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Chatbots and Regulatory Expectations

Chatbots and Bank Regulations: Balancing CX Effectiveness with Compliance

Chatbots have entered the mainstream. In 2022, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau cited estimates that about 37% of the US population had interacted with a bank chatbot that year. With its ability to provide on-demand help to banking customers, this is a good thing. In fact, when the public was asked about the main customer service obstacles from interactions with the biggest banks and credit unions, they admitted it as hard to get information about their accounts, including the resolution of problems or errors.

In 2023, in an advisory opinion, the agency revisited the chatbot conversation, and it made it very clear that Section 1034(c) from the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), which requires timely responses to a consumer’s request for information concerning a financial product or service included chatbots. Timely responses. Accurate responses. Financial institutions need to provide both. Chatbots can check both boxes, if leveraged properly.

"Chatbots or other automated responses may serve to expedite responses in some cases; however, in the absence of appropriate checks and quality assurance processes, these tools can inadvertently misdirect inquiries or provide inadequate responses." - CPFB

This is how a customer may react when they don't get instant support and end up stuck on hold.

GenAI has ramped up the abilities of chatbots, now often referred to as virtual assistants for the expanded range of services they can handle. Set within guardrails and the proper framework to minimize problems like inaccurate replies or hallucinations (which are becoming less of a problem every day),  virtual assistants offer efficiency and the instant support demanded by clients and dictated by financial agencies.

All ten of the top U.S. commercial banks leverage chatbots to some degree in their customer experiences for that reason. Deploying them within an infrastructure that ensures timely and accurate answers will meet regulatory requirements and infuse banking CX with greater efficiency that drives bottom line savings. Something all banks are looking for today.

Chatbots solve routine issues; live agents handle complex ones

Chatbots offer the obvious benefit of always being available to respond. Unlike live support agents that have normal limitations in their daily schedules. In addition, chatbots can address tier 1 questions at anytime, especially in days and hours that staffing becomes difficult like weekends and holidays.

As AI continues to elevate and expand the depth of chatbot conversations to cover more ground and to reply in a natural, human-like cadence, they can definitely converse well enough to solve basic needs and be trained to recognize when they need to transfer the conversation to a live agent. In fact, many GenAI chatbots, like the ones in the OvationCXM platform, are trained to recognize sentiment and escalate a call to a human.

The benefit is live agents are relieved of repetitive inquiries that are typically simple to solve if a customer receives the right information, and they have more time to dedicate to complex situations and advanced troubleshooting. Whether a customer is helped by a chatbot or a live person, the speed and quality of the response is what drives satisfaction.

This is the look of a support agent that just had their mundane FAQs automated thanks to an instant support initiative.

Chatbots can automate the answers to FAQs

Automation using GenAI alongside chatbots and knowledge delivery takes CX to the next level. GenAI can be trained on a company's resources, both unstructured resources like transcripts from customer calls that identify ongoing challenges and common questions to structured data like equipment manuals and knowledge base articles. AI can identify questions and leverage a company's resources to craft the answers, saving immense manual effort to write every FAQ by hand. Furthermore, when chatbots are trained on knowledge from company resources, there's a broader base of information now available to customers 24/7, so they can self-serve what they need in more instances.

Intelligent routing teams up chatbots with support teams

Customers expect instant help so they can continue on their customer journey without friction. AI-powered virtual assistants can be trained to direct certain questions to the right teams for even faster, higher quality service immediately. It can alleviate 1-800 ping poing where customers are routed to multiple people before reaching the right agent or team.

This also helps to reduce inefficiency by ensuring teams are presented with specific issues they can solve vs. time wasted sending them to another team.That's frustrating for customers and for the teams supporting them.

The Relay Chatbots routing an issue to the Boomtown Sales team for instant support.

Overall, accurate issue routing will lead to a more orderly queue with less noise and fewer inbound issues for live agents to sift through, faster issue resolution, and reduced frequency of misrouted issues.

So what’s next?

If you aren't currently using virtual assistants to provide CX to customers, you may be falling behind.

Our platform is infused with AI and offers a suite of tools to remove friction from customer journeys like onboarding, activation, sales and support. We use multiple GenAI models to power different use cases to ensure customers receive the most powerful AI for their investment. In addition, we provide no-code tools to create and adjust joruneys without IT or legacy teams getting involved. And we connect to your ecosystem providers, like Fiserv, FIS, Salesforce, ServiceNow and many others.

Schedule a demo, and we’ll help you transform your customer service operations with journey, ecosystem and AI orchestration, without changing your existing tech stack.