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Emerging Covid-19 Trends and Solutions for Banking & Lending

By JP Owens 04.01.20
Reading time: 4 minutes

Many financial institutions have prided themselves on being local and interacting face-to-face with their customers. Whether it’s a global issue like COVID-19 or a local emergency, financial institutions must have a reliable and scalable crisis communication plan and engagement channels in place for their customers. This goes beyond minor adjustments to marketing messages and extends to customer service teams, your website, social channels, customer-facing staff, and more. 

Emerging Covid-19 trends to address

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the global community, there are several emerging themes that banking and lending firms should be aware of:

  • Increased call volumes to service centers
    • Customers have questions and need support for existing accounts and hardships. 
    • Decreased/remote staffing considerations
  • Security concerns in a “Work From Home” environment
  • Workflow limitations
    • Many clients are community focused and rely on face-to-face interactions to complete business.
  • Customer Application Impacts
    • New SBA legislation in the CARES Act
    • Many Clients do not have an online intake mechanism for applications
  • Customer communication limitations
    • Centralized ability to communicate across segments and lines of business

Solutions for emerging Covid-19 trends

As Covid-19 continues to reveal new and unprecedented situations for individuals and enterprises alike, it’s important to respond with thoughtful, yet tactical solutions. For banking and lending firms, this means temporarily abandoning traditional methods of business in favor of more digital-first opportunities. Silverline’s customer Communities offering enables clients seeking to immediately implement solutions to support high volumes of servicing requests from multiple channels, hardship applications, and new loan applications. 

Deploy a customer community 

One way to deflect incoming customer inquiries is to give them a place to go to get answers and submit questions and service requests. It takes time to build a knowledge base that supports the entirety of your customer servicing needs. However, standing up a community with basic FAQs and high propensity questions will help your customers get the answers they need without long phone wait times. 

Simulated screen imges on desktop and mobile for implemented Community functionality in action

Adding a support request intake page that is tied to your knowledge base can help filter incoming requests against questions that are already answered in your knowledge base, and route those requests that are not answered in your knowledge base to the right service associate.

If you have an existing support page, one thing you can do quickly and efficiently is deploy Salesforce Web-to-Case to ensure that customers who are not able to get through by phone have a way to submit service requests that will be tracked in your Salesforce org.

Establish a digital application

With new legislation likely to pass to provide relief to businesses, you need a reliable channel to support online applications for new products and hardship requests that can securely capture the necessary data points, collect required documentation, and generate documents with e-signature capabilities. Silverline has developed a streamlined approach to launch a Salesforce Community or Lightning External Application to collect this information and process workflows within Salesforce. 

Streamline scheduling

One approach financial institutions have taken is to close to walk-in traffic but continue to offer in-person service for more complex transactions, such as new policy intakes, loan closings, and account performance reviews. Although there are a number of ways to shift those interactions to be more virtual and encourage social distancing, for interactions that need to be kept in-person, you can streamline scheduling those appointments by leveraging an online scheduling tool. Lightning Scheduling Manager for Financial Services Cloud allows users to choose from available time slots to schedule appointments from their mobile devices or desktop computers.

Add a channel with chat

Live chat is a website-based feature that lets you communicate with customers in real time. It offers many of the advantages of phone-based support, such as being able to facilitate more complex requests with the advantage of being a more asynchronous communication channel that allows your agents to help more than one customer at a time. Additionally, research shows customers are more satisfied with chat interactions than other agent-supported methods. According to a report by Econsultancy, 73 percent of those who have used live chat said they were “pretty happy” with the experience. In contrast, 61 percent who reached out to companies via email said they were satisfied, and only 44 percent of phone users were satisfied.

Leverage chatbots to mitigate volume

Employing a chatbot can help in several ways. First, similar to a knowledge base, your chatbot will encourage call deflection by handling many of your most common customer queries so that your service associates don’t have to field those calls. Additionally, an AI-powered bot provides your customers with a more conversational interaction than your knowledge base, which tends to encourage usage. Finally, if a customer ventures into territory that the chatbot is not able to answer, the interaction can be shifted efficiently to your live chat channel where an associate can complete the interaction.

Internal workflow solutions

Salesforce tools can be used for internal collaboration and workflow to support a remote or work-from-home (WFH) team. Here are a few examples of tools you can implement with Salesforce to help support digital collaboration and efficiency for banks and credit unions:

  • Internal ticketing systems
    • Bug fixes, feature requests, Helpdesk tickets
  • Marketing requests workflow
    • Internal associate workflow to support campaigns, events, sponsorships, logo requests, etc.
    • Marketing asset approval process with compliance partners to track campaign content and audiences
  • Customer feedback
    • Cases, compliments, complaints
    • Surveys (NPS and CSAT)
  • Backlog or project management tools
    • Internal feature requests that convert to user stories, epics, sprints, and projects for internal and/or external teams to deliver product enhancements

Security and compliance health check 

With a significant increase in WFH employees, financial institutions are facing new security challenges. We recommend completing an Org health check and implementing Shield or reviewing your Shield implementation to ensure you are fully leveraging the tools. Shield goes beyond basic security by providing Platform Encryption, Event Monitoring and Field Audit Trail. You can leverage this suite of tools to improve your monitoring capabilities and data retention policies for detailed performance and usage data. You also have the power to perform investigations into past and present user activities in your Org.

How Silverline can help

There is no better time to evaluate your current processes and find ways to streamline interactions that are customer and associate facing to reduce friction and improve efficiency. We are working with clients today to implement solutions like these leveraging Salesforce with Financial Services Cloud and Service Cloud in order to respond to the immediate needs of the Coronavirus pandemic. Implementing these tools now will help you provide your customers with the support they need while also providing your employees with tools to work in a safe and productive environment.

Contact us to learn more information about Silverline’s Customer Communities for Seamless Customer Engagement offering.

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