Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 months ago

223) #ExponentialInsights: Shifting the Digital Customer Service Experience


Financial brands know there is a pressing need for digital customer service to change.

We are steadily evolving into a digital society, yet nearly 80 percent of customer service issues are still handled over the phone.

Dan Michaeli, CEO and Co-Founder of Glia, shared why multiple modes of communication - messaging, audio, and video - will soon become one seamless channel in the digital customer service experience.

Join us as we discuss:

- Lessons learned about engagement in digital customer service (5:27)

- Organizational challenges holding FIs back from adapting (14:52)

- The unified experience of messaging, audio, and video (20:50)

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Dan Michaeli

- Glia

- Digital Customer Service: Transforming Customer Experience for an On-Screen World


You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

The most successful organizations that we work with think about digital interactions and digital customer service as a core part of their stack. We have digital customer service. We are doing chat and that is probably the most fundamental issue with the concept of digital customer service. It can encompass so much more. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series, where James Robert Lay interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings and hello. I am James Robert Lay and welcome to episode to twenty three of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Dan mcelly to the show. Dan is the CO founder and CEO of Glia, as well as the CO author of digital customer service, transforming customer experience for an on screen world, and today we're going to be talking about the greatest opportunities for financial brands and fin techs to create, capture and capitalize on so that they can maximize their future digital growth potential by optimizing digital customer service experiences. Welcome to the show, Dan. It is good to share time with you today. Buddy, James, pleasure me here. Thanks for having me. Before we get into talking kind of the future of digital customer service and what that looks like from your perspective Um and all of the good work that you're doing at Glia, what is good for you right now, personally or professionally,... all as your pick to get started here on a positive note. Uh, so many things, James. Really have been a phenomenal start of the year for me. Professionally, with Glia, we've seen some incredible milestones for the company. We celebrated our ten year anniversary, which seems to have come very quickly and very slowly all at once, which is a pretty remarkable uh, for for for Glia. As as a milestone, we also passed our billion dollar valuation, which is really exciting. Shows the momentum and the demand for digital customer service and for our solutions out there. And Uh, and and in addition to that, you know, we we also completed acquisition this year. So we acquired Finn DOT AI. So a lot of things to be grateful for. On the professional front, you know, we continue to see a lot of progress. So so great start to the year and about a little bit over halfway through now. So and you've got a book out to digital customer service, transforming customer experience for an on screen world. Why write the book? What are we trying to do with this? As a fellow author, I always like to tap into why write a book, because I know the undertaking it takes to bring that to fruition. But it's an important read that I highly recommend to people. That's very kind of you. Yeah, it's a very difficult undertaking, as you know. We believe that the world needs some of this vocabulary. We need to really provide the frameworks, the paradigms, the thinking behind what what does customer service look like in the future? What does it look like five years from not ten years from now? And and really it anchors in digital, so it anchors on the screen. When you think about how it is that we we are truly on screen. People today, when we're looking for information, when we're looking to get in touch with somebody, when we're bored, we are going to a screen. And so really the intent of the book was to codify all of...

