In some industries, the applications of emerging communication technologies are obvious. Take health care: New devices and techniques are making it easier than ever for doctors to understand, diagnose, and treat illnesses even from far away, so patients can reach health care professionals with convenience and confidence. In fact, this developing field that merges modern tech with health care already has a name: telemedicine.
Communication tech has a place in other industries as well, but the applications tend to be less obvious. One of the best potential uses for virtual communication is in banking, but some financial institutions and their users have been slow to accept emerging tech. Still, banking could benefit wildly by adopting advanced communications systems for the following reasons.
Banking Is a Customer Service Nightmare
There is plenty of complex financial work that goes on behind the scenes, but generally, banking is first and foremost a customer service industry. To satisfy its customers and stay in business, a good bank must work hard to make every customer interaction personal, predictable, private, and productive. Every bank employee must be proficient and proactive in helping customers achieve their goals, just like any worker in a retail environment.
Unfortunately, unlike other retail spaces, bank customers usually don’t know what their goals are. Financial literacy is remarkably low, which means when it comes to banking, a large portion of the population understands precious little. Therefore, most banking interactions include dozens of questions followed by confusion and frustration. Worse, thanks in part to financial misinformation, few bank customers ever want to go to their financial institutions, which only increases their displeasure during their visit.
Yet, it is for these exact reasons that virtual communication is such a boon for banking. When customers can converse with their bankers quickly and easily, they can become better informed of their financial options and feel more comfortable making financial decisions. Using digital devices to communicate with banks saves customers and bank employees time and energy, allowing them the space to delve into complex financial issues. Plus, unlike existing digital banking options, virtual communication can provide the personal touches that customers crave. The trick, then, is convincing banks to begin adopting new tech.
The Adoption of Virtual Banking
Already, some aspects of virtual communication are widespread in the banking industry. Online banking has been extant for more than a decade, but few banks have added any new features to help their customers navigate the complex world of finance. Banks should consider updating their online banking services with virtual communications options, like Cisco Remote Expert, to provide hands-on guidance from financial advisors. Remote Expert (and other services like it) provides video conferencing, document sharing, screen annotation, and more to make explaining options and making deals easier than ever.
Additionally, banks might consider adopting virtual assistants that can guide customers through self-service channels. These are robots that take the form of recorded voices and sometimes animated characters, but their responsiveness and attentiveness allow customers to experience personal care. Still, it is important to allow customers access to living representatives, as artificial intelligence is still not quite capable of assisting with every possible banking issue.
Perhaps the newest actual development is mobile banking apps which allow customers to use their mobile devices to access their accounts, pay bills, and sometimes deposit checks without stepping foot in their financial institutions. Unfortunately, rumors of insecurities within mobile banking apps have caused many customers to distrust them, which have thoroughly impeded banks’ ability to take further steps into virtual communication tech. Until banks focus on security and better communication in their tech, customers will continue to be dissatisfied with their digital services.
Merging Technology and Traditional Banking
Banking has been profitable for centuries, and industries with such a long history usually have trouble adapting to today’s shifting customer needs and wants. However, it is undeniable that the world is becoming increasingly digital, and the only way for banks to survive is to offer more and better digital solutions for their customers without failing to provide the personal feel customers expect from customer service industries.
No matter what emerging tech they choose, it is vital that banks make the transition slowly and straightforwardly, so they can make changes in accordance with their customers’ feedback. By collaborating with customers, banks can integrate virtual communication and find a firm foundation in the 21st century.