When a banking customer has a problem with their account or a question about opening a new one, visiting the local branch isn’t at the top of their list of convenient solutions. And arguably so, what with long lines and severe wait times awaiting them. And let’s face it. People love waiting in lines at the bank, right? They’ve got plenty of time to stand around on their lunch break, waiting for any sign of barely perceptible movement from an otherwise unmoving line instead of actually eating food. Right? No. But, that’s exactly what’s happening in our brick and mortar financial institutions today. Average wait times are getting longer at bank branches across North America, according to a study by Financial Management Solutions. Even top tier financial institutions saw wait times lengthen by an average of about a half a minute. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but when you’re the one waiting ... you’ll swear you’ve aged ten years in those intervening thirty seconds. And calling customer service isn’t much better thanks to more and more banks converting to automated systems. Most of the time, getting an actual person on the phone can seem an act of divine intervention, only then to be transferred to another department where the process can begin all over again. Good times.
In their defense though, faced with emerging competition from upstart neobanks and other alternative banking solutions, traditional banks are under pressure to cut costs and streamline bottom lines, so they take the most logical step available to them: lay off tellers and other staff, because, of course, that always works. Fewer tellers, longer waits, fewer customers visiting the branch, prompting more staff cutting, paving the way for an even less enjoyable experience for said customer, who stops visiting, and so on and so on. In a national Bankrate survey, more than a fifth of Americans said they hadn’t been in a bank branch in more than a year thanks to lackluster customer service. Technology has provided a way to avoid some of these less than stellar experiences thanks to smartphones and mobile banking. But, consumers expect more from their financial services and traditional banks are struggling to meet those expectations. If only there was an affordable and innovative way to meet the needs and expectations of the modern consumer. Enter PRSONAS.
PRSONAS holograms and digital personalities deliver self-service applications, gather analytics, and conduct commerce anywhere, anytime and in any language. The innovators at nuMedia have now just released Erica, their PRSONAS digital concierge. What better way to meet the rising expectations and needs of the banking customer than providing them with the ultimate experience in customer care? What better way to tackle the rising costs and bottom lines faced by today’s financial institutions than with Erica, an affordable, holographic, digital personality? Exactly. Using built-in motion sensors, artificial intelligence, and an easy to use touch screen interface, virtual digital assistants offer modern financial institutions an affordable solution to confront the customer service challenges facing them today, and in the most amazing way. And let’s not kid ourselves. Holograms are pretty cool.
Imagine walking into your local bank branch and being greeted by the smiling face of Erica, a virtual digital personality. An actual hologram! Not only is Erica friendly and knowledgeable, but she can even communicate with you in whatever language you’re most comfortable with, including sign language. Est-ce que tu parles français? Sprichst du Deutsch? ¿Hablas español? Oui, ja, and si. They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, that first impressions are everything. No where is that more true than in direct customer service businesses, like your local bank branch. In today’s self service world, consumers expect more. Erica is an intelligent assistant who will greet every customer with a friendly smile and offer self service solutions for their most immediate needs. And Erica never has a bad day, or worry about the economy, or stress over the latest comments on social media. The customer is her sole concern and they have her complete attention. Erica’s also more than just a gorgeous interface. She’s also one smart cookie.
Erica helps customers check-in for scheduled appointments, get a site tour of their local branch, and even explore mobile offerings available to them. And if a customer needs additional support, Erica directs them to the appropriate branch personnel. As she performs her duties, Erica is also learning about consumer habits and preferences. She tracks every transaction and request the customer makes, providing the bank with analytics from real-world engagements. These analytics provide direct feedback not only on how banking consumers are using Erica now, but can also be used to identify how those same customers perceive the branch and what product offerings they would like to see, allowing a personalized service for each and every one of them.
Erica establishes a human relationship with each bank visitor from the second they walk in the building, all the while freeing up banking employees to do what they do best: use Erica’s interaction with each and every customer to create a seamless experience for each one, such as opening a new account or resolving issues. The adoption of virtual digital personalities, like Erica, serve to successfully respond to the customers’ needs and preferences. This is the definitive solution for banks that are struggling to survive in today’s competitive financial market. Newcomers to this arena are not only challenging banks with lower fees and high tech solutions, but also promoting a business model that puts customers’ needs first, in essence, humanizing the consumer’s experience. With the growing number of alternative banking options available to people today, there are more choices than ever as to where to place their money and build their financial future. With Erica serving as their first line of engagement with the bank, traditional financial institutions will be positioned to become the consumer’s first and last choice for conducting their banking business. And did we mention that holograms are pretty cool?
Erica – your digital concierge employee with the power to improve your customer’s experience.