Did You Expect Live Chat to Reduce Call Volumes? Think Again

Srinivas Njay

In the dynamic landscape of financial services, financial institutions constantly seek innovative ways to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. A popular strategy has been the adoption of live chat systems, which is anticipated to reduce the volume of customer calls. But has this expectation been met with reality?

The Myth of Call Reduction Through Live Chat

For many financial institutions, the answer is a resounding ‘No’. 

Despite the common belief that adding live chat to customer service channels would pivot customers from traditional phone calls to digital messaging, the reality paints a different picture. It’s a challenging endeavor to alter customer behaviors ingrained over the years. We’ve seen this struggle before with the gradual adoption of online and mobile banking, where the industry average hovers around 55-60%, while there has been a push to get this to 100%.

Understanding Customer Behavior

The truth is, introducing live chat doesn’t automatically change customer behavior and shift preferences. Customers accustomed to phone interactions will not readily switch to chat services. This misalignment often leads institutions to staff up for this new channel, hoping to see a decrease in call volumes. Unfortunately, this expectation rarely materializes, leaving many financial institutions in a conundrum.

The Staffing Challenge

Today’s hiring landscape further complicates this issue. Financial institutions face immense challenges in staffing their contact centers. The demand for 24×7 service from customers is at an all-time high, but finding and retaining talent capable of delivering this level of service is increasingly difficult. Introducing a live chat service adds to this staffing burden, as hiring agents specifically for chat can be just as challenging.

A Viable Solution: AI-powered Self-Service

This is where interface.ai can add value. Recognizing the challenges financial institutions face, interface.ai offers a solution that integrates Artificial Intelligence (AI) into chat channels. By automating 50-60% of incoming chats, this technology significantly eases the pressure to staff additional channels. With products like Smart Discovery for front-of-the-pin questions, Smart Transaction for behind-the-pin questions, and Smart Conversion for co-browsing, interface.ai’s AI-powered products can handle a significant portion of incoming inquiries, improve online application conversions, and offer round-the-clock support without the need for additional staffing.

Embracing AI-Powered Self-Service

Self-service is undeniably the future of customer interaction in the financial sector, especially when powered by AI. By adopting AI-enabled self-service solutions, financial institutions can meet their customers where they are, effectively addressing their needs by offering them solutions right at their fingertips without falling into the staffing trap. This approach alleviates the strain on resources and aligns with the evolving preferences of customers who increasingly seek efficient, digital-first interactions.

If this innovative approach to customer service excites you, and you’re eager to discover how it can transform your institution, we invite you to reach out to our team at sales@interface.ai for more insights and information.