September 15, 2017 | Written by: IBM Staff
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The earliest forms of banking date back to 2000 BC, while in the United States, the first bank was established in 1791 in the city of Philadelphia. You could say that banks have had a lot of practice knowing what their customers want and how to provide it to them. Banks today are looking to banking automation in the form of cognitive computing for a ‘no touch’ automated solution for frequent and routine requests, and to carry them out mistake-free. A report from the IBM Institute of Business Value explains that these financial institutions are in a new industrial revolution, one where they must transform and embrace new cognitive technology to reduce their costs and risk, while enhancing the value and experiences for their customers.
First Bank of the United States – Philadelphia, PA; Photo credit: Davidt8 (Own work)
Eliminating the mundane
There is a simple concept for a financial institution to both deliver a more refined customer experience as well as cut costs in customer service: eliminate the mundane. This means take the most frequent questions and requests that a bank receives, employ a cognitive process automation (CPA) system that can respond and answer these requests, and reserve human intervention for the more complex tasks. Before CPA, people manually processing repetitive requests could incur a 30% error rate, increased network volumes, higher training costs, employee fatigue, and ultimately, unhappy customers and lost business. Once CPA is implemented, employees can focus on more individualized, complex tasks that require human engagement, instead of the mundane day-to-day repetitive requests. It’s no secret to the decision makers at financial institutions that more efficient customer service with less mistakes translates to big savings in the long run (a recent study puts the cost of bad customer service at $62 billion).
What is Cognitive Process Automation?
CPA technology includes some front line interfaces that a banking customer will see in the form of chatbots. This technology lets a human “talk” with a banking “representative” via mobile or web app, to answer questions and make banking requests. On the back end, chatbots use artificial intelligence and machine learning to give the customer the best possible response. When a chatbot is asked questions that it does not know the answer to, human engagement takes over. This puts the banking employee in a position to be answering more unique and fulfilling, less mundane questions, with higher-valued customer interactions. Cognitive learning uses data such as client meeting and spending records, social media activity and other sources that can deliver a personalized and expedited experience to the customer.
While at first glance, the idea of “no touch” banking might give the impression of an inferior customer service experience, the exact opposite is true. Thanks to cognitive banking, banks are providing the personalized and streamlined experience that their customers have been demanding. At the same time, financial institutions are reducing costs and risk, while their workforce are now able to focus on higher-value and quality customer focused interactions – which is quite an improvement from 2000 BC.
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What is a Cognitive Bank?