Over 40 percent of Americans manage their bank accounts online more frequently than any other method, according to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Bankers Association. One in 4 consumers (26 percent) use their mobile devices most often to conduct their banking business. Only 18 percent visit their bank’s branch the most frequently.
Mobile and online banking will continue to become more appealing as its features continue to advance and improve. Customers have been able to leverage technology to receive customer support outside branch hours, deposit checks from home, update their account information, and much more. Although online banking creates convenience for customers, there are still some major challenges when it comes to providing the same level of support that customers would receive in person. The most successful financial companies have found that offering live video chat to their online customers provides the closest experience to visiting a branch.
Belgium’s leading bank, KBC, has over 1,600 branches and 11 million clients. In 2015, they began offering live video chat, text chat, co-browsing and screen sharing to their clients through Vee24’s Live Engagement Platform. Like most financial organizations, their mission was to provide an exceptional customer experience through their digital banking channels, and they have far exceeded their own expectations while doing so. In fact, 75% of their customers who give ratings have given their live agents a maximum 5-star rating. In addition to providing exceptional customer support, KBC Bank aimed to offer a personal branch-like experience with the additional benefit of having extended hours of operation – both of which would not be possible without Vee24’s live video chat with co-browse and screen share.
When a customer visits a branch for support, they expect to interact with a friendly, helpful and efficient teller. In 2016, a North American survey showed that 87% of respondents preferred a branch visit when seeking financial advice or trying to resolve a complicated financial task due to the increased reassurance and trust from speaking to someone in person. Dan Geller, a Ph.D. behavioral finance scientist, also explained that financial anxiety often drives customers to visit a branch, where they feel that they can have private conversations, hear the tone of the teller’s voice and read their body language face to face. With Vee24’s live video chat, agents can mirror an in-person visit by making eye contact with the customer and providing reassurance through a private conversation, in the comfort of their own home or location of their choice.
In addition to the lack of connection and trust a customer may feel while using online banking, another downside to digital banking is the wait time and headache associated with being connected to the appropriate agent. A customer may need to speak to a specialist regarding their mortgage, car-loan, or an investment, and can spend a significant amount of time on hold while being routed to the right person. During a branch visit, it’s easy to explain your situation to another live person and get connected to a specialist right away. With Vee24’s Live Engagement Platform, agents are having one-on-one conversations with customers and can easily add in an expert to their video engagement or route the customer to the right person within seconds. They can also schedule appointments at a time that is convenient to the customer. Not only does this create a more pleasant experience for the customer, but it reinforces the fact that digital banking can be just as effective as visiting a branch and that the customer is being properly looked after.
Mobile and online banking is certainly preferred by many customers, but some are still hesitant to use it due to the lack of human connection and the frustration around automated call queues. Without face to face interactions, written messages can often be misinterpreted, and customers lose out on an opportunity to build a relationship with your company. By offering live video chat, with screen share and co-browse, you can advance your call center by providing online customers with efficient and meaningful interactions.