CX in Modern Finance #1 – Personalized and Trusted Self-Services

self service kiosk

Part 1 – The first milestones

Digital transformation is essential for banks and financial services to stay competitive and profitable. At the same time, going digital must not dehumanize the interactions with the customers given that the finance industry is highly focused on developing long-term relationships yielding trust and loyalty. On the customer side, there is an increasing level of expectation for value and positive experiences, while at the same time demanding autonomy with self-service and self-education. Going forward, some of the biggest CX challenges will be around an omnichannel presence, hyper-personalization, and enabling financial wellness.

Financial Institutions investing in Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) can augment their customer experiences with accessibility, productivity, and consistency. Now, investing in human-like avatars will considerably level up the interactions with essential components: connection and empathy.

This is where Soul Machines’ Digital Workforce comes into play in the customer journey.

Self-Service – What the customers want

According to a Zendesk report, 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative, and 40% of customers contact a call center after they have first looked for answers to their questions themselves. A Business Insider Intelligence publication predicts that 80.4% of all US consumers will adopt online banking by 2025 and 40.4% will use bank chatbots.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA) can already help customers navigate the full breadth and depth of services offered by a bank. They can assist customers from answering simple questions to handling complex situations, and automatically escalating the situation to a human agent if they cannot satisfy requests.

Imagine humanizing virtual agents with a face, a voice, and a personality. Not only will they help personalize and deepen the interaction with the customers, but they will also boost the image of the institution as an innovator in CX committed to the financial well-being of its customers.

Soul Machines creates Digital People that are poised to turn customer experiences from transactional to experiential. They are hyper-realistic human-like avatars that can hear, see, understand and respond with emotionally appropriate facial and body gestures. Digital People become the familiar face that can assist, serve, and educate customers at any time of the day, whether at home, on their mobile, or in self-service kiosks. Built on a Human OS open platform, Digital People can connect to conversational AI engines, access curated and trusted content, and integrate with enterprise platforms. Their autonomous animation is driven by Soul Machines’ Digital Brain technology which controls their emotions based on the message that they have to deliver and their visual perception of the customer’s emotional state.

As a starter in the journey of a customer, a Digital Greeter can be present to offer a welcome message and ask if it can help the customer with a specific question or direct him to the proper page or menu. Soul Machines’ Digital Greeter is a role-centric package that allows creating a custom Digital Person and instantiating it in a widget across a partial or entire website. The Digital Greeter can be trained to describe the company’s offering and guide visitors to the information they want or need. This voice-controlled omnichannel presence can also be multilingual.

Digital banking agent

Personalization – Imperative to cement trust and loyalty.

Despite the rise of online banking and the demand for self-services, customers are interested in personal and long-term relationships when it comes to managing their financial interests. A virtual assistant with a face and capable of emotions can help establish some sense of familiarity and stability.

Taking the example of a Digital Person in the role of an account manager retrieving a credit card balance for a customer, its visual perception can detect if the customer looks confused by the reported amount. In this case, the Digital Person can be empathetic and proactively offer to review the list of transactions since the customer’s last statement and reassure him that if he sees suspicious activity, his card will be canceled immediately and replaced within 2 days. Such personalized interaction will put the customer at ease and make him feel valued.

A Forrester study describes the most important qualities to build trust as being dependability, empathy, and consistency. Digital People can be trained to exercise them all: they can accompany customers 24/7 from start to finish, determining what they need at each stage of the process and transferring to a human agent if applicable. In the case of sensitive or complex financial situations, their empathetic behavior can make the customers more willing to describe their case and intentions, leading to practical advice and faster problem resolution. According to Braze’s Banking on the Customer Journey: 2022 Financial Services Insights 62% of consumers surveyed are willing to share more personal information to get more relevant communications.

Digital People are also ideal vectors to collect zero and first-party data for the institution to better know and serve its customers. This data can be collected spontaneously and with the consent of the customers at the right time.

For example, upon the submission of a loan application, a digital agent can ask how the customer feels about the overall process if the instructions were clear, and what improvements he would recommend. The customers feel heard and valued, but the brand can get valuable insights on how to improve or adapt its customer experience.

Because the voice of the customers is so important for a business, Soul Machines has created a Digital CXO role-centric package that allows brands to create a Digital Person already skilled to survey customers through standardized conversations or trainable in minutes to ask a custom questionnaire. Read our blog about seamless zero-party data capture using Digital People.

Digital CXO CSAT Rating


Customers no longer base their loyalty on fees and services. Instead, they stay loyal to companies based on the experience and attention they receive. A Digital Workforce can offer customers proactive and personalized assistance and education, unburdening the human workforce to handle the more complex and critical issues.

If you need more arguments before investing in Digital People, read Part 2 of this blog and learn how they can also fulfill a role towards the financial well-being and digital inclusion of new customers.

With Soul Machines’ Digital DNA Studio, Digital People can be designed, trained, and deployed in minutes. Communication, cognitive, and business skills are readily available in the Soul Machines Skill library including customer intake, scheduling, email, customer survey, content retrieval, CRM integration, and more.

Request a demo today and discover how Digital People can revolutionize the customer experience in retail banking and financial services.