Friday Highlight 

Virtual assistants have a place

Virtual assistants have a place

Few would dispute the fact that financial advisers need to be absolute experts in their field, since the guidance they provide is vital for ensuring that their clients’ needs are met.

The problem, however, is that distractions ranging from routine admin to repetitive customer enquiries can often rob them of valuable time with clients.

The good news is that advancements in artificial intelligence can now increasingly take some of the weight off advisers’ shoulders and reduce the amount of time they spend on these time-consuming (and often low-value) tasks.

A new generation of intelligent virtual assistants - a more sophisticated and highly functional edition of the more well-known chatbot - are rapidly becoming experts in addressing these issues and, unlike humans, are on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and do not need to take time off for holidays or illness.

The result? Advisers can focus on what they do best – offering the advice and guidance that their clients need to find the products that are right for them.

Unlocking the true value of an adviser

Modern virtual assistants are miles away from the monotonous voices and stilted dialogue from a decade ago.

Today’s bots are able to engage in quick, effective and pleasant conversations without the customer being put in the frustrating position of remaining on hold or waiting for what can sometimes seem like forever for someone to reply to an email.

Alongside their ability to chat via voice or text, they can also be used to send documents, files, images, videos and related links to help resolve customers’ queries.

Plus, when used across multiple platforms like Facebook, Messenger, Slack and Alexa, customers can engage with this technology at any time that suits them, and thorough the channel they find most convenient, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s world of growing customer expectations.

Financial advisers, like many other industries, have to constantly prove the value they bring to their clients, and the implementation of bots can ensure customers can seek answers to queries at all times, which is a crucial advantage.

Virtual assistants can also provide advisers with a complete, accurate, easily accessed record of each customer interaction. This data is captured immediately and automatically, which can help firms build a deeper understanding of customers’ needs and preferences, enabling them to improve their products and services.

The benefits of a virtual assistant

The benefits of this technology are clear – but bots will never replace the personalised service that human advisers can provide.

Fortunately, virtual assistants can do a lot more than just ‘chatting’.

For example, they can transfer clients to the most appropriate human member of staff and even help to cross and up-sell relevant products by bringing them to a customer’s attention.

By ingraining sentiment analysis into every customer interaction, virtual assistants can also keep track of how well a conversation has gone and identify any areas that are in need of improvement.