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How to use AI to cut customer service costs in financial services

Learn how to lower costs without sacrificing your customer experience.

By Bryan Socransky, Director of Product Marketing, Financial Services

Last updated April 7, 2023

Financial services are at a pivotal point in the industry. The meteoric rise of NFTs and cryptocurrency has given way to rumblings of a pending recession, fuelled by the collapse of several notable banks in recent months. As we emerge from the pandemic, however, some things haven’t changed: virtual work is the new normal.

Many employees are still remote and customers expect to connect with your company on their mobile devices. That means sales, claims, services and transactions need to happen securely across digital channels.

Customers have to be able to get the information they need, on demand. And while there’s increasing pressure to cut costs, financial services companies must take a cautious approach (not a slash and burn) to preserve the customer experience. Read on for our top tips.

  1. Set up automated self-service for low-value customer interactions

    Customers want fast answers and they want to find information on their own. By offering easy self-service, financial services firms can save customer service costs without compromising the experience.
    What’s more, a best-in-class customer service solution can enable low-value customers to help themselves and each other, allowing customer service agents to concentrate on high-priority interactions.
    We know that customers often want to help themselves, especially with simple questions like bank balances, loan applications and password resets. Customers also prioritise speed and simplicity when choosing between self-service and agent-assisted options.
    According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023, 50% of customers prefer channels that provide quick responses and around 40% choose channels based on the complexity of their query. As a result, self-service is a great option for customers with straightforward concerns while those with more intricate issues may require live assistance.

    How Zendesk powers CX success at scale

    “The key is automation. And while we can’t automate 100% of the customer journey, we’re striving to automate as much as we can. By having that automation in place for most of our customers, it means that our analysts and support staff have the capacity to focus on those customers that may need a bit more help from us.” — Charlie Duke, Senior Product Manager at Mettle

    Automations and AI also empower excellent CX at scale. Our customer Nubank is the largest neobank in the world, handling thousands of customer enquiries every month. More than 80% of Nubank customers are able to solve the most common problems using the app. Powered by Zendesk, this self-service model lets customers take care of everything from paying a bill or raising their credit limit to alerting Nubank when they’ll be travelling abroad to avoid service interruptions.

    Zendesk for Financial Services

    Deliver seamless support at scale and build deeper relationships with your customers.

  2. Create high-touch service for high-value customer interactions

    With the right CRM platform, you can flag high-value interactions that are revenue-generating for full service. This might include a mix of live help through messaging, voice, chat and other high-touch options.
    You can enable skills-based routing to ensure the right customer service rep is matched with the right customer to provide fully assisted service. And you can connect agents with your back-office team using collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, allowing them to work together to solve customer enquiries faster.

    High-touch CX success story: Nubank

    While more than 80% of customers are able to find self-service solutions within the Nubank app, the company also fields more than 400,000 support tickets a month.
    For customers who need to contact an agent, Nubank offers email, live chat, phone, social media and FAQ support. Nubank uses a range of solutions to power this customer experience, including an in-house chat solution, a third-party vendor for phone support and Zendesk Support for both email and social media.
    “Zendesk enables us to empower our agents and reduce response time,” says Dennis Wang, VP of Operations at Nubank. “We use the Zendesk API to connect all these different systems and provide our agents with views into what customers are doing and what they need help with. This system allows us to be truly customer-centric in our approach to support.”
  3. Lean into AI and automation to keep up with customers

    Customer expectations keep rising, particularly in the financial services sector. Our research finds that 72% of consumers expect to engage with someone immediately when contacting a company and that they should be able to get in touch within a few clicks or taps.
    Customers want fast responses and an easy way to get answers to their questions. Providing this support at scale without adding extra complexity and exorbitant costs means working smarter — with AI-powered chatbots, automated workflows and self-service options.

    AI pays off: Mettle customer success story

    Supporting customers during a time of high growth is tricky. Mettle partnered with Zendesk for an agile and flexible solution. “By having that automation in place for most of our customers, it means that our analysts and support staff have the capacity to focus on those customers that may need a bit more help from us.”— Charlie Duke, Senior Product Manager at Mettle

    Invest in your client relationships

    We know that delivering seamless customer support at scale can be a challenge. At Zendesk, we create innovative solutions for financial institutions that offer low cost of ownership, high ROI and quick time-to-value. That means you spend less time getting your CRM up and running and more time doing what you do best — helping your customers.