...this learning that we've done over the last ten years and watching a variety of customer service organizations evolved and what is it that they have done in order to capture this opportunity that exists today for businesses with this on screen reality. So it's a playbook, it's a vocabulary. Uh, it's a it's a collection of vocabulary for this space. Uh, and that's what it's going to be, a guide book, I would say. I think it's important to note that about speaking a common language, because a common language, as well as frameworks, helped to simplify very complex subject matters into a much more digestible, easier to understand perspective that can be explained throughout the entire organization. I want to roll back into history for just a bit to catch us up to where we're out today. And and and we can just take a short perspective on this, going back just two years, reflecting all that we've learned since, let's just say early Um, it's been a lot of learning lessons there. Uh, what? What have you seen? What have you learned when it comes to just engaging with people, with customers of banks or members of credit unions, really just human beings for that matter? Digitally, back to your point, in an on screen world, everything became accelerated. Two years ago. It was, you know, all of those trends that we were discussing in the book in terms of having that preference to interact on screen in some way with our friends, with our family, with our colleagues, all of those things were were already moving at great speed before. But when that happened the the fund there was a fundamental shift. You know, when when when grandparents are only able to communicate with our grandkids over zoom, there is a change that happens in the world, right, you know, uh, it..., it's it's change management at a warp speed level, you know. And so we all became very accustomed to using these technologies to communicate with everybody in our life and and as we did that, we saw was that there was a rapid acceleration of the desire to bring these technologies to banking relationships. And and that's really what digital customer services empowering. So there has been a very noticeable shift since. It's interesting when I go back and it's how quickly we've moved forward beyond that moment and time. But I would say kind of early I was starting to do some reading and research as a digital anthropologist, studying the intersection of marketing, sales, technology and human behavior of what we were experiencing in one period. Video communication was to Covid as what the exponential reality of adoption was to the telephone back in nineteen Um is kind of a similar example. And when you think about communication, it's at the heart of all of this. Is just the way that we communicate. That's been probably the biggest transformation the channels in which we communicate. Even before we hit record we were talking about communicating through teleopathy and that's a whole perspective. So we'll roll it back toe with that. But when you think about, and I think it's important to maybe make some context here, communication, digitally service wise, it's been through live chat, quote unquote. What's a common misconception around this idea of just chat that maybe a lot of financial brands have um that you would disagree with. I think the chat equals digital in a lot of people's minds and then the extent of digital customer service or the extent of interaction...

...through the digital channel is, Oh, we're doing chat, that means we're digital, we have digital customer service, we are doing chat, and that is probably the most fundamental issue with the concept of digital customer service. It can encompass so much more and it should encompass so much more. If you look at how, I mean all of us have been on so many zooms of the past two years. You can start a digital interaction with a text based chat focused conversation. You can then layer in on screen voice. So imagine the ability to have a voice conversation. When you shut off your camera on zoom right, you're still having a voice conversations, but it's being done through the screen, not through, you know, infrastructure from the eighteen hundreds, a copper wire that you're calling somebody with ten digits, right, so you're you're basically having that same voice conversation on the phone and then up to video as you described. So I think that when people say a live chat, it is, you know, it is a foundational mode of communication for F bys to enable. I definitely think that is true. I do believe that there's a big misconception that that is digital and digital should extend far beyond that. Digital is the stage where all sorts of interactions can happen, anything from messaging, voice or video at it's a great point and I like that messaging, voice, video, there are three different communication patterns that really require three different communications skill sets. One of the other things that I want to talk into, and this is a roadblock that I see. It's a challenge and I have to go all the way back to nine for this one. Um I was one of the very first hires at old navy. I was senior in high school, Freshman in college and they had just come into the Houston market and we became the number one selling old navy in the entire country.

We were so good that whenever other stores opened up, my team we would go out and we would do training and it was so simple. You had your little blue bag, somebody would walk into the store, you'd greet them, you'd walk around the store with them and help them. Not Old Navy experiences, not like that. And we understand the troubles like gap is going through right now. But I took those lessons with me and it was so simple to create a positive experience with someone just simply be proactive. But when it comes to digital customer service or chat, historically speaking it's been a very reactive, passive channel. Where are their opportunities to go beyond being passive and reactive to maybe being more proactive and, dare I even say prescriptive in some of these interactions that we have with whether their customers or members or prospective account holders? WHAT'S THE MINDSET SHIFT? It's a really great observation, James. So let me let me uh take a step back and explain how we think about digital customer service, because I think that provides a pretty useful framework to think about your question. Right. So, when you when you take a step back, digital customer services all about putting screens at the center. So you're putting either a mobile device or a tablet or your computer at the center. And then there are three core components to digital customer service. It's on screen communication, which we talked about, which includes the messaging, the voice, the videos, on screen communication, on screen collaboration, which means the ability to meet the customer of the member in that channel to see what they're seeing, to guide them, to start teaching them how to use those on screen experiences and then on screen automation. And on screen automation includes things like virtual assistance or visitor detection, understanding what we call the digital body language.

