Artificial Intelligence, Member Exclusive

Far from changing banking, chatbots aren’t keeping up with call volumes in the COVID-19 era

  • More financial institutions are using chatbots to handle increased customer service loads precipitated by coronavirus.
  • But, are those chatbots really providing meaningful experiences and value?
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Far from changing banking, chatbots aren’t keeping up with call volumes in the COVID-19 era

Before the coronavirus pandemic, online small business loan provider Kabbage got a few thousand phone calls a day from customers and potential customers. Now the Atlanta-based fintech is receiving hundreds of thousands of calls a day, many of them related to government-backed small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. At times it feels overwhelming, said its cofounder Kathryn Petralia.

“It would have been impossible to manage without automation,” she said, explaining that the majority of calls go to an interactive voice response system that can disperse some information and, ideally, direct callers to the appropriate people and departments.

 


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1 comments on “Far from changing banking, chatbots aren’t keeping up with call volumes in the COVID-19 era”

  • Covid-19 is the ultimate stress test of systems, processes and people. Digital customer service will eventually transition from resolving issues/answering questions to improving the engagement with customers. For example, we will use these technologies to improve the account opening and loan application processes in real time, not after the fact.

    On a related front to PPP loans, we’ve seen spikes in activity due to forbearance requests and mortgage refi’s. At some point, we need to take the mindset that incremental improvement is not a friend to digital transformation.

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