Over Two-thirds of Financial Services and Insurance Firms Plan to Invest More in AI, Ecosystems, and Blockchain in the Next Two Years

Facing growing customer expectations and a crowded marketplace, FSI organizations will look to emerging technologies to facilitate smoother client experiences and enable agents to focus on proactive engagement and long-term relationship growth 

  • Talkdesk ResearchTM survey of 200 CX professionals in the financial services and insurance industry finds rising expectations and new competition are raising the stakes to elevate CX.

  • The vast majority expect to increase spending on emerging technologies such as AI assistants (82%), partner ecosystems (78%), and blockchain (68%) to support firms in meeting client and policyholder needs and in new client acquisition efforts.

  • Supported by technology, 77% of CX professionals agree that by 2025, agents will be more focused on proactive, outbound communication than inbound interactions.

Talkdesk, Inc., the global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies, released its newest research report on the financial services and insurance (FSI) industry, “Emerging technologies and the rise of client experience (CX) in financial services.” The report on the FSI industry highlights that rising client and policyholder expectations for a more complete understanding of their needs parallel an expected increased investment in emerging technologies. Over two-thirds of customer experience (CX) professionals plan to increase investment in (AI) assistants (82%), partner ecosystems (78%), and blockchain (68%) over the next two years.

The report finds that an increasingly competitive market is forcing FSI incumbents to raise the stakes to deliver on the rising expectations of clients and policyholders, who want their needs proactively addressed, seamlessly resolved, and done so with high standards for privacy and data security. To support a streamlined CX among FSI firms, Talkdesk Research finds that emerging technologies are expected to play a central role while also ensuring client and policyholder data is being securely collected and managed. With these new technologies, agents will ultimately be empowered to drive relationship growth through a human-technology hybrid approach to CX.

“To survive and thrive today, financial services and insurance providers must adapt to deliver personalized and proactive service that maintains high levels of data security and integrity,” said David Gardner, vice president of research and insights, Talkdesk. “Many plan to turn to AI, partner ecosystems, and blockchain technologies to meet the rising demands of their clients and facilitate the secure flow of information to the right places for more tailored support. These investments will ultimately enable agents to better address complex support interactions and grow the business.”

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“Emerging technologies and the rise of client experience (CX) in financial services.”

Rising expectations and new competition are changing the landscape

New market entrants and lasting effects from the pandemic on consumer finances are raising the stakes for FSI brands to stay relevant by meeting heightened client expectations for CX. Relative to one year ago, of those CX professionals surveyed:

  • 89% believe clients expect their service and support needs to be resolved faster.
  • 82% believe clients increasingly expect financial services institutions to anticipate and resolve their needs proactively.
  • 80% believe that clients have less patience for interruptions in having their issues resolved.

However, consumer privacy laws and increased concerns around information security make it harder to deliver the high touch, seamless relationships clients expect. In comparison to one year ago:

  • 85% of CX professionals say clients are more concerned about the secure management of their personal and financial information.
  • 73% of CX professionals believe that consumer privacy laws will make developing personalized interactions more difficult in the future.

A hybrid approach is essential to elevate CX

For financial services institutions to stand out amid rising client expectations, CX professionals agree that harnessing the strengths of humans and technology is critical:

  • 71% say that frontline (human) staff are important to the successful execution of their CX strategy.
  • 78% say that technology and systems are important to the successful execution of their CX strategy.

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Emerging technologies will bolster CX and security

Blockchain, partner ecosystems, and AI assistants all hold significant potential in enhancing the secure collection and use of client data. Blockchain is seen to have the most potential in reaching new clients while enhancing security, ecosystems can facilitate the secure collection of client data from a broader range of sources, and AI assistants can improve the accuracy and speed of support.

Despite recognizing the potential of these technologies, FSI firms are generally in the early to intermediate stages of their implementation. Over a third of institutions are still exploring or experimenting with the potential applications of these emerging technologies: AI assistants (37%), blockchain (37%), and ecosystems (32%).

Agents will be empowered to drive relationship growth

Increasingly, the ability to meet client expectations of being understood and recognized will be a key differentiator for financial services firms, and they will increasingly be expected to contribute to long-term client growth. With technology supporting easier, smoother client and policyholder experiences, the biggest beneficiaries of such investments will be agents, who are expected to become oriented around proactive engagement and outreach, with their goals shifting to include long-term relationship growth:

  • 77% of CX professionals agree that agents will be more focused on proactive, outbound communication than inbound interactions by 2025.
  • 82% of CX professionals agree that agent KPIs need to be adjusted to better measure impact on client revenue later in the journey.