Credit unions have broken their own mold. No longer thought of as anti-tech, smaller banks and credit unions are harnessing the power of new technology practices for their employees to better serve their customers. New research on the increased use of bots and virtual assistants has produced some interesting insights.
Let’s take a look at what trends in the use of bots and virtual assistants are most popular, and the impact they make on credit union business, work, and customer service.
A SilverCloud Labs monthly report from November 2020 “examines Employee Virtual Assistants and what bank and credit union employees search for when they use conversational banking, virtual assistants, and bots.”
One of the most powerful aspects of this study is that it uses “real-time data showing real usage from financial institutions actually in production.” This means the study is measuring and analyzing real bank and credit union employees as they work, not in demonstration or test capacities.
Service Wins Over Sales in Employee Searches
When employees of credit unions and banks are using bots and virtual assistants, they focus 90% more on service than on sales. This is a heartening statistic, especially for credit unions. If your employees are using these resources to search for and talk about how to improve the customer experience, that lends credibility and reliability to your brand.
This focus on service over sales also leads many credit union and bank employees to search for solutions to assist their business customers. Since businesses tend to encourage their employees to call banks or credit unions, using bots and virtual assistants for business queries from a banking customer’s perspective is much less common.
Customer-Facing Trends: Digital Support Is Not One
One interesting positive finding from the SilverCloud study is that employees are not often using bots and virtual assistants to help customers navigate issues within digital banking platforms. But what does that mean?
It means that many digital banking apps and platforms are now very intuitive and user-friendly, which means you can focus your employee training on higher-level functions, like ACH and Wire Transfers, as we’ll talk about in the next section.
ACH and Wire Transfers Were the Top Search Terms
Employees searched for help with ACH and Wire Transfers in 65% of the top searches recorded in the SilverCloud study.
This is another really interesting insight that can help credit unions understand what types of training they may need to include or add refresher classes in. ACH and Wire Transfer questions are more commonly asked by employees who are older or less comfortable with changing technology.
COVID Caused Trends to Lean toward Bots and Virtual Assistants
The coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses to trim hours or employees, and discouraged face-to-face contact. That meant more and more bank and credit union employees were relying on bots and virtual assistants.
While this trend was jumpstarted by the pandemic, many reports and studies suggest that the convenience and safety of digital operations like bots and virtual assistants will still be preferred options even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
When you are thinking about implementing new digital solutions that will help your customer, it’s also wise to think about the digital solutions that will allow your employees to spend less time on low-engagement tasks and more time serving customers, whether at teller windows or in more support-based areas.
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