Digital transformation tears through the financial services industry like a whirlwind. It is often so dizzying that it can seem like the progress of technology has a mind of its own. It can be forgotten that all of the disruption and change exists for one reason — to better service customers demanding digital and mobile engagement on their terms. Revolutionizing the way Banks or Credit Unions engage with customers and members is about making it easy for them to stay loyal. Nothing pushes people away from a company faster than receiving a lower level of service than what they have come to expect.

One of the ways financial institutions do that is through the incorporation of chatbots and text-based conversations with their customers. Studies are increasingly showing that having someone to talk to, even if the “someone” is a bot, will increase customer satisfaction.

Chatbots can address immediate customer issues like loan refinancing and applications, addressing spending habits, working as a financial coach, and warning about incoming fees and bank balances. These are all issues that anyone with a banking account runs into at some point in their time. Simple things, such as receiving immediate responses to questions that they want answered is part of feeling like a fulfilled customer.

Similarly, chatbots and conversational texting can ease the “pain” of hard truths . For instance, after receiving credit scores, finances, and loan application results. A chatbot can feel personal and private, sparing the person from being embarrassed. Humans staff, though wonderful at what they do, are also not perfect when it comes to letting customers know about bad news. Whereas, a mobile follow-up response can be personalized and automated using messaging that is meticulously crafted for such events.

Finally, part of designing a conversational strategy is having a smooth way to transition from chatbot messaging to a human agent. When a customer reaches the end of the chatbots abilities, they shouldn’t have to find themselves starting over. The chatbot should offer to connect to a person, or even better, the text conversation the Member has been having with the bot should become a conversation with a human.

The world of banking is rapidly moving to one of instant, personalized, remote service. Financial institutions will need to discover how they will meet this challenge. A well thought out strategy and execution will determine whether they emerge from this change as a winner or a loser.