Online banking is one of the many conveniences that the digital age has brought with it. It enables you to view your balances, make transfers and pay bills, all from your mobile phone or tablet. Whilst there’s no doubt that mobile banking is incredibly convenient, there is a personal touch that’s missing when you log into your account online, especially compared to visiting your local branch.
Whilst a lot of banks now offer live chat for their customers, many people find this to be a very impersonal way of having their questions answered, after all, it is still faceless and anonymous, and so, as a result, banks are now looking into incorporating other forms of technology into their online service, such as video chat. Not only does video chat provide a more personal touch to online interactions but it’s also much more efficient for answering customer questions.
Alex Bray, Retail Channels Director at Misys Banking Systems, recently had this to say on the subject: “Many banks are still struggling to connect with customers online – particularly during sales processes. I’ve always believed that video-chat would be much better for banking than web-chat. From a customer’s perspective, it is easier to initiate – it takes just one click, no tricky numbers to remember or dial in. The face to face option gives the customer a more human touch.
From the bank’s side, the customer interactions are likely to be faster than via web-chat – where customers tend to drift off mid-conversation. They also provide the opportunity for banks to differentiate their service, by providing a human interaction – which can be particularly tricky to achieve through digital channels.”
As mentioned in the quote above – One of the big downsides to live chat is that customers often don’t feel any particular obligation to stick around, especially if it takes the bank representative a while to get the answer to a particular question. If we’re being honest, I think we have all become distracted by the TV, or the kids when waiting for answers that seem to be taking forever. This would certainly be a problem that would vastly reduced using live chat and would enable banks to answer customer questions more efficiently, whilst also giving them a great way to separate themselves from the competition.
The cost of implementing video chat into online services shouldn’t prove to be a stumbling block for banks either. Whilst there would of course need to be staff in place to answer customer questions, the fact that video chat would almost certainly be an optional alternative to live chat rather than a replacement, this means the additional costs of implementation would be minimal.
Now would appear to be the perfect time for banks to make use of video chat. One of the main reasons for this is the wide adoption of tablets in the last 4 years. Ever since the first iPad was released in 2010, the sales of tablets have increased drastically and are now established as a mainstream form of technology along with mobile phones and laptops.
When you also take into account how popular Skype has become as a video chat tool, then it’s clear that having the option to chat face-to-face with bank representatives would certainly be something customers would welcome in the very near future.
As technology advances further, banks constantly have to find ways to stay ahead of the curve and provide a service that’s incredibly convenient without compromising on good customer service. Video chat seemingly provides a perfect solution to this conundrum and will doubtless be integrated into online banking services in the coming years.