New digital solutions launched and more in the pipeline
A key to achieve our goal of being Digital by Default is our continued development of omni-channel strategies. Here, we are learning from the retail industry which has applied omni so well that it has become an intrinsic part of the shopping experience, in store and online. It’s so common in everyday transactions that our customers take it for granted and they expect us to offer the same type of solutions. In order to not disengage customers, we need to offer them the ability to complete their transaction in their channel of choice. Omni will therefore join our strategy seamlessly with our communication channels.
We closely monitor the emergence of new technologies. SMS is still an essential part of our operational strategy to ensure we can deliver a low cost, high quality channel experience for our customers, replacing parts of our normal customer contact centre interaction. However, we see that SMS will start to be aged out and replaced by Rich Communication Services (RCS), Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, etc. In-line messaging will change how call-to-actions for websites are achieved. To meet this demand for new communication channels we have developed and launched new messaging solutions through WhatsApp for business and RCS during the fourth quarter of 2019 and will follow the adaption of the solutions closely.
Online automation via chat-bots is a useful tool to decrease costs, but they need to serve customers meaningfully for information requests or customer service. We are aiming at providing automated Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven chat-bots behind webchat, SMS and e-mail. Beyond an ability to answer numerous questions from our customers, we are pursuing AI usage in a virtual agent strategy where our chatbots can identify a customer, give them information on their case and status, and propose individual payment solutions. As a start we have launched our chat-bot in the UK during the fourth quarter 2019, and we will continue to evolve and roll out this technology in our other markets in 2020 and onwards.
Investments now and onwards
During 2019, Hoist Finance invested in and built a team that provides the resource capacity and skills to both deliver the technology and embed this operationally to achieve our operational and financial goals. We recruited new competence and talents with expertise in the digital area including digital marketing, digital customer experience and omni-channel. Furthermore, we have been able to offer new opportunities to our existing employees, such as the first internal recruitment of Artificial Intelligence trainers. This provides us with the organisational platform to drive and deliver on our strategy to become digital leader in our industry.