Special Features

What are conversational UIs and why should the finance industry care?

Judith Doherty | Simple Usability
|
16th February 2021
Judith Doherty, Simple Usability
"When the words ‘Alexa, Siri, and Cortana’ are put into the equation to explain what Conversational UIs are, a more complete picture should begin to form."

When it comes to technology in the finance sector, there are a vast array of solutions made available to employees and their customers. With a simple click of a button or tap of an app, individuals can access mobile banking, explore mortgage loan options, and manage cashflow budgets in seconds.

And when sector professionals are battling against rising workloads and feeling pressures to understand evolving regulatory compliance – all while trying to deliver the best possible consumer experience – it’s often hard to know where to turn to when it comes to investing in the correct tools.

So, where do finance teams even begin when it comes to delivering a first-class service that finely balances both human touchpoints and streamlined technological operations? An avenue that might not have been previously explored are Conversational User Interfaces (UIs).

On the surface, this type of technology might sound like something of a buzz phrase to many, but when the words ‘Alexa, Siri, and Cortana’ are put into the equation to explain what Conversational UIs are, a more complete picture should begin to form.

Via these chatbots and digital assistants, human communications can be emulated and, in turn, provide an additional route for a customer who might be vulnerable or require further information to address their financial needs.

The advantages of UI solutions for finance professionals

Offering easy and accessible ways for people to contact their mortgage lender, bank, building society, or credit card provider, can deliver value and give isolated individuals an inclusive experience that they currently might not be able to receive – particularly during the pandemic.

With finance being one of the biggest worries for most of the population, the last thing people want to be concerned about is signing up for something they perhaps don’t understand and, ultimately, suffering the consequences.

And that’s where conversational technology can be a lifeline to vulnerable people. It’s the opportunity to utilise these alternatives to face-to-face interactions to provide simplified explanations of jargon-heavy key terms, as well as demystify complex language so customers can make the best decision for themselves.

But technology should not replace a human touchpoint

However, that’s not to say that all communication should be automated or machine-led, it’s about busy financial professionals striking the right balance.

For example, could they plug in conversational UIs to take care of 24/7 routine questions – that don’t require a human response – and free up time for employees to focus on developing deeper, more personal connections with customers? From a business’s point of view too, could savvy UIs be the answer to how organisations can streamline processes and save money in the process? Yes – when invested in correctly.

Critically, this isn’t a case of limiting engagement, it’s a chance to offer a range of inclusive and accessible ways for each individual to select the right option for them, so that they receive the best possible experience.

Advances in natural language processing, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning mean that the chatbot or digital assistant experience can wholly meet users’ needs when it comes to managing their finances. However, that must be balanced with human touchpoints throughout, in order to grow a truly authentic customer relationship.

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