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Live chat: what is it and why it’s important in banking


Live chat technology has been one of the most important additions to the customer service tool box in recent years. Providing a chat support channel means agents can instantly communicate with customers via text – dramatically improving the speed, efficiency, and quality of the customer-agent exchange. By using a chat solution, banks and financial institutions are better able to meet the changing demands of customers. 

This is particularly true in retail banking or insurance, where live chat allows agents to offer financial guidance on the customers’ terms. As the customer and agent can have live chat conversations on the communication channel of their choice, they can make financial decisions together without being in the same location. What’s more, if the customer needs extra reassurance, they can easily move to video chat to continue the conversation face to face.

The reality is, whether through video software or chat apps, there is a big difference between live requests handled by one of your chat agents and an automated chatbot conversation. While chatbots are valuable tools, when the generic answers don’t address the issue, the customer is frustrated, dissatisfied, and without a solution.

By combining the best of technology with an empowered member of your chat team, the customer is assured a more efficient and convenient experience – that gets to the heart of their issue.

Why live chat software is a good option for financial services

A chat app or live chat software brings multiple benefits to any company in the banking and insurance industry. It uses state-of-the-art tech to enhance your customer service offering, building better relationships, reducing customer churn, and boosting your bottom line. This is achieved thanks to the range of core features that maximize your chat support services.

Prompt support

The quicker an agent understands the situation, the quicker they can provide help. The Chat Concierge functionality takes care of the basic details so your agent can hit the ground running. Once the visitor requests support, the Chat Concierge asks for key information. This allows the software to quickly prioritize the chat and assign it to the relevant agent. 

As the chats are automatically assigned to active agents or departments, the response time is further decreased and the visitor receives prompt support. What’s more, agents don’t become overwhelmed with too many conversations to handle, resulting in a better experience for customers and team members.

Save time and costs

While providing a quality customer service requires resources, the live chat feature combines the best of technology and human ingenuity to streamline the process. In fact, when one of the largest Swiss retail banks introduced Unblu’s Live Chat, they were able to lower their average call time from around 15 minutes to below 10 minutes – while also substantially increasing the first contact resolution.

This is because, with the live chat feature, agents can respond promptly to problems and provide specific advice that reduces the chances of repeat issues. Beyond providing improved support to individuals, agents can multiply their efforts by speaking to various customers at once in distinct chat windows.

Finally, with the option to leave satisfaction ratings, businesses can continue improving their customer service. By empowering both the agent and customer in this way, you’re able to provide a superior experience while saving on support time and costs.

Trusting relationships

Digital platforms allow for a level of efficiency and convenience that was simply not possible before. However, those themes when the self-help knowledge base doesn’t meet the customer’s needs can become frustrating for the customer and they lose faith in your business. 

As with the canned-response feature, the answer is to provide a best-of-both-worlds scenario, where the customer can find the answer to their problem themselves or quickly escalate the issue to access the support they need. 

By having a company representative on live chat, they can provide authentic, human support when the customer needs it. Not only will this reduce website bounce, but it builds trust – a key factor in customer loyalty and retention.

Providing visual context with co-browsing

Live chat empowers both the customer and the agent to get to the heart of any issue. However, sometimes the chat box also falls short. 

Co-browsing is a feature that enhances the real-time live chat by adding a visual component. As agents are able to see exactly what the customer sees, it’s easier for them to identify the specific problem, which can reduce the length of a support chat session by over 50%.

Secure communications

In the world of financial transactions, all data must be handled securely and meet financial regulations – including customer conversations. On-premise and cloud deployments by Unblu guarantee control of data and storage, while also meeting any security compliance requirements. Furthermore, all conversations are archived so the chat history can be referred to in the case of a claim by the customer.

Live chat common use cases in financial services

Customer onboarding

The beginning of a relationship is always the riskiest stage. Being able to provide a seamlessly integrated customer journey that is clear at every point, reduces the risk of churn and increases conversion rates. When used alongside other digital tools, chatbots and live chat allow you to efficiently onboard customers. From there, it is easier to collaborate on documents with co-browsing and safely and securely close the interaction with e-signature software.

Take financial agents for example. With live chat, they can offer a convenient, rapid service for straightforward processes like opening an individual or SME account, all the way up to onboarding trusts and complex structures. The software allows the agent to easily share a document for the customer to fill out on mobile, desktop, or in a branch.

Customer support

With an unified digital platform, it’s possible to provide a messaging experience that resembles the functionality of popular messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. These maintain conversation history for quick and compliant access, as well as fostering easy rapport between agents and customers in a secured digital environment.

The two-factor authentication login system is a good example of when this can be used. When there is an issue and customers are prevented from making an urgent bank transfer, they are often worried or stressed. 

In these cases, they need quick, personalized, and empathetic support. While a chatbot will likely add to the frustration the customer feels, having a real person agent on hand communicating via the channel of their choice makes the experience much more manageable.

Customer service experience

Customer service needs to be flexible, adjusting to what each specific customer needs – and these needs can be diverse.

For example, auto insurance providers in the US found that five different factors contributed to customer satisfaction, including employee courtesy, and expertise, and speed. 

In other words, this is what they expect from a good customer experience. They want a smooth and effortless personalized experience from start to finish when any issue arises. With easy access to an online chat window that provides collaborative tools and online meeting functions, customers gain access to a seamless chat experience on their terms.


Financial institutions invest a lot of money in attracting traffic to their online channels. Yet attracting customers isn’t the end of the story. One problem with digital banking is that a first-time visitor, when encountering a problem, may just abandon the transaction and drop off in the sales funnel. Sales teams need tools like live chat and co-browsing to be able to engage with a visitor at this moment and to guide them through transactions, converting these prospects into sales.

A typical use case in the financial industry

Customer support should be responsive and accessible. For example:

  1. A customer requires quick support regarding a credit card transaction that they’ve spotted on their account information and that wasn’t made by them. They click the chat button and are able to explain their issue.
  2. The customer will want the sympathetic and personal help that can only come from real-time support from a human rather than a chatbot interaction. Live chat comes in handy as a first interaction touchpoint.
  3. To provide contextual support, the agent decides to activate a co-browsing chat session to see exactly where the customer is and to cut down on costs. In fact, our customers report savings of over 50% when co-browsing is activated.
  4. Problem is solved quickly. The customer is happy with the experience and the agent is more efficient.

Live Chat and Unblu

With a conversational interface like Unblu that provides omnichannel chat functionality, banks and financial services can enhance and facilitate human relationships – rather than leaving people alone and lost in a digital disconnect.

Learn how to strike the right balance between digital efficiency and your sales team’s expertise by booking a Live Chat demo.