So if I like what what? How my browsing? Where am I clicking? Where am I struggling, all of that is automatic. With digital customer service you can detect those behaviors and respond to them. So, in in thinking about your question, how do we make digital customer service, or customer service in general for today's world end going into the future? How do we make that more proactive? It's about bringing those elements together, because when you have automation, for example, if I'm struggling on a certain form or if I'm, uh, you know, clearly having a problem with my online account, the system should be able to detect that right present me with a proactive offer and then also change who I speak to based on that behavior and how I speak to them. Maybe the best maybe the best interaction that I can have in that moment is with a virtual assistant. But if I go deeper and it's clearly, it's clear that I'm struggling with some thing else, maybe it makes more sense to talk to a human in the servicing team over video. Who knows? You know, the point is we can glean so much information from what the customers doing in real time, and that's how you become proactive. It's really having an awareness and understanding of what is happening in the journey and being able to react in real time, and that's why it's the combination of communication, collaboration and automation that really makes that possible. I really like that framework. That is so helpful. Once again, you know, when you bring frameworks in, it simplifies a lot of complex subjects, and so here we go, communication, collaboration, automation. So that's our framework. What holds financial brands, Fin Techs, banks, credit unions back from bringing this to bear too? I would even say, exponentially optimize their digital customer service? Um that I think a lot of people, when it...

...comes to finances. Back to your point of tracking behavior, UM, they they're coming in, they might feel a little confused, they might feel a little frustrated, they might feel a little overwhelmed, but we can use the automation and one of the great lessons from izzy Sharp, founder of Four Seasons. We're talking about experience here, um systematize the predictable, to humanize the exceptional. And what holds brands back, though, from making this transformation so that at least the dear listener back to your point of awareness, they can be aware of their own unique situation at their organization? Well, I can tell you that from our experience, especially in the last two years, there are so many f eyes that are making these changes right. So a lot of them aren't letting this hold they're they're not. They're not allowing themselves to be held back anymore. They're making these changes they see the pressing need right those organizations that I see, uh, that our and I can tell you that as pretty universally, the companies that we talked to agree that this change has to happen for them, that they have to that they have to move from a phone centric customer service model to a digital centric customer service model that incorporates not only chat but voice and video and all of these things around it in a very seamless way, so that they don't there's no dispute on that. I think what holds them back it is typically more around the organizational challenges that they themselves face with either other projects or initiatives that they are in the middle of and they say, okay, you know, I want to finish this before I take on, you know, working on my customer service experience, uh, you know, or its previous investments, where they'll have components, bits and pieces that are disconnected and they have to find the right star...

...point. And so I think that in order to sort of create that wedge to then bring the holistic change to the organization. So I think ultimately it's really more on the organizational front where there are struggles. But I'll tell you something. I mean, the most successful organizations that we work with think about digital interactions and digital customer service as a core part of their stack, you know. So if you look at it, you have three layers. You have the core, the you know, sort of the underlying database where the ones and Zeros about the customers are stored that core system. Right. Then you have the digital experiences that are self served. So you have online banking, you have loan origination, you have the public website, you have the mobile APP. All of these are self served on screen digital experiences on top of that, you need the digital interaction layer. So when self serve, that middle layer isn't enough. You need to be able to transform those into into actions right inside of the digital journey, right. So that's that's kind of completes that digital transformation that f eyes are going through and more and more organizations are realized digital growth is a journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone, because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs who are all learning, collaborating and growing together. VISIT DIGITAL GROWTH DOT com slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show. I remember years ago, and this was probably I used to show a video as part of the training that we were doing with financial brands. That's a that's a decade. Wow, that's a decade, and it was a video from UMP quote... that showed their perception of what the future of banking would look like. And I'll never forget there was an interaction. Back to your point of chat, video voice of someone on a mobile device or a tablet, and you gotta think how far we've come in just a decade. And it was the video piece that I was really honing in on Um because I think that's that's that idea of I can see you, you can see me. There's a lot of communication that goes through body language, etcetera. Just like there's digital body language, we also have our our human body language, which is why, even doing these conversations on zoom, I can see you, you can see me. When you think about video um as as a component here, back to the organizational structures and maybe the challenges opportunities in your mind that you see to continue to humanize these experiences through video interaction, what's your take on that? My take is that it's a very powerful mode of communication. Notice that I avoid saying the word channel. I don't believe in the word channel. I believe that it's channel less. Every channel is one to me. So it doesn't matter where the customer starts, they should be able to move between those modes of communications and perceive it to be one channel. So I believe in this Channel List Architecture, which is, you know, something that we've pioneered. But I would say that when I look at video, it is very compelling for specific instances, for specific use cases and uh, and it's about identifying the customer journey, where the where the video interaction would would be the most successful based on KPI s that the organization is looking to impact.

