How to Fail with a Banking Chatbot

May 15, 2017

Banking chatbots are the latest innovation in banking. Because of their ability to streamline, automate, and improve customer service, many banks are rushing to develop and launch their own banking chatbots.

(Not sure what a chatbot is? See this infographic for a handy visual guide.)

We’re confident that banking chatbots are the way of the future, but not every bank will take the correct approach to building one. While chatbot technology is powerful and promising, there are many ways to fail with it.

Here are 7 ways to build a banking chatbot that’s guaranteed to fail.

1. Send too many updates

A successful banking chatbot encourages users to regularly engage with their money. But there can be too much of a good thing. For example, do your customers really need a separate notification every time a transaction posts to their account?

Send too many updates, and users will quickly become annoyed or stop using your bot entirely.

2. Send poorly timed messages

Just as important as not sending too many updates is sending messages at the right time. Updates should be convenient to your customer’s schedule and provide useful information or advice at just the right moment, driving real value for them and your business.

When building your bank’s chatbot, you need to find out when your customers want updates about their money. (Is 8:00 AM a good time to send an overdraft alert? Or might you be disturbing them?)

No matter how helpful your updates, if you send them at the wrong time, your bot won’t be successful. You’ll only succeed in irritating and alienating your customers.

3. Use complicated jargon

Banking chatbots are powerful because they give customers need-to-know money updates through familiar conversation. The last thing you want to do is make your chatbot hard to understand.

Your banking chatbot’s dialogue should be clear and simple. If your chatbot is too verbose or uses complicated jargon, it will confuse your customers and turn them off to chatting with it.

Banking AI Strategy Checklist

4. Be boring

Nobody likes to talk to a boring person. The same is true for a chatbot. For your customers to use and enjoy your banking chatbot, it needs to have a compelling personality and the ability to hold an interesting conversation.

If your chatbot isn’t any fun to engage with, your customers won’t want to talk to it. In short, it will fail.

5. Say “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

The beauty of banking chatbots is that they give customers money updates in everyday conversation instead of an app menu or IVR system. The response, “I don’t understand” breaks the illusion of talking to a real person and diminishes your customers’ confidence in the bot’s ability to understand and help them.

If your bot is easily confused by requests, the experience of using it will be frustrating and disappointing.

6. Send inaccurate money updates

Banking chatbots are designed to take the guesswork out of money management, so it’s crucial that yours be consistently accurate. If your bot reports incorrect account balances and transactions, it’s completely useless to your customer, and they’ll most likely stop using it.

Building a bot that sends inaccurate money updates is a sure way to fail.

7. Restrict account connection to only your bank

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you support your customers’ financial goals, that means letting them connect ALL their accounts — even those outside your own firm — to your chatbot.

Failing to support full account aggregation hurts your customers. And the less helpful the bot is for simplifying your customers’ finances, the less likely it is they’ll use it.

Conclusion

To build a successful banking chatbot, you first have to know how to fail with one. Knowing what does and doesn’t work is the key to developing a chatbot that helps your customers and supports your business goals.

Ultimately, the goal of any chatbot, for banking or otherwise, is to simplify life for your customers. Avoid the above mistakes to build a truly useful banking chatbot that improves your relationship with your customers.

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Building your first banking chatbot? Let us help.