consumers looking elsewhere. The move to digital accelerated through the pandemic, but it's a trend that's been coming for a while. A lot of the services that people need are easier to consume digitally."

Embrace WhatsApp and social media for enhanced experiences

''We're not trying to change consumer behavior; that's a notoriously hard thing to do... what we're saying is to meet customers where they are, like WhatsApp; that's how they talk to friends and family. If we can tap into that, we can give them a better experience.

People may be following social media influencers, watching reels and virtual product launches, and joining virtual events and calls where products are released and announced. And if we're not reaching customers on these channels, we're probably not addressing that part of the market."

Before replacing a process, try to improve it

''It's easy to want to take an existing customer journey and turn it into a digital one, and that's not always the right way to approach a situation. Digital journeys allow you to create different or sometimes richer experiences.

Rather than replacing a process, think about how you can improve [it]. When you land in a new country or on business, on holiday, you'll often [an] SMS to say, 'You've changed data carriers. Here are the rates.'  

Why wouldn't you get a WhatsApp message that says, 'Do you know if your credit card will work here? What are your debit card charges? Do you know how to find an ATM... or a local branch? Do you need holiday insurance?' There are a lot of new things that we can do [that] add value to the customer outside of replacing existing conversation flows."

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