By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager
If you’re like me, you love to hear a story so I’ll tell you the tale of a frustrated customer who found resolution in what is now becoming one of the likeliest of places. Some time back, I met up with a good friend for one of our semi-regular, cake and coffee fuelled Sunday walks. We both love these walks because we can talk about everything and anything. Even the smallest things become interesting conversation. This one weekend, as we meandered across London towards our next coffee stop, my friend, Noelle shared with me a banking tale from the prior week.
Let me set the time and place. Noelle is a HSBC customer and this story takes place around the time HSBC was introducing their new Secure Key as an added level of protection for online banking services. She had recently moved and due to her address change, there was a delay in the delivery of the Secure Key for her account. She didn’t think anything of it until late one night when she needed to login to her bank account to check on a recent deposit and pay some bills. When she went online to perform her routine online banking, she realised that HSBC had updated their log on pages requiring customers to enter the code from their Secure Key device.
That’s when panic set in. She didn’t have her Secure Key yet and the banks were closed. All she could think of was her busy work schedule the rest of the week and that it would be at least two days before she could make it to a branch during opening hours. Desperate for answers, she scoured the website for an answer and what she found saved the day. HSBC has an automated virtual assistant who told her exactly what to do. She said she simply typed in her question and the virtual assistant told her how to access her account without her Secure Key. Once she logged on, she checked her deposits, paid her bills and all was well in her world.
After she told me the story, I provided her with a bonus ending. I explained that I worked for the company that created HSBC’s virtual agent Ask Olivia. Her face lit up and she said “So that’s what your company does? That is super cool! Olivia saved me a bunch of time and all that money in late fees!” I’ve never forgotten that particular walk or her genuine, unsolicited testament.
Moral of the story: Your customers are busy people who want to take care of things like online banking at a time that works within their schedules. Providing self-service options, such as virtual agents, are a perfect way for you to provide support online even when it’s out of hours. Noelle’s plight may be a small hiccup to the rest of the world, but to her one virtual assistant and one question saved her day. What will it mean for your customers?