Zendesk CX Trends: Advancing Channels of Customer Support in Financial Services

With Eric Jorgensen, VP EMEA for Zendesk

Zendesk CX Trends: Advancing Channels of Customer Support in Financial Services

With Eric Jorgensen, VP EMEA for Zendesk

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Every year, award-winning customer service software company Zendesk shares an essential look into customer experience (CX) trends across a range of industries. The Zendesk CX Trends 2024 Report highlights the top 10 trends that are most important to creating a positive CX. 

As part of the report, Zendesk asked 500 CX financial services leaders from 20 countries about which trends would enable them to strengthen customer trust. In this MoneyNext series, Eric Jorgensen, Vice President of Enterprise Sales EMEA at Zendesk, shares insights into these trends and how they are changing CX within financial services. 

The transformative power of AI is at the heart of this year’s trends, with the capacity to improve all aspects of the customer journey, and in turn, enhance CX. 

The financial services industry has a history of reliance on human interaction for customer support, but this legacy shouldn’t stand in the way of innovation: the landscape is rapidly evolving. While human interaction will always be a crucial aspect of building trust and fostering positive CX, embracing AI offers a powerful opportunity to elevate traditional channels of communication. 

Voice: a Transition to Handle Complex Issues

Despite a digital-first approach quickly becoming the expectation within customer service, voice continues to be a critical channel for customers, especially when dealing with complicated queries. 

I think human interaction will always be a key part of positive CX interactions,” stresses Eric. “I think what we see with our report, and just with our industry trends in general, is the number of interactions everyone is having with their financial services providers is increasing. So the question is not: ‘Am I going to replace human interactions with digital interactions?’ The question is: ‘Can digital interactions help me deal with the volume?’.”

In transitioning to a more digital approach, less complex issues can be dealt with in this manner, while more personalised and challenging issues still require a human agent. 

“We don’t expect to see human agents being completely replaced, what we actually expect to see is this constant growth in interactions and probably a levelling off of the growth of agents because the digital agents will help deal with the high volume, low complexity requests we’ve got,” reveals Eric. “There are definitely times where I still want to speak to an individual.”


Eric highlights remortgaging a home as an example of something that might require a human touch, something he recently did himself. 


“I could do all of this pretty much online with my bank, so that was great, but I still went to the mortgage advisor I dealt with previously. Before I click this button, I really just want to make sure that I am clicking the right button,” explains Eric. “I still wanted, in that sort of scenario, to be interacting with someone that I’d had a connection with previously, because I’m not doing this all the time thankfully, but when I do it, I want to have that reassurance of dealing with a human.” 


As digital agents take on more simple requests, they can also assist human agents in dealing with more complicated queries, creating a seamless CX. 


“We’re going to see AI assistants to human agents, helping them understand that, you know, Eric came in, the bot went through this journey, the bot told him to go and do this, he’s done that, it’s not worked,” offers Eric. “He’s come back to us, he’s called in, and he doesn’t want to explain from the very beginning what happened.”


“We’ve always had it where you call in and they say: ‘Can I put you on hold whilst I read through the notes?’ It’s a little bit irritating for the consumer, and not the most productive use of time for the agent as well,” adds Eric. “The ability to condense that, put the very key information in front of the agent, just gives that perception of quality but also just saves everyone time. So we think that AI is also going to empower those traditional channels of communication, not replace them completely.”

Seamless Transitions: Building Trust Through Continuity

Imagine a scenario where you initiate a conversation with a chatbot about a recurring payment issue. The chatbot gathers the necessary information and directs you to the appropriate online resources for troubleshooting. However, if the problem persists, you quickly swap to a live agent who has complete access to the chatbot interaction history. This seamless transition is essential if the blend of digital and human agents is used during the CX, or any time varied channels of communication are used. 

If I’ve WhatsApped you on the train, I got to the office and sent you an email, and I called you driving home in my car, I shouldn’t have to start each of those interactions as if it’s the very first time I’ve spoken to you,” highlights Eric. “That handoff between digital to human and back again, I think is an absolutely key element to ensuring the success of what we’re seeing.”

By providing context and continuity, AI empowers agents to deliver exceptional service. Customers feel valued, knowing their past interactions are acknowledged, and trust is strengthened.

Empowering Human Agents

The ever-growing complexity of financial products and regulations can overwhelm even the most seasoned agents. Internally, AI can act as a powerful knowledge management and training tool for financial services institutions, providing real-time access to relevant data and resources within the agent’s workflow.

“I think now, with the multitude of channels that we expect agents to deal with and the multiple systems and the complexity of the systems and complexity of the data, actually, AI and these sorts of roles will help reduce the amount of training time required by providing them with new sets of data, new sets of information, but hopefully in a format and a process that they’re used to,” enthuses Eric.

If an agent is assisting a customer with a complex investment query, AI can instantly surface relevant product information, regulatory guidelines, and even personalised recommendations based on the customer’s profile. This empowers agents to deliver faster, more accurate, and exceptional service, while reducing training burdens.

“It just becomes something that’s helping them, and that help means you don’t have to figure out how to log into that other system to go and get the data,” explains Eric. “The data just comes into your screen, comes into your interaction as you’re going through it with the end customer.”

The future of CX in financial services lies in a harmonious collaboration between AI and human expertise. AI will streamline routine interactions, empower agents, and ensure a more efficient and positive CX, while voice remains a valuable channel of customer support. 

As 70% of CX leaders rethink their entire customer journey, the Zendesk CX Trends 2024 Report explores the ten trends that are transforming CX, and how they will strengthen customer trust and relationships within financial services. Gain essential insights and download the full report now: Zendesk CX Trends 2024

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