March 18, 2020
When you stop and think about it, it just makes sense. Obviously, AI-driven customer service and B2B commerce would be perfect pairings for financial services. Whether we’re talking about a financial advisory firm or a banking institution, there’s little doubt that companies within the financial services sector can make use of artificial intelligence.
After all, customer service is how companies in these sectors can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Customers are demanding more than ever before from their financial service providers. Previously, customers had chosen their provider based on price, trust, and importantly, brand reputation. This is increasingly no longer the case. Customers expect to be provided with an excellent customer experience at every turn. And, in an effort to keep up and provide the best possible experience to customers, businesses are (not surprisingly) turning to AI.
This is especially true when these companies offer B2B commerce products. But what does this really mean for these financial services companies? Let’s unpack this a little.
AI software performs a number of different functions. These are often functions which human workers can perform, although they might not be able to complete these tasks as accurately or speedily. Consider, for instance, a large amount of data about a potential investor. The AI could gather this information, everything including bank statements, investment portfolio, and social media presence. A complete picture of this investor's financial life could be built by the AI using this data. It’s at this point that a financial advisor could step into the picture, using this information gathered by the AI software, to make recommendations. In the end, AI technology can ensure that each potential investor receives personalized product recommendations. This is excellent for customer service as each client will feel understood and well-serviced when their queries are answered quickly and accurately.
AI systems are already being used in business to consumer (B2C) relationships on a regular basis, possibly without you even noticing. Consider the adverts which line the websites you visit, the product recommendations offered by Amazon, and even the suggestions of what to watch next by Netflix. Those are all examples of AI in action. Take those examples a step further and you’ll see B2B commerce and B2B communication.
AI begins to really show its value in B2B commerce when the time comes to reordering products. Consider that B2B commerce purchases are far more complicated than B2C. More people are involved in the decision-making process. Purchases are more complicated and naturally need to be more personalized. B2B communication needs to be more nuanced to ensure that needs are met. In the case of financial services, consider an employer purchasing group products for employees, like income cover or insurance covering unemployment. B2B communication between these two parties would have to be excellent to ensure all of these employees are given the correct products which are appropriate for their needs.
As you can see, the world of finance is 100 percent compatible with AI. But there still remains a niggling fear that AI means that specialized roles, particularly financial advisors, will be replaced by machines. If you’ve wondered about that or have had to explain to someone that a robot isn’t going to be stealing jobs, read our recent article on the topic. It discusses why financial advisors shouldn’t feel threatened by AI and, in fact, should embrace it.
After all, these systems are not replacing staff members. They're performing tasks and services that their human colleagues either aren’t able to do, or to perform the menial duties which prevent them from getting to more valuable, profitable tasks. And when staff members are able to focus on those tasks, that just makes sense.