How Financial Institutions Will Reduce Costs With VideoBots

Videobot used in Financial Institution.
Len Smofsky   Thu February 09, 2017

A Chatbot That Uses Video

Is decreasing marketing costs part of your 2017 communication strategy? If you could effectively decrease costs without cutting what you do, increase the amount of communications sent to your customers, and amplify your results – would that interest you? It’s powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence. Think of Siri on a website.

So it’s not human, but it can seem like a person is on the other end. And the technology is evolving and improving quickly.

Chatbots are most frequently deployed in the customer service area, with the idea of reducing costs.

In financial services, they can help customers find the right products and services, and deal with frequently asked questions.

But here’s the thing… the jury’s still out on customers accepting them. Again, think of Siri.

So back to the title of this blog – what is a VideoBot, and why do you want one?

Essentially a VideoBot can turn the chatbot experience into, well… a video experience. Why? Because video has the engagement factor. Because video is such powerful learning medium. And to top it off, video can now be personalized.

So what does that look like in financial services?

Here’s a scenario. A customer is on a bank’s website. She is looking for the phone number to contact the bank, and inquire about mortgage payment options. She can A) call customer service and hope for someone knowledgeable B) navigate her way around the website looking for the specific mortgage payment options she’s interested in C) A VideoBot asks “How can I help you today?”

If she chooses the VideoBot, she tells it what she’s looking for. The VideoBot quickly gives her the list of mortgage payment options, asking her to check off the ones that she’d like to know more about. She checks off bi-weekly and accelerated bi-weekly. Up to this point, chatbot and videobot experience is similar.

But here’s where they diverge; at this point the customer sees a short video explaining both options, and the advantages of each. She is offered to enter a few numbers to calculate how much her payments will be, and how it will shorten the number of years to clear her mortgage. She sees all this in a personalized video with animated graphs representing the impact. If she’s already a client and logged-in she doesn’t even have to enter any numbers to get this.

The VideoBot quickly gives her the list of mortgage payment options

The customer is then asked if she is satisfied with those options, would like more details, or to look at other options. Where possible, transactions can be completed by the VideoBot online.

That said, there are some very simple steps any company can take to get started in this direction. When we think of the base tools required, what will be needed are;

  • Great Video FAQs covering your major products and pain points. These are the building blocks of reducing call centre costs, even in standard video format. If you don’t have these already, or if you do and they’re weak, start here! Build them right and they become the building blocks of a VideoBot. One more thing - make sure they have visibility right beside your contact information pages so customers about to contact your call centre see them!
  • A few simple, interactive questions can link these FAQs into a basic VideoBot experience. Voila!

From there your VideoBot can evolve over time to cover more topics, and offer more options and depth of information. But even in basic form, if well executed, it should yield solid results and data on customer satisfaction and cost reduction.

Previous installment: Note to My Financial Advisor

About the author: Len Smofsky

Len has over 25 years of experience in visual communications and strategy. Over the last decade his focus has been primarily in the digital area. 

Specializing in corporate communications, Len founded one of Canada's most successful production companies. His company created leading edge video production, TV commercials, digital strategy and media. 

In 2006, Len and Larry formed a partnership to create a new BlueRush with the intent of creating personalized customer experiences using a unique blend of digital media and deep technology capabilities. BlueRush works with clients in the financial services, healthcare and packaged goods industries leveraging current digital technologies and services, creating great user experiences at all points in the customer journey.


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