Over the last five years, the UK Government has been encouraging greater competition in the banking market, both to benefit customers and to reduce systemic risk following the 2008 financial crisis. The result has been an increase in the number of new banking licences issued - 20 in the last three years - and the emergence of new players with varying propositions and business models.
The rise of these “challenger banks” marks an exciting new time in financial services for the industry and customers alike. The group of relatively small players are not only providing customers with more choice, but are helping to power innovation. This has translated into steadily growing market share and an increasing social and economic impact: the ten largest challenger banks employ more than 35,000 people and serve more than 20 million customers.
With so much change in the market, and competition so fierce, banks of all sizes must look for innovative ways remain competitive if they are to win new, and keep existing customers. AI can make the critical difference and have a huge, positive impact on customer experience.
AI transforms content and improves the customer experience
With lending and borrowing products often relatively similar, it’s natural for institutions to look at what else can set them apart from their competitors. For most, this is customer experience - access to information and help at any time, from any platform. And the natural extension of great user experience is great content – the ability to provide customers with the right information at the right time.
Indeed, we all know that good content creates brand awareness and authority, which then has the potential to generate new leads and increase sales. This is particularly true in a saturated market like banking. Institutions need to prioritise what they communicate with customers, working out how they can stand out from the competition and make their differentiators clear.
In a highly complex, highly regulated, industry - where clarity and precision are king - it can be challenging to create compelling, engaging, relevant, or different content to better connect with customers. Furthermore, the long-standing organisational silos that are so pervasive at banks and other large financial institutions means that creating strategy-aligned content that’s consistent and on-brand can be incredibly difficult.
An active content governance strategy can help, putting a process in place for creating and distributing content that is consistent across an organisation. If deployed correctly, governance is all about injecting transparency into the process of content creation. It provides the ability to add visibility across the whole machine, helping identify issues, gaps, and challenges - and then eliminate them, resulting in a smooth, streamlined process.
Technology is the answer
The critical success factor to practicing active governance is making use of AI.
Using AI to create better, faster, more accurate content, at scale is already a reality. The Associated Press reports that it has gone from publishing 300 earnings reports a quarter to 3,000 thanks to the help of AI systems. But far from machines replacing human beings, the future of AI will be to enrich what content creators are already able to achieve.
For example, AI can help streamline the delivery of content. No matter whether you have 1,000 or 100,000 subscribers, humans will take a scattergun approach. They’ll set a rule that says send an email at a specific time and hope for the best. AI, on the other hand, can segment those customers at a whole different level. If just one per cent of them open their emails at 11pm on a Sunday night, an AI system will make sure that the message arrives in those people’s inbox by 10.45 pm.
Furthermore, using data, AI can write social media updates, figure out what image to use, what hashtags to include and when to publish for maximum results. Current intelligent software using AI can adjust the send date based on who you’re sending content to, and alter the channel to make each post as effective as it can be. Humans will never be able to do this so effectively, especially at scale.
Not only is the desire to create perfect content, businesses want to be able to predict what will be the most successful, engaging content. Just as companies like Amazon and Google make data-based recommendations of what customers are searching for, there’s a need to be able to create content that will most appeal to consumers based on what is known about them. Collating, interpreting and learning from the relevant data is time better spent by machines, rather than content creators who craft the essential message.
Content can definitely help banks differentiate themselves in a hyper competitive market so it should be a no-brainer for financial services institutions to get on board with today’s AI, and move with it into the future of content creation, today.
Christopher Willis, CMO, Acrolinx