Weaving human experience into digital transformation

Technology should enhance bank employees and free them from simple tasks so that they can provide value where it’s needed most.

It’s a common misconception that machines and artificial intelligence (AI) are replacing people entirely. PWC predicts that using AI on a larger scale will add as much as $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Now is not the time to be afraid of AI, but to explore its applications and how it can help your organization.

Technology should not – and cannot – just replace people. It should enhance them and free them from simple or repetitive tasks so that they can provide value where it’s needed most. The organizations that strike this balance between person and machine will be the most successful in today’s increasingly digital landscape.

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Don’t ditch the people

It is easy to think that technology can do everything a person can do, but this is not true. There are plenty of areas in which technologies like AI and machine learning can certainly help out. However, financial institutions – or any organization – still needs people.

People are better at making judgements or complex decisions and people are the ones that will ultimately form relationships and loyalty. Technology can help strengthen these relationships, but customers will not be forming relationships with technology alone.

Banks must know where their workforce can be best used. Technology and automation are great at identifying patterns or automating and eliminating repetitive tasks. Starting there will find help banks find the gaps where work is more complex, and a real person is needed.

Enhance people with tech

Now that all the people are in the right places, it is time to find out how technology can help them.

Clearly, banks will need people in the call center. How can technology help them? AI can listen in and help call center reps find information they need more quickly than they could on their own. Using AI to find answers to customers’ questions also improves accuracy and consistency across the board, as the technology is identifying the answers for everyone.

Wealth management is another great example of where people are still needed. While an automated advisor is great for those just starting out with investing, banks will still need a human advisor to manage larger accounts. Having the automation in investing frees financial advisors up to deal with larger business as the smaller accounts are working their way up to that point with the help of technology.

Automation like AI also has the benefit of being able to recognize patterns and identify any deviations from those patterns in ways that a human cannot. Technology makes fraud detection not only simpler, but faster, so it can help customers catch fraud on their accounts in real time. This protection is proactive in that it stops nefarious transactions before they can impact a customer’s account, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their account and freeing bank staff from cleaning up after a case of fraud.

It is even important to have people woven into online and mobile banking. Why? At first, this might seem redundant, as online and mobile banking have eliminated the need for bank staff interactions in many functions. However, while online and mobile seems to be most customers’ preference over the branch today, they will still need to make a personal connection from time to time.

No matter how much they can do online, customers will still need to be able to ask questions and get answers from a real person. Video chat capabilities allow customers to stay in the online or mobile channel while still getting help from real staff. Using video chat, bank staff can help customers walk through complex forms or answer any questions that may be too nuanced for a chatbot or FAQ page.

In today’s banking landscape, financial institutions need both people and technology to be successful. No one will be successful with just tech or just people alone. The two must work together and complement each other to create a great customer experience. The banks that can strike this balance between the human experience and the digital experience will be set up for success.

Chris Doner is founder and CEO of Access Softek.