So I believe that there's a lot of potential in video. I will say that the most potential, though, is in the ability to meet the customer in their journey. So if I'm an online banking I can launch anything there. I can launch a messaging or chat interaction, I can launch a voice interaction, I don't have to leave in Dialton digits, or I can launch video banking and and the ability to do that, as you said, proactively, depending on the use case, depending on the type of journey that that customer is on, is really where the value is for video. It's identifying those core use cases. It's not relevant for every single interaction, it's relevant for specific ones and so we recommend dialing that into those specific interactions. When you look at the larger context, and I like the layer and looking at this is just communication and being channel less, because I think, I think the channels, that's where the mind goes into, probably a subconscious level, building silo here. But when you look at the Channel List nature of communication, big opportunities that we might be missing right now, that we might not be aware of, that we might not be thinking about, because you're looking at this at a very macro level, even across the multiple verticals. where, where should we be thinking about the future? You know, again, the way to think about how communication will the more and more the more that you can make as an f B. I the experience for the customer of the member feel that it like it is a single interaction, because they don't care ultimately, if you're if they're texting with you, if they're using life chat, if they call the phone, if they start a video banking by pressing a button on your public side, like they don't care what in terms of what what quote unquote, channel they're choosing right. I mean I call those modes. They don't care about the mode. WHAT THEY CARE is...

...they're talking to you ultimately, and so the real value in in these types of interactions comes when you can create a unified experience where, regardless of the channel. It feels like one channel. So it's channel less, right and so and I think that one of the most important aspects of this is lies in the transition between those different modes. So when I move from one to the next, does it break? Is it even possible, or can I seamlessly introduce, I don't know, code browsing or screen sharing or video, even if I started with a totally different mode, you know? And so that ability to really move between these options. That's how that's how we are as customers, that's how we are as consumers in our day to day lives. We don't expect that to start over if if we want to change something a midway through the interaction. So it should be exactly the same APP Roach for customer service. It's interesting, and this is almost kind of like a real time example personally, but I think about uh, one of my my team members over here. We literally have had a conversation on three different UH community. I don't want to say channel, because now you've got this, you've got you've you've created this mode. Yeah, well, you've created this awareness for me here, uh, and and I and I'm a pretty quick learner. But yeah, these three three communication modes. It started on zoom, then it went into SMS and then it's also being picked up in Linkedin D M S, and so it's just interesting how we're picking and starting and stop, but we're not even starting and stopping. I think that's the key. Back to your point. We're just continuing on to where we left off on one mode and we're picking it up on the next mode. And I like the idea of really being mindful of how to kind of map all of this out from an experience standpoint, because the way that I think about experience,...

