11:05 AM
Tara Kelly
Tara Kelly

When a Human Voice Is What Your Customers Must Hear

Three cases when a text alert or email just won't cut it.

With new data breaches coming to light each week, like the very recent JPMorgan Chase compromise that affected more than 83 million households and businesses, customers are more anxious about protecting themselves than ever before. However, common communication tools such as email and text are often ignored, and personal calls to individual customers are impossible when breaches leave millions vulnerable.

[For more on the JPMorgan breach, check out: What Banks Need To Do After the JPMorgan Breach.]

What’s more, today’s customer can be hard to reach, and even harder to engage. They are constantly mobile in a fully connected world with messages bombarding them at every turn. For this reason, many financial institutions, from major banks to smaller organizations, are using personalized human voice technology to deliver critical information quickly, clearly, affordably, and with great impact.

Human voice by nature carries qualities that can’t be matched by written communication, no matter what the form. It can convey the tone, subtle inflection, and emotion of everything from danger to delight. It can even relay and reinforce the sentiment of a brand promise that customers are familiar with experiencing in other channels.

By leveraging the power of the human voice within a uniquely personalized message, a high level of trust, credibility, and validity can be created, boosting attention spans and response rates. The resulting dynamic audio interaction with the customer not only goes a long way toward communicating effectively, but also building brand relationships and loyalty immediately and in the future.

Precisely when should a financial institution turn to voice technology over other forms of communication? Here are three instances:

1. When the message is highly time-sensitive. Texting is immediate, however customers often recognize texts as a facet of their personal lives, and therefore may not be as attentive to them during work hours. Voice technology is more pervasive and demanding in the mobile customer’s connected life. It is much more likely to reach them with highly time-sensitive information -- like an urgent fraud alert notice -- especially if it is delivered in a contextually appropriate way and used in conjunction with other communication channels.

2. When proof-positive is required that customers have received the message. Emails must be clicked on for proof of receipt. Texts provide no such proof of viewing and can even get delayed or lost. Automated voice technology allows for an all-important phone interaction with a customer, from a “please say ‘yes’” confirmation to the ability to gather further vital information from the customer at a time when it’s truly essential.

3. When using a live agent isn’t an option, or isn’t preferable. There are times when using a human voice is highly desirable yet a human agent is not affordable or practical. For example, when a major hack occurs, the situation may still be unfolding and the effects still being assessed, yet only a limited amount of information is available to share with the millions of customers potentially involved.

However, research shows that early and transparent customer communication in a crisis is vital to maintaining trust with those customers. In those instances, voice technology can clearly convey substantially more and better information than a written message ever could. It can advise the customer to be alert for updates as they are available and appropriate, without bogging down live call center representatives with redundant reassurances that address possibly unfounded customer anxiety.

Customers are humans, first and foremost. No matter how mobile or connected, they still have a primal need for human contact and interaction. Besides seeing your representatives in person, the next best option for communication is a phone call, as financial institutions currently taking advantage of automated voice technology have learned. Though other communication channels can be handy and quick, they can’t be matched for the ability to communicate a crucial message at the right time, at the right place, and within the perfect emotional context to ensure effectiveness.

Kili also provides a “Security Crypto Calculator” designed for all the encryption algorithms required to enable PCI PTS 4.0 system certification and end-to-end encryption of a payment transaction. The PCI (Payment Card Industry) security standards council last year published version 4.0 of the PIN Transaction Security (PTS) requirements, beefing up standards for device vendors to ensure merchants have secure devices for handling payment cards.

Founder, President & CEO of SPLICE Software, Tara Kelly (@tktechnow), has a passion for enabling clients to engage in a meaningful, Data Driven DialogTM with their customers. As a serial entrepreneur who has developed three companies, Tara's expertise is multi-dimensional but ... View Full Bio

Register for Bank Systems & Technology Newsletters
Bank Systems & Technology Radio
Archived Audio Interviews
Join Bank Systems & Technology Associate Editor Bryan Yurcan, and guests Karen Massey and Jerry Silva from IDC Financial Insights, for a conversation about the firm's 11th annual FinTech rankings.