Before the March 2021 got over, a million and a half small and medium sized businesses (SMB) had taken loans through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) which summed to an approximate of £46 million. This meant that 29 accredited BBLS lenders had thousands of new clients to provide service for with a sizable debt to gather. Even after the lockdown lifts, the crisis from the pandemic has been calculated to result in lasting damage to the UK economy. With the SMB clients having themselves find it situations which are highly unpredictable and stressful circumstances, lender servicing BBLS might face unique challenges like facing a larger number of anxious customers pacified by uncertain times. To make sure that the healthy customer’s relationships, financial providers should focus on adequate addressing borrowers’ needs and this where technology plays the part. As sensitive conversations tend to consume more time, lenders can opt for tech solutions like Robotics and AI , as well as the integrating digital channels to over come these difficulties. The new conversational AI can now process and deliver the human language more naturally than before like following up on queries and executing transactions, which was before needed to be handled by an operator. By the deployment of AI, lenders can automate thee routine transaction contacts which frees up staff to focus on the more efficient and sensitive matter where the human involvement is required.
With the unique BBLS customers to provide service, there will be automatically an increased pressure on the resources too. Recruiting and training additional staff might not be the effective solution for the situation or a cost effective option. Therefore, the robotics process automation here plays a crucial role by handling the repetitive time consuming tasks. The leveraged attendance of automation techs helps the organizations gain more time by lessening their burden on their operators. Like the automation created to clean and simplify, user centric interfaces that pull in data from a sea of disparate applications helps the agents process the transactions and the customer enquiries much quicker as the bots deal with the complex logging in and navigation of various applications and blocks it in the backend. This method improves customer service as well as helping in gaining the job satisfaction. With fewer screen to manage, onboarding and training time is also reduced drastically.
To deliver a state of the art services, lenders need to reflect back on SMB’s needs through the custom made communications. Application of the AI and advanced analytics to customer data can support the efforts throughout. Like analyzing age, location and service intersection patterns enable institutions to identify and deploy the tailored communication across channels. Machine learning powered forecast algorithms can be also used to predict the flows and clogs in the customer call and chat volumes, this helps the lenders to forecast the needs appropriately. Digital channels also offer a less complicated contact approach instead of the traditional voice calls. It provides channels like web portals, mobile applications, emails and text messages, where in lenders can provide customers with the information they need and at the exact time and their preferred channels. This reduces the burden on the employees and reduces the call volumes.
With the UK coming up from the lockdown, all we can do is hope that the economic outlook is about to be improved for the SMB community and when it comes to BBLS repayments, these clients will anyway need empathy and guidance from their investors as they go through the return to normality. The use of tech can erase the pressure from the customer services, freeing up and driving engagement with the agents, which will continue satisfying the customers and increase the potential.