...well defined systems and processes that have been strategically thought out, applied and then optimize over a period of time, resulting in either a positive or negative motion. Hopefully we're more positive and then learn from the negative and be able to apply those learnings to the optimization process here. When, when we look out towards the future of digital customer service for financial brands, what are you feeling most hopeful about? What are you feeling most excited, what are you feeling most energetic about? From from what you're seeing here, what I feel most excited about is what I call shifting the mix. So when, when you look at the mix of interactions that happened. Today. Most businesses, and I mean definitely most banks, have an interaction pie that looks like phone calls and chat. Okay, is live chat, or maybe it's secure messaging or whatever, some some small sliver of digital, quote unquote, interactions. But eight percent of that volume is still telephony, and that is most exciting to me because those are just so prime to transform that, that part of the Pie into digital interactions and and the ability to start shifting that mix to a more digitally centric mix so that you end up with something like phone calls and then a beautiful mix of video and on screen voice and Messaging and all these rich interactions that don't imply, Hey, I don't want to talk to my customer anymore. It's just I'm now. I'm talking to them just like I do on zoom, instead of like dialing. You know, who are you diing? Whose number are you dialing anymore in your daily life and your friends and family and a leagues? Whose number are you dialing? Why are... dialing businesses still? So it's the same kind of idea. It's that that, despite all those changes, societal changes that are happening. We still have this really lopsided, like you know, Interaction Pie, and I'm most excited by the fact that that is rapidly what I'm seeing with our clients is that's rapidly changing and and it provides a much more efficient experience for the bank because they are able to really meet the customer where they are and and serve them right there and shave a lot of time off of interactions while still increasing the quality of the experience, which is just mind blowing, because normally those two things are completely at odds with each other. Normally, if you want to make something more efficient, you're gonna have to compromise the quality, but in this case it's not the case because that's where everybody is already. Everybody's digital already. So that's what's most exciting to me. I like the idea of the pie, or what I would say is the portfolio, and it's a diversification of the portfolio to give people choice, to give people option to, to use your words, meet them where they're at. Uh, and I can think about my own experiences. You know. Sometimes I want to message, sometimes I want to just have a voice. Sometimes I prefer video because it's a deeper conversation, but it all comes down to, and and I'm gonna reference the books of the nineteen eighties, you know, to choose your own adventure. Just just choose your own adventure of how you want to communicate. This is like, like you said, this is there's a lot of opportunity here and I'm so grateful that there is a book digital customer service. There's a framework around this that provides a common language, uh, of vocabulary, Um, and some some tools to guide people's thinking forward, to overcome roadblocks, to capture opportunities. As we start to wrap up here, let's just get really, really small. Um. What's the next best step...

...for the dear listener, UM, coming from a financial brand or a Fintech, to establish a future growth habit through a simple action that they can take today so that they can make progress when it comes to optimizing digital customer service experiences? One small thing. I think that really digging into what are the interactions that you're getting today right and learning from what's happening today is fundamental. So starting to look at that Pie and really thinking about what does that pie look like in the future, you know, so getting a sense for the convert. Every conversation with the customer is an opportunity, right. You know a lot of businesses will think that if you can't create a self serve experience to negate the need for that versation, then something is wrong everybody. You know there are many businesses that feel like a conversation is a failure because the customers should be able to self serve and figure it out on their own. Why are they calling me? That's a failure on my self serve journey. That's a failure on online banking because it wasn't able to contain that conversation. Every conversation is an opportunity, so take that opportunity to learn how your customers are thinking, what they're calling about and how can you make that a better experience for them. That's what I would say is a great first step. Oh, I like that because that's pattern matching and if we can pattern match common people problems causing common people pain, those are often some of the greatest opportunities, the low hanging fruit. Speaking of conversations, Dan, this has been a an excellent conversation. I thank you for the knowledge. I thank you for the wisdom that you have shared so kindly Um with everyone today. What is the best way for someone to connect with you, continue that conversation, get the book expand their knowledge. What's the next best step there? Well, I encourage everybody to visit Glia Dot Com and and poke around the... learn more about our solution and how we think about digital customer service. The book is available on Amazon, both as in every single format that you can possibly wanted, physical, electronic and audio book. It's all there. Uh So, yeah, you can. You can just search digital customer service book on Amazon and you should see it right there. Uh and, UH and yeah, we I really appreciate time. James Z's were excellent questions. Thank you so much for having me on. Absolutely connect with Dan, learn from Dan, grow with Dan, get the book to highly recommend the book and thanks again, Dan for joining me for another episode of banking on digital growth. Pleasure. Thank you so much as always, and until next time, be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Lane. To get even more are practical and proven insights, along with coaching and guidance, visit digital growth dot com, slash insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs. Until next time, be well and do good.

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