financial services

5 Live Chat Best Practices for Financial Services

by Josh Biggs in Finance on 24th July 2019

From the advent of ATMs to instant money transfers to contactless cards, banking has undergone a sea change over the years. And now, research indicates that interactive marketing strategies can help the banking sector to grow its market share while also increasing its customer satisfaction levels.

Live Chat For Financial Institutions

Whether you own a financial institution or any other business, live chat technology can improve your customer experience significantly. A survey indicates that over 70% of customers prefer instant communication over live chat as compared to other channels. Wells Fargo Bank, an early adopter of live chat technology, witnessed a double-digit hike in conversions and improved customer satisfaction rates once it implemented the feature.

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The popularity of live chat with customers is understandable. Live chat offers instant gratification. According to stats, chatting is 100X faster than other digital service channels. Consequently, customers receive help ‘now’, and not ‘later’ – which is truly incredible.

In addition to the immediacy it offers, there are other advantages of live chat in the financial sector. For example, customers can discuss their financial matters on live chat discreetly, without the fear of being overheard in public or at the office. Live chat also allows customers to continue using their preferred mode of communication – they don’t have to find your number on your website and call you. Instead, they just need to click on the ‘Chat’ button and help is at hand, instantly!

In case you are worried about data security, live chat communications are secured using PCI DSS encryption standards, ensuring real-time support in a safe environment.

If you wish to reinvent your customer experience for better, integrating live chat on your site is a viable solution. Here are some best practices to get you started.

1. Cloud-based vs On-Premise

Once you decide to offer live chat on your website, you must choose the right deployment option for your business.

In the financial industry, keeping customer data safe is a top priority. A cloud-based solution is hosted, updated, and maintained by the vendor. In simple words, you can deploy a cloud-based live chat software instantly on your site, with just a few lines of code. However, a cloud-based solution does not give you much autonomy over data management. For financial institutions, on-premise deployment is usually mandated for better security and data protection. While on-premise deployment is more expensive as compared to a cloud solution, it is hosted and maintained on your own data servers, ensuring complete security of data.

2. Design

The best way to draw your customers’ attention to live chat on your website is to place the live chat window where they expect to see it!

The bottom right corner of your site offers the least obtrusive position on your page and conforms with the popular Google chat or Facebook chat approach. The right bottom is also the area where toast notifications pop up – making it the ideal space to showcase your live chat button.

It is also a good idea to place a chat button on every page of your website. This helps you connect with your users at each point on their journey while resolving their queries instantly.

3. Automated Routing

Up to 33% of customers feel frustrated as they have to repeat themselves multiple times to customer service representatives. By setting live chat routing rules, you can automatically direct user queries to the right department – saving time and effort for everyone.

4. Performance Evaluation

You can use live chat to check whether your support team is meeting their customer service goals or not. By integrating a quick post-chat survey with Net Promoter Score, you can reasonably gauge the level of the customer service you are offering and also identify the areas for improvement.

It also helps to adopt the right live chat metrics to measure your service level standards and quantify your live chat performance in terms of revenue goals. Standard live chat metrics include Average Response Time, Average Resolution Time, Customer Satisfaction Rating, etc.

5. The Human Touch

Customer support technology, such as live chat can enable real-time support on your website, making it easier for customers to receive instant help. However, only technology is not enough to improve your customer experience. In addition to investing in technology that facilitates better communication between agents and customers, it is also vital to train your customer-facing employees to ensure empathetic and effective communication with clients.

Customer support agents also need to be trained in security protocols to prevent any data theft and other scams. For example, how do your agents authenticate a customer on chat? What is the procedure to be followed by the support staff if they see a red flag or detect a suspicious transaction?

Before you deploy live chat, you also need to consider the type of questions that can be safely answered on live chat and the queries that must be escalated. The answer will depend upon the verification process you deploy to identify customers on various communication channels. A safe practice employed by some financial institutions only allows live chatting when a customer is logged into their net-banking account.

The Bottom Line

Changing customer expectations have led to a digital revolution in the financial industry.

financial industryPwC’s 2017 Digital Banking Consumer Survey refers to a new breed of customers who only use mobile, PCs, and tablets to conduct their banking, avoiding physical channels of banking altogether. To satisfy these customers, it is only prudent that finance-related businesses step up their game and create digital experiences that are seamless and convenient.

With live chat, financial institutions can significantly enhance the quality of their customer service through real-time support that is quick and convenient, as well as secure. It is also possible to integrate live chat with other technologies, such as co-browsing and video calling, to curate more personalised experiences for prospective clients and customers facing financial or technical challenges.

Categories: Finance