Insights for Banks and Credit Unions

SilverCloud Labs: Conversational Banking Trends – November 2020

December 15, 2020  

SilverCloud LLC, a leader in conversational banking, today released its SilverCloud Labs monthly report highlighting Conversational Banking “Micro-Trends, the detailed, low-level data driving the newest wave in digital banking. The report shows what credit unions and banks are experiencing as they deploy virtual assistants to build out their conversational banking strategy. This is not a survey of what people claim to do. This is real-time data showing real usage from financial institutions actually in production.  

The November 2020 monthly report is based on usage covering 200+ financial institutions and 11.9 million end user sessions across the service spectrum from sales through transaction processing. 

The November report examines Employee Virtual Assistants and what bank and credit union employees search for when they use conversational banking, virtual assistants and bots. Yes, there are virtual assistants for employees! Read on to learn how they use the technology 

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  • Employees Focus 90% More on Service Than Sales. Employees of credit unions and banks primarily use virtual assistant and “tech search-partner” to help service the member or customer, not to sell products and services. This differs from how consumers use bots for self-service, where sales-related queries appear much more in the conversation. Employees searching for help with a sales related call doesn’t even feature in the top 15 search terms.  
  • Employees Need Help with Wires and ACH. 65% of the top searches conducted internally among employees at financial institutions were reaching for help with ACH and Wire Transfers. This demonstrates that banking employees need help with these more complex tasks, and possibly more proactive training on these topics. This differs from consumer behavior with conversational banking bots. For consumers, asking for help with wires ranks towards the bottom of the top 10 most frequently searched terms, with ACH questions ranking even lower on the list in the mid 30’s. But consumers do frequently ask for routing number so, indirectly, they are asking an ACH question they just may not realize it.
  • Employees Are Supporting Businesses – 2nd Top Search Term. No surprise, employees are using conversational banking tools internal to the FI to search for content that will assist their business customers. Business related search is the second most popular search term for employees asking for help from a virtual assistant and holds two of the top ten search terms. This is not true for the virtual assistant used by consumers. There are very few – if any – bots focused on business customers. Customer facing virtual assistants for business customers have yet to emerge.
  • Employee Digital Support Low in Priority.  Employees use virtual assistants to help them support members and customers. Digital banking is not within the top ten things customers/members need help with when working with a bank or CU employee. This implies digital banking must be fairly intuitive and easy to use among the financial institutions on the SilverCloud platform, and/or that employees are well versed in providing digital banking support — so much so that they don’t seek assistance from a bot. When customers/members do ask an employee for help with digital banking, the top three things they ask are about are Zelle, Mobile Deposit, and Bill Pay.
  • COVID Drives 70% Increase in Virtual Assistant Usage. Employees are reaching out to their virtual assistants much more during the pandemic. 70% more.  Usage has skyrocketed. And this happened in just nine months. Tracking from mid-February to mid-November 2020employee bot and search usage increased 70%. The growth is represented both in more employees accessing virtual help, as well as employees using virtual search more often. 
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