Updated: May 26, 2020
Entrepo Finance, a major Namibian lender offering loans to all permanently employed Government employees, was seeking ways to delight its clients, to make its service as efficient as possible, and to grow its customer base. V5 Digital, the leading Namibian digital agency, helped realize this vision by creating a brand new website with the introduction of a chatbot called Yola on the lender’s brand new website – designed and developed by the V5 Digital Team. What lay behind the decision to install a chatbot, and why was this the correct route to support Entrepo Finance in achieving its objectives?
Evidence globally reveals that the outlook of chatbots is overwhelmingly positive. As the Ottawa Business journal reports: “Every bank that has launched a program based on an AI chatbot has achieved great success in one sphere or another. Many banks tell about outstanding results that have been possible only because of bots.”
So what exactly is a chatbot? The journal defines a chatbot as “a conversational marketing tool that automates either textual or voice conversations with end-users. Instead of messaging with a support agent, a customer can engage with a chatbot to receive instantaneous replies based on user inputs. Sophisticated algorithms combined with user data ensure the outputs are as personalized as possible.”
Customers today are expecting – and often demanding – not only consultations at any time of day, but also personal assistance. They’ve had annoying and frustrating experiences with long waits on the phone to call centers when they wanted fast answers. And banks have had to recruit many new call center agents, which has resulted in having to pay more staff members, and having to provide training for every new employee.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots have changed that. What they offer is 24/7 availability. Moreover, as Bizcommunity reports: “they’re never rude, tired or irritated. This is why chatbots are prevalent in customer service-related industries”. Furthermore, customer queues are eliminated and chatbots provide a uniform standard of excellent service.
Clients want to interact with their lender instantly - 24/7 - and not have to endure hours of waiting for a call center agent to attend to their queries
Yola, the chatbot which V5 Digital installed on the Entrepo Finance website, performs a range of tasks from answering basic questions such as operating hours, to initiating the process of applying for a loan.
Using chatbots not only improves customer service, but the savings in time and money are monumental. According to Juniper Research, “Automated customer experiences in banking and finance are expected to save the industry $7.3 billion by 2023. The equivalent time saved by banks is approximately 862 million hours.” A chatbot can handle thousands of queries at once, whereas humans can only handle one query at any time. And with the chatbot filtering requests, the human support team is not overloaded.
Some of the top industries currently benefiting from chatbots are retail, insurance, healthcare, hospitality, tourism, finance, and even government. For example, a chatbot called Hipmunk will help users find and book their vacation. It will ask you questions to find out what sort of holiday you’re looking for, and will use your phone’s location to find out where you’re departing from. A review of Hipmunk concludes: “It’s a great way to cut down on what can be a laborious search across multiple sites. Condensing your entire vacation search to one, highly engaging channel is – for people like me – a life saver. “
And there’s much more: the range of activities that can be performed by chatbots enhanced with AI extends to other fields in addition to basic transactions and answering queries. For example, financial service providers can use chatbots to support areas such as data security, fraud detection and wealth management.
In fact, V5 Digital is poised to implement a new phase of Yola’s functionality in Entrepo Finance, which will take the customer service to the next level by providing customers with instant affordability assessments. The lender has joined the ranks of cutting-edge global banking by using one of the most effective technological solutions available today.