Friday Highlight  

Virtual assistants have a place

While bots may have the majority of the answers, there are still times when a human - with real emotions - is best placed to deal with an inquiry. Fortunately bots have the ability to recognise when this may be the case and redirect accordingly.

Of course, errors can still occur, but incorporating AI into these solutions means that any missteps are not nearly as dramatic as people might imagine. As AI designs become more sophisticated and computer processing times even faster, bots will only become smarter and more accurate.

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As a result, any glitches will be rectified more and more quickly – and eventually eliminated before they can occur.

For advisers, that means the service provided by bots will only get better over time, leading to greater productivity and happier customers too.

The future is now

A growing percentage of customers expect to have an always-on service that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. For advisers, bots can deliver on this promise right now.

AI will obviously never replace the knowledge, expertise or empathy that advisers can offer, but as this technology continues to evolve, there is no doubt that more ‘natural’ virtual assistant experiences will make it easier for customers to access a lot of the information they need, when they need it.

Advisers will therefore have more time to hone their own professional skills, which will broaden their ability to deal with complex queries even further.

As a result, this model will not only boost customer service, but will also increase productivity and grow the reputation of their business, leading to higher revenues for advisers and better outcomes for all.

Rhys Powell is managing director UK at