Put an End to Digital Attrition!

October 19, 2017

7 out of 10 financial services customers start their journeys on digital, but then jump off to traditional (and expensive) call center interactions. What’s behind this digital attrition, and what can we do to rectify it?


According to a recent study, 70% of customers who contact financial services institutions via traditional channels begin with an online search.

What’s wrong with this picture?

These are people with an active and convenient Internet connection, who know technology well enough to use it. So why are they flooding cost-intensive call centers, when they could be using cost-effective DIY digital channels?

What’s Behind Digital Attrition?

In closely examining the results of this survey, we’ve concluded that there are three primary reasons that such a large percentage of customers opt out of digital interaction in favor of old-fashioned call centers.

  1. A force of habit: For many customers, the website is simply a digital alternative to Yellow Pages. Their intention, and first instinct, is to call the bank - so the bank’s website is where they go to looks up the relevant phone number.
  2. Today’s digital channels are passive: Websites and apps leave the initiative in the hands of the customer. There are hotspots, links, enticing copy and sexy calls to action – but in the end, it’s up to the user to decide whether she or he clicks the button.
  3. Customer service experience is siloed: Users know that interactions tend to be completely siloed. They understand that if they do start on digital, and get stuck, they’re going to have to start the whole journey over when they reach the call center. So why bother starting?

click the image for an inforgraphic summary of the survey findings

Drawing Them (and Keeping them) in the Digital Fold

All customer-facing organizations, and especially those in the financial services sector, have a clear interest in moving customer interactions to self-service digital channels. From the lower costs of digital versus human interactions, to the overall service and brand benefits of less waiting and smoother journeys – organizations are ready to see ROI on their investments in digital customer service.

The challenge, to put it simply, is not only how to draw customers into digital channels, but also how to funnel them back if they stray, and how to keep them there once they’re in.

To draw customers into digital, service professionals should consider automating the “Contact Us” section on the company website. Smart engagement tools enable customers to start service calls directly from the website via a “Call Now!” button. Then, instead of diverting customers directly to a phone number, users receive carefully-crafted pop-up menus that reflect the most common use cases. These menus can be built using the same logic as IVR menus, and offer digital service neophytes a limited amount of easy-to-understand options that gently grow their confidence in using digital channels.

Another way is to utilize intelligent Service Bots, which offer proactive interactions on websites and social handles. These can initiate customer engagement, offering them services or, based on learning algorithms and AI, anticipating what they’re looking for and offering it to them. Well-implemented Service Bots are a great way to engage and keep customers within the digital domain.

But what about the 30% who never even went to the website? And how do we chip away at digital attrition, drawing customers who left digital channels back into the digital fold?

Visual IVR offers an answer. With advanced Visual IVR customers enjoy simple, intuitive, and completely digital resolution of issues. V-IVR draws customers back into the digital service realm no matter why they left it.

V-IVR displays a visual interface that extends from the traditional IVR menu into an interactive digital journey that complements every stage of the customer call. The more advanced solutions are app-free, and require no installation delays or overhead. When more complex issues make person-to-person interaction unavoidable, agent-caller interactions can start at an advanced level, allowing agents to view the entire journey the customer went through and resolve issues quickly. Moreover, V-IVR solutions offer agents a variety of tools to collaboratively complete complex processes such as filling out forms and signing them in real-time, uploading images, and more.

The Bottom Line

Bringing the 70% back into the digital fold – where they actually want to be, and certainly where your organization wants them – is possible. By delivering true value such as saving time or enhancing user experience, organizations can draw customers to use digital self-service channels. Adopting tools specially designed to funnel users into cost-effective digital service channels, will enable organizations to recoup investment in digital service infrastructure, lower service overhead, enhance their brand, and positively impact the bottom line.