I hope you, your families, and your teams are staying safe during these unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world overnight, shifted our priorities, and forced our institutions to confront a range of new challenges. These include scams, such as false offerings about COVID-19 vaccines, cures, and tests; fake coronavirus-related charities, and scams targeting Social Security benefits.

Financial institutions now handle an onslaught of inquiries and are directing customers to adopt their digital channels as their communication entry point. As unemployment increases and many customers are unable to make their payments, financial institutions are being proactive and offering new options to help their customers.

With customers turning to their banks for assistance and support, financial institutions have a front seat to the pandemic’s vast impact on individuals and businesses. They also have processes in place to capture massive, expansive volumes of data — hidden assets — which can help them work through both immediate and continued challenges.

How Conversations Help Institutions Plan For The Future

In this crisis, financial institutions are doing their best to respond to their customers’ voices. Understanding and analyzing these conversations is important for planning ahead and anticipating future needs. The following method includes four steps that institutions can take to get ahead of the curve.

1. Listen to customers’ voices

Financial institutions may not have the capacity to respond to each inquiry immediately. They can be transparent about that, while still showing customers that they are interested in personally connecting with them, listening to them, and ultimately helping them. When a customer sends a message via digital channels, the bank can reply with a message that confirms receipt and provides a time frame for a response. Directing customers to automated responses that do not answer their specific questions runs the risk of demonstrating that they’re not listening and increasing customers’ frustration.

2. Save and use “voice of customer” data

Your customer’s voice is your most valuable asset, and when these voices are collected as written narratives, they include a wealth of important data. Regardless of when financial institutions are able to respond to their customers’ inquiries, they can protect and save their narratives in order to uncover insights and learn from them later.

3. Integrate data effectively

In order to gain value from customers’ conversations during their phone calls and from the narratives within the IVR, messages, chats, and social media comments, banks must find a way to integrate this data at scale. The PositivityTech intelligent platform was designed with proprietary data ingestion capabilities that can ingest data of any format and structure and seamlessly utilize its intelligence. By bringing this diverse data together and viewing it in a single format, banks can understand their customers’ current needs, forecast their future needs, and create strategies to meet those needs.

4. Tell a visual story with data

A picture is worth a thousand words, and simple visualizations can tell a rich story. With customer data ingested and integrated, institutions can create dashboards that answer critical business questions and help institutions monitor their customers’ needs during this time of crisis. The PositivityTech platform was designed to answer critical questions through dashboards and simple queries.

Use Your Customers’ Voices To Help With Reprioritization

As you recreate your 2020 priorities, I encourage you to approach your customers’ voices as critical intelligence and to use this method as a guide. If you would like to discuss how the conversations you are having today can help you reprioritize, please email me at marcia.tal@positivitytech.com.

Stay healthy and safe.