• Web chat high on UK financial services agenda

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    UK financial services companies expect to make massive investments in AI-enabled web chat, automated customer identification and interaction analytics technology within the next two years.

    A survey of over 200 UK contact centres by analyst ContactBabel shows that financial services operations expect their use of web chat to grow from 24% today to 89% by the beginning of 2020.

    The use of interaction analytics is expected to rise from 33% to 77%, and automated speech recognition from 17% to 52% in the same timescale, with much of the latter being used to reduce fraud and the time required to take phone customers through security.

    Due in part to increased automation, the sector will see a drop in contact centre employment of around 7,500 jobs by 2020.

    Steve Morrell, Principal Analyst at ContactBabel, said: “With average call lengths in UK financial services contact centres having risen by over 50% since 2010, the industry is looking for ways to manage their costs while maintaining the quality of customer service, and making each customer more profitable.

    “AI-enabled web chat can handle a large proportion of straightforward customer requests, while automating the customer identity process will shorten call times and reduces fraud. Analytics gives businesses an insight into how and why customers are contacting them, and provides opportunities to grow the business through providing contact centre agents or the automated channel with timely and relevant cross-selling and up-selling offers.”

    The full report is downloadable from www.contactbabel.com/reports.cfm.

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    Stuart O'Brien

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