New Study Finds Voice Conversations Play Critical Role in Consumer Decisions About Financial Products

November 15, 2016

More than half of survey respondents are more likely to take out a loan from a financial institution that has provided a positive phone experience

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., November 15, 2016 – Voice conversations play a critical role in consumer decisions about financial products according to the State of the Consumer Banking Experience published today by Invoca, the call intelligence company. Invoca conducted a survey of more than 1,200 U.S. adults who have taken out a loan greater than $15,000 in the last three years to understand how consumers’ interactions with a financial institutions impact their banking decisions.

While financial institutions will spend more than $8 billion on digital advertising in 2016, the survey found that customers rely heavily on offline interactions when making important financial decisions. When evaluating a loan, respondents ranked in-person meetings and phone calls as their preferred modes of communication with financial institutions; more than a quarter made at least four phone calls to financial institutions before selecting one for their loan. And the bigger the loan the more likely potential customers are to call: 93 percent of people who took out loans of $100,000 or more made at least one call to the financial institution they ultimately chose for their loan.

Consumers expect their experiences with their bank to be connected, however, no matter how they choose to interact: 75 percent of respondents said they expect a seamless experience when switching between channels such as SMS, phone calls, email and online chat. Further, they expect offline conversations to be integrated back into digital touch points: 45 percent of respondents said seeing digital ads that conflicted with a conversation they had on the phone negatively impacted their decision to take a loan from that institution.

“Financial marketers are grappling with a host of challenges that impact the customer experience like internal silos, lack of unified data, poor attribution, and incomplete martech stacks,” said Kyle Christensen, SVP marketing at Invoca. “This study brings to light what’s at stake for financial institutions that fail to keep up with the demands of today’s mobile consumer. While it can seem like a massive undertaking, those that begin to unify the customer experience across channels will have a considerable advantage in 2017 and beyond.”

“Analyzing loan options online is always a great way to comparison shop, but sometimes consumers just want to be able to speak to a loan officer now,” said John Challis, senior director of performance marketing at LendingTree. “When a consumer is ready to pick up the phone, they are typically further down the funnel and close to transacting with someone on our vast network of lenders. By working with Invoca, we’ve been able to easily drive more of these high-value calls to our lender network, and tie the ROI back to our marketing investment.”

Key Findings Include:

Omnichannel is the New Normal
Consumers use multiple screens and channels to interact with financial institutions, including in-person visits, calls, apps, chatbots, social media, and more. They aren’t thinking about these as separate conversations, however: 75 percent of consumers say that it’s important or extremely important to be able to easily switch between channels while interacting with their bank.

When communicating with their bank during an average month:

  • 76 percent of respondents use at least two different channels
  • 37 percent of respondents use three or more channels

For complicated decisions, offline interactions reign:

  • 64 percent of respondents said in-person or phone calls were their primary modes of contact when evaluating an institution for a loan
  • 72 percent of people evaluating a loan made at least two phone calls to financial institution during the vetting process; 26 percent made four or more calls

Phone Call Experience Can Make or Break a Decision
More than half of respondents said they were more likely to take out a loan from an institution they spoke with on the phone during the loan process; this increased to nearly three-fourths of consumers who took out a loan of $100K or more.

When evaluating a loan, after a negative call experience:

  • 56 percent would be likely to choose another financial institution
  • 26 percent would write a negative review online

When evaluating a loan, after a positive call experience:

  • 57 percent would be likely to choose that institution for their loan
  • 51 percent would refer someone to that same lender

Know your customer

  • 80 percent of loan shoppers said a call answered by a representative who immediately knew their account history and relationship had a positive influence on their decision
  • 56 percent said having to restate information each time they were transferred to a representative had a negative impact on their decision

The Future of Omnichannel Banking Includes Conversation

As banking becomes more digital, it’s clear that human interaction will still play a large role in financial services. For instance, while 80 percent of people use their bank’s app for checking balances or transferring money, consumers prefer to use offline interactions for more complex or sensitive issues.

For sensitive information, people want to talk to a person, not a bot

  • 49 percent of bank customers said they would be uncomfortable discussing fraudulent banking charges with a chatbot
  • 81 percent of respondents said they are comfortable talking over the phone about loan options, compared to only 43 percent who would be comfortable talking to a bot about loan options
  • Only 17 percent of bank customers said they would use a chatbot assistant if their bank offered it

A report detailing the findings of the survey is available online at: https://blog.invoca.com/study-finds-conversations-play-critical-role-consumers-financial-decisions/

About Invoca
Invoca helps the modern marketer optimize for the most important step in the customer journey: the phone call. With Invoca’s Voice Marketing Cloud, marketers can get granular campaign attribution to understand why customers are calling, gain real-time intelligence about who’s calling and analyze what’s being said in conversations. Marketers can put this data to work directly in the Voice Marketing Cloud by automating the ideal customer experience before, during and after each call. With an ecosystem of over 30 technology partners, marketers can inject call intelligence into their existing technology stack, giving them the ability to orchestrate a true omnichannel customer journey. Invoca is backed by Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Accel Partners, Upfront Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, and Stepstone. For more information, please visit www.invoca.com.

Contact:
Elise Chambers
invoca@bateman-group.com
(415) 636-5408

Contact

Andrea Mueller

Invoca
(408) 218-4754
amueller@invoca.com