Bank Customer Experience panel addresses finding the balance of tech and touch | ATM Marketplace

Banks often have issues finding the right mixture of both technology and the human touch to reach customers. This is even more of an issue during COVID-19 as banks have had to adjust their branch strategies to meet ever changing guidelines. Arijit Roy EVP head of strategy, deposits, small business banking and analytics at Truist Financial Corp. addressed how banks can find the right combination of high tech and the human touch by using lessons from both Hollywood and Truist during the opening keynote at the Bank Customer Experience Summit, held in Chicago from Sept. 13 to 15.

The fintech misconception

First, Roy addressed that we need to realize that “rumors of our industry’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.”

He used the example of “The Terminator” coming to the future and reading the headlines about fintechs taking over the financial industry and that banks are old and out of date; however, this isn’t true. For one, banks are growing at the same rate as fintechs. For another, the biggest fintechs are growing because they are partnering with banks.

Roy said that we need to think of fintechs not as a “Terminator” coming to destroy banks but rather like Will Smith shaking hands with a robot in the movie “I, Robot.”

Real relationships

Next, Roy brought up examples of romance films such as the “Titanic,” which show passionate human relationships. He then pointed out an interesting movie called “Her” which showed a man forming a romantic relationship with an AI.

However, in order to have a real relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, “you need a human on the other side,” Roy said.

He gave examples of many large businesses that are involved in the AI industry that are embracing the human side. For example, Apple uses stores to allow people to physically interact with their products and Amazon is embracing physical stores.

Companies that don’t do this often suffer, such as game console manufacturers, who are often very difficult to get ahold of by phone to handle malfunctions.

Roy brought up you need both technology and the human aspect to be able to have a relationship with customers.

“You need both data and institution, automation and a sense of judgement. Simplicity and empathy. If you don’t, you aren’t doing much to drive a relationship,” Roy said.

Keeping up with the customer

Lastly, Roy addressed the importance of using tech and human insights together to improve customer experience, using the example of the “Star Wars” characters Rey and Kylo Ren.

Technically speaking, analytics can reveal that Rey is a millennial who knows the Force, is a good pilot and can use a lightsaber. But these facts are also true about Kylo Ren. If you are a bank trying to solve a problem for Rey, you won’t be able to use that same method for Ren, because they are two very different people.

For example, if Kylo calls your bank, you should be able to string a picture together of why he is calling based on past interactions online, app or other platforms.

As a practical example of this, Roy showed a video featuring Truist employee Paul Bellamy who answered a call from a customer who was trying to get into his account. The customer told Bellamy that he had broken his leg trying to put up a basketball goal for his son, who had disabilities. Bellamy knew a person named Michael Brown, a financial acquisition analyst for Truist, who lived near the customer and knew how to install the court. Bellamy called Brown who got it set up for the customer.

Roy said this example shows how the human touch and insights combined can really make a difference for customers and build a real relationship between the bank and the customer.

The goal is not to favor technology or the human side, but to combine them to make a better experience.

“When our clients win, we all win,” Roy said.

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