Posted on: 21/04/2017

This year will see a step change in the way financial service providers record and store their customer communications as they prepare for the implementation of the MiFID II directive in January 2018. But I believe that the way banks capture their client conversations across all channels, and then use what they learn to help better serve them is going to have the biggest impact on the way these institutions work.

Within 5-10 years, mobile devices, both connected and physically worn, will record all communication banks have with their customers whether that be telecoms, written or face to face, and seamlessly converge these different channels into one simple to access record. The news from Santander last week that they will facilitate customers’ transactions through voice authorisation shows the increasing power of these forms of communication. Banks need to be able to let their customers do what they want, quickly, securely and in a way that helps improve their customer service.

With all voice, emails and text captured and converged, you get close to a real-time golden record of the customer. This is something quite profound for organisations. At present all these channels are disconnected, and I don’t think there is a single financial services provider that currently knows their customers in anything like real time. Often, if you call into a contact centre, they don’t even transcribe the conversation, so you can be telling them important data that is simply lost. In six months’ time you might speak to them again and have to repeat this information.

Better data capture will also be fuelled by the increasing role that chatbots have to play in customer service, with the ability to analyse the data collected with much more sophisticated AI, in real time. You only ever need to tell them the information once. Services like Babylon in healthcare and SPIXII in insurance services, are already leading the way. They are driving conversations with their customers that not only add value but affect behavioural change by improving the whole industry through the way they communicate. I think it is conceivable that within five years most companies won’t even have websites. Why would you need one when you can communicate through a chatbot that tailors the message to its audience and then captures the communications in real time to improve your service?

So, while this year is all about meeting compliance in the recording and storage of communications, I would urge institutions, large and small, to think about how they can use what they capture to improve how they serve their customers. When we lose sight of this, the next thing we lose is our customers.

Author: Richard Stevenson, CEO, Red Box Recorders

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