Report highlights micro-trends driving the next wave in digital banking, virtual assistants
Portsmouth, N.H., November 12, 2020 – SilverCloud, LLC, the only support solution built exclusively for the financial services industry, today released its inaugural monthly research report, SilverCloud Labs: Conversational Banking Trends, analyzing real-time usage data collected from more than 200 financial institutions and 11.9 million end-user sessions. Each month, the report will provide critical insights into key digital banking trends including virtual assistants, chatbots and other self-service support tools spanning the spectrum from sales through transaction processing.
SilverCloud’s CEO, Scott Cornell, said, “We are the only support self-service provider exclusively focused on helping banks and credit unions, and as such, we have a unique vantage point into what credit unions and banks are experiencing as they deploy virtual assistants to build out their conversational banking strategy. We are sharing this intelligence in the monthly SilverCloud Labs report to further help financial institutions not only understand consumer behavior, but also determine which tools and services provide the most value to boost customer engagement, strengthening relationships with existing customers, while also expanding into new markets and attracting the next-generation of account holders.”
This month’s report examines micro-trends in conversational banking with particular interest in the personal nature of virtual assistants. Key findings include:
- 80% Reduced Usage Sundays. Virtual assistants get Sundays off. Sunday sees the lowest usage of the week and Monday sees the highest – rising more than 90%, every Monday. Saturdays are not much better, where usage is just slightly ahead of Sunday. Clearly, people stop asking questions on weekends. This is contrary to Digital Banking usage trends where weekend usage remains strong compared to mid-week.
- Top 3 Questions – Routing, Rates and Transfers. People are looking for help with Routing Numbers and Rates, those are the top questions asked to virtual assistants, respectively. Zelle and P2P transfers round out the top three questions. Way to go banks for pushing your new P2P solution. Venmo is way down the list…apparently, a few people still think credit unions (CUs) and banks can do Venmo.
- #1 Utterance – Say Hello. Virtual Assistants are personal. The first thing people say when interacting with a virtual assistant is “hello.” “Hello,” or “Hi,” are the most used phrase when beginning a conversation with a bot. Yes, people personalize these darn things…. People treat the assistant as an actual entity and take the time to say, “hello” before asking a question. And they do so politely. The 9th most used phrase is “Thank You.”
- 27% Sales Focus – Sales Are King. Sales queries lead the pack, right behind our favorite question about routing numbers. Sales inquiries account for 27% of the top 10 questions asked to a virtual assistant on bank and CU digital channels. Rates top the types of questions as well as info about checking accounts and auto loans. Clearly, a virtual assistant needs to be an effective sales resource. Sell, bot, sell.
- COVID & Corona Top 20. In a sign of the times, the terms “COVID” and “Corona” made the top 20 phrase list. These are instances where questions were asked directly about the two terms. There were many other related queries about branch hours, call center availability, etc., all of which spiked during the early days of the pandemic, and these questions still linger as we enter the winter months. Virtual Assistants are helping to manage the crash of calls credit unions and banks are receiving during these COVID-times.
“There is no dispute the digital channel is integral to a bank or credit union’s future success,” Robb Gaynor, chief strategy officer for SilverCloud. “However, defining digital has become cumbersome as consumers’ reliance on bots and virtual assistants continues to surge. Conversational banking is the future, and the data in this month’s report provides invaluable insights into how consumers want to engage with their financial institution, the most common questions being asked and which channels are the most effective depending on the day of the week. Most importantly, this data indicates that despite the growing usage of digital channels, consumers still want a personalized banking experience.”
SilverCloud’s Consumer Support solution delivers automated support for more than 200 banks and credit unions. With more than 1,000,000 customer queries each month, SilverCloud has the largest banking-specific database of customer questions.
Read the full SilverCloud Labs report here.
SilverCloud, headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., is a leading provider of support solutions built exclusively for banks and credit unions. Trusted by more than 200 financial institutions, SilverCloud helps banks and credit unions deliver better support to reduce costs and improve experience by automating the creation, management and delivery of knowledge. Easy to implement and maintain, SilverCloud ensures satisfaction and a tangible ROI. For more information, visit www.silvercloudinc.com.