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August 10th, 2017

Study finds consumers prefer humans over voice-controlled devices

Much has been written about voice-controlled devices and how they assist customers with banking transactions and other issues that arise. But despite advancements in technology, one area that can’t be overlooked is the value of human interaction, and the impact it has on the customer experience.

In the recent article, “The Future of Digital Banking is Great Conversations,” a new study by Invoca found that that when it comes to interacting with their bank, consumers still want personalized, conversational service that can only be achieved through human-to-human interaction. 

This is especially true for more complex activities such as researching a bank for a loan or conducting important financial transactions. Of all of the ways customers can interact with their bank, talking to a representative over the phone or in person is the most trusted modes of communication for consumers.

According to respondents of the survey, human interaction, not chatbots, builds trust and confidence with customers. When it comes to those complicated functions, these findings are a strong indicator of how consumers feel about talking to a real person than a digital device:

  • 79% of respondents said they are comfortable or extremely comfortable discussing fraudulent charges with a bank rep over the phone.
  • 49% would be uncomfortable or very uncomfortable discussing fraudulent banking changes with a chatbot.
  • 81% said they are comfortable talking over the phone about loan options.
  • 43% would be comfortable talking to a chatbot about loan options.

While device technology can help consumers with more routine self-serve issues, when it comes to high-end transactions it’s clear that voice-controlled technology cannot replace the value of human interaction.

The study also found that offline interactions -- such as a branch visit or a phone call -- have the largest impact on major decisions. This is where the call center comes in.

When it comes to customer service and building stronger relationships with your customers, the human touch cannot be underestimated. No matter what industry you're in, customer service is at the heart of everything you do. Removing people -- the most important component of your business relationships -- from the customer experience can have a significant impact on your ability to strengthen your customer relationships.

To be successful, banks need to be in the business of building relationships. When consumers talk with contact center agents, they may be conversing with a live person, but they’re also interacting with the bank’s brand. Looking at the customer experience through this lens is what every bank should consider when deploying call center solutions that provide customers what they want -- highly personalized, conversational service with another human being.

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