How banks can improve customer service with messaging apps
From private banks, to credit unions, savings banks to online banks – everyone claims that the customer is the center of their attention. However, customer service often tells a different story. Consultants are hardly reachable, processing times for e-mail are several days long, and waiting lines for phone service are unbearable. This article will show you how banks can finally offer the service they have been promising with the help of messenger communication.
In the article you will learn:
- How banks can use messaging apps in compliance with the GDPR
- Why banks should use messaging apps
- Five use cases for messaging app customer communication
- Your professional solution: the Messenger Communication Platform
How banks can use messaging apps in compliance with the GDPR
Many of your consultants are already using WhatsApp for their customer communication. The problem is that they often use it on their private phone. This is a violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and WhatsApp’s Terms and Conditions. To prevent this, banks should use third parties like MessengerPeople. Why? Our solution is GDPR compliant, we officially work with WhatsApp as a solution provider, and our data is stored centrally on a server in Europe. For more information about this topic, please read our article on GDPR-compliant customer service.
1. Customers spend their time on WhatsApp & Co.
In total, 2 billion people use WhatsApp across all age groups. There are only 25 countries in the world where WhatsApp is not the leading messenger app.
2. Customers value personal and efficient service
In addition to personal service, your customers want your bank to be accessible. Communication via messaging apps is digital, flexible and not reliant on the opening hours of offices on site. Both on-hold waiting times loops and e-mail processing times are eliminated. With the support of chatbots, you can offer 24-hour service without much additional effort. The most important initial data can be collected first for pre-qualification and sorting, and then the bot can hand a conversation over to a human employee for personal consultation.
3. Customers value proximity and continuity in consultation
The proximity to your customers, one of the advantages of in-person consultation, is also a special feature and advantage of messaging app customer communication. This personal contact ensures continuity in your personal consultation. Messaging apps allow you to provide your customers with digitally competent and personal advice. The customer still feels the personal touch and doesn’t feel left alone amidst online services.
As a regional cooperative bank, we advertise with our personal contact to the customer, and thanks to WhatsApp, we also succeed in doing so in the digital world. – Nora Limberger, Volksbank Central Black Forest
4. Cost savings through automation
Targeted chatbot use can help you save resources. If you use a chatbot in first level support for customer pre-qualification and their initial inquiries, you save time for yourself and your colleagues. You can use the resulting resources for more intensive consultations or new business.
5. Increase customer satisfaction
Messaging app customer service is fast, innovative and leads to a smooth customer experience. By using messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or iMessage in your customer service, you can increase customer satisfaction. According to the Washington Post, messaging app customer service reports 25% higher customer satisfaction than phone service.
How exactly can banks successfully implement customer service via Messenger? The following five use cases will give you ideas and inspiration.
1. Personal customer service
Your customers appreciate the personal aspect of chatting with you, and this is a big pull in messaging app communication. Customers can receive advice and information without having to book an appointment, which is a big advantage. Compared to live chat, messaging app service is more practical because it is asynchronous and can be used across all devices. In comparison to e-mail, messaging apps are faster and more personal. And in contrast to telephone service, messaging apps have the decisive advantage of asynchronous communication, meaning that your customer has complete flexibility in when they write to you, and when they respond. As a result, you can expect an increase in efficiency and productivity in customer service, because several customers can be served at the same time without any loss in quality.
2. Partially automated customer service
Many customer questions can now be answered automatically, for example using a chatbot that takes over 24/7 customer service. Frequently asked questions can be answered by an FAQ bot and chatbots can also be programmed to take care of standard dialogues or pre-qualify customer needs. Our chatbots can be built quickly and increase service efficiency and customer satisfaction immediately. If the chatbot doesn’t know what to do with a message, he hands it over to his human colleague.
Practical example: How Volksbank Kirchheim-Nürtingen advises its customers 24/7 by chatbot
Volksbank Kirchheim-Nürtingen answers customer inquiries around the clock via chatbot. Customers can ask anything, from opening hours and the types of account models, to information on credit card blocking. In the following video you can see how the chatbot was implemented.
3. Automated financial advice (e.g. loans)
Your customers want fast and efficient advice and a chatbot can help you with that. In the case of a loan, a bot could ask the customer the most important questions, such as the amount, the length of the loan, etc. When all questions are answered, the customer confirms that he wants to receive a credit offer from your bank with these conditions and sends a picture of his valid identity card. In this short video we will show you how an automated credit consultation via chatbot can work.
4. Important information via push notifications
In certain cases, WhatsApp allows companies to send push notifications to their customers. WhatsApp currently offers 10 different notification types for selected use cases. They range from appointment reminders to invoice/financial updates to a dispatch status update. Important: Your customer must have explicitly agreed to receive push notifications from your bank. He can do so by registering on your website with his phone number, for example, and consenting to messenger services.
Using the example of a fictitious bank, our photos below show you what a WhatsApp notification for an invoice/financial update could look like. In this case, a notification has been sent, communicating that the salary has been received. The notification is similar to the popular “account alarm clock” feature offered by many banks. Usually the notifications are sent via SMS, via the app of the respective bank or by e-mail. However, sending these notifications via WhatsApp is more cost-efficient and travel-friendly.
In general, the following WhatsApp notifications are suitable for banks:
- Appointment reminder– Inform your customers about important appointments, for example about investments, account costs, and much more.
- Payment reminder– Remind your customers that if they do not have a direct debit mandate, they need to pay bills by a certain date to avoid fees
- Alert-Update– Alert your customer when there is urgent information that needs to be shared with them immediately
- Invoice or Financial Update– Inform your customers that they have not yet paid their contribution to repay their loan or that it has been adjusted
5. Investor and stock exchange news
You can provide the latest investor and stock market news via a data interface or RSS feed. With the help of messaging apps, your customers can then actively request the content they are interested in. This means that your customers only receive the messages they want, ensuring a personalized and relevant service.
Commerzbank uses the CORA digital assistant to provide its customers with content that they can query. The customer queries the content using a hash tag. For example, if the user enters #DAX, CORA searches the database for suitable content. Thus, the customer only receives the content that he actively requests himself.
With messaging apps as our new information channel, we can get to our customers even faster and can quickly provide them with the latest analyses in different market phases. – Roman Przibylla, formerly Commerzbank
Find out more about the case in our article “Messenger Marketing & Banken: Commerzbank as a 1st Mover!”.
You can implement all of the above scenarios with the Messenger Communication Platform. It can be used immediately without downloading any software or installing IT infrastructure, and is browser-based. You can use it both on desktop and smartphone, which is useful for bank consultants who need to be able to advise customers personally and efficiently at any time. The unified messenger approach is a benefit for you and your customers: your bank can be reached at any time via WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Viber or Telegram, and all of these messages will be gathered in one central interface with easy user handling. Autorouting allows customer advisors to be automatically assigned the right requests. In this way, long-standing customers are always supported by the same consultant. Our Chatbot Builder helps you and your bank make customer service more efficient through targeted automation. Finally, our multi-agent and rights management allows different customer advisors of your bank to use the tool at the same time. You can find out more about the Messenger Communication Platform on our product page.
Tip: Arrange a live demo for our Messenger Communication Platform with our expert for the banking industry, Mareike Tatic, now. She will guide you live through the product, give you tips and answer your questions.
Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!