Although AI and automation boost efficiency, providing the “human touch” augmented by these powerful tools can create an exceptional customer engagement process.
As the technology behind Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to advance, it is likely that more businesses will adopt it to improve their operations and better serve their customers. And why not? The benefits are many-fold. It is already being used across a variety of industries to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and enhance the customer experience. In the lending sector, it’s proven to be a cost-effective, efficient, and accurate way to handle many tasks, such as processing applications, verifying information, and making credit decisions. But when it comes to satisfying customers and meeting their comfort levels—especially when sensitive and complex financial matters are involved—there is great value in having live human assistance available for delivering customer service.
This can feel like a balancing act. A growing base of consumers are accustomed to digital self-service and have made it their preference, in addition to those who still prefer human interaction to answer questions and resolve issues for. It’s crucial to provide seamless and efficient customer service experiences for all. Automotive dealers and lenders can achieve this by combining the strengths of both human and automated tools to give customers the option of choosing the route they are most attuned to.
AI-powered self-service features can be intuitive, convenient, and accessible for those customers who are entirely accustomed to self-service, particularly borrowers who were weaned in the digital age. Yet in an industry with as many complicated variables as loan processing, even the savviest of customers can feel like laymen and seek additional guidance.
In addition, there’s an entire sector of borrowers who still prefer human interaction over self-service and pure automation. When consumers can ask questions, get clarification, and feel heard and understood, they are more likely to continue their relationship even after a loan is satisfied. Access to professional agents who are experts in lending and can confidently and accurately deliver support will enhance customer experiences for all of these applicants. It’s what we call “human-assisted” experiences, incorporating personal interaction as needed, yet still utilizing best-in-class self-service capabilities and AI-powered tools.
Managing and Mitigating Customer Responses
Another way AI can be used is for analyzing customer sentiment during an interaction. This information can be used to improve training and provide a more sympathetic and appropriate response to customer issues, and to diffuse potentially adversarial interactions. The connection made when a knowledgeable and empathetic customer service rep offers personalized guidance and support translates to brand loyalty, customer recommendations, and repeat business.
The right combination of AI and highly-trained human support can satisfy a range of customer support preferences through a combination of digital and personal interactions in automotive lending. Without a human component, exchanges with automated systems can easily become overwhelming for applicants—who might decide to move on to another, more balanced and responsive provider. By incorporating the best of both technology and human interaction, dealers can provide an effective mix of convenience, efficiency, and the personalized assistance that customers often demand, leading to mutually beneficial relationships that generate rewards over the long term. It is a formula for success—today and tomorrow.