Do You Trust AI for Member Service at Your Credit Union?

When I thought my old 4×4 finally kicked the bucket last month, I started looking at new cars. But car salespeople have a reputation for being pushy and not entirely trustworthy. So, I browsed dealer inventories online, and whenever I wanted more info, I asked their chatbot.

I loved it! It was surprisingly human. And I got to engage on my own terms without any high-pressure sales tactics. Only when I was considering a test drive did I engage with an actual person.

And that’s because the site chatbot got my contact info and helped me schedule a visit.

Credit unions should take note.

Who Cares About AI Chatbots for Credit Unions?

I didn’t buy a new car. My insurance company handled the repairs. But it got me thinking about my shopping experience—and how AI improved it. This is an opportunity for credit unions.

The Credit Union Times already wrote about the growth potential of chatbots. But the piece covered non-AI chatbots as well. And, although they’re great for limited applications, credit unions provide so many services that setting up a non-AI chatbot could take forever. AI is more “plug and play.”

Verloop had a much more in-depth look at the AI part of the equation. But that’s probably because they provide AI customer support for industries across the globe—including credit unions. CU 2.0 and Verloop have joined forces for webinars and other content before, so we trust their expertise.

Verloop describe themselves as a “team of evolutionary enthusiasts [who] share a single vision: enable businesses to deliver delightful support experiences to their customers, across channels.”

In short: They want to make things easy. For everyone. Members and support representatives alike. Here’s how:

 

Should You Automate Member Service?

Verloop found five statistics that suggest AI chatbots might soon be a default service channel:

  1. 73% of consumers prefer self-service options. Chatbots provide a wealth of tools to let members help themselves.
  2. 71% of consumers want consistency across channels. What better way to ensure consistency than with automation?
  3. 60% of consumers don’t like to wait more than a minute for the first response. Most chatbots respond in much less time.
  4. 59% of consumers prefer personalization over response speed. Credit unions have enough personal data to offer individualized AI experiences.
  5. 33% of consumers don’t like repeating information they’ve already given. Humans are forgetful. Computers put elephants to shame.

The takeaway is this: People like speed, convenience, and personalization. And they don’t want to interact with others. If they did, we’d all be calling each other instead of texting. You know it’s true.

Verloop also listed a handful of use cases for AI. Each solves a common pain point for credit unions:

  1. Automate FAQs and self-service
  2. Offer 24/7 availability
  3. Support members at scale, accurately and securely
  4. Deliver personalized experiences (yes, really)
  5. Analyze sentiment and proactively address issues
  6. Perform KYC and document verification

Of course, AI chatbots don’t solve everything. Not yet. The Credit Union Times article did mention that most people prefer chatbots… until the requests got complex. The chatbots can give your call centers and service reps a break, but when it’s time to discuss a mortgage refinance, a human voice is still key.

For a much more thorough look at the future (and present!) of chatbots, I recommend reading Verloop’s full article. Grab a coffee. It’s thorough: You can read the full text here.

 

Final Thoughts

AI chatbots for credit unions aren’t going to replace human representatives. At least, not entirely. But they’ll free up a lot of resources by helping members reset their own passwords at any time of night.

And Verloop didn’t mention it, but chatbots are great for member acquisition. I nearly bought a truck because the automated support script asked for my contact info.

AI is the future, and credit unions need to get started yesterday. Chatbots are a really easy first step.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about credit unions and AI, you must start with the first book on this list!