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The Top Four Business Communications Trends for Financial Organizations

For financial service providers, staying ahead of communication trends is a strategic imperative to thrive in a competitive, uncertain market. With interest rates remaining persistently high and inflation still a concern, investors and lenders are looking for ways to reduce risks and improve overall efficiency.1 New communications solutions are enhancing operations and customer relationships, from artificial intelligence (AI) that personalizes the customer experience across channels to modern intranet software that streamlines internal communications.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Like most industries today, AI is a focus for financial services providers, with a recent survey showing that 91% of respondents are assessing AI or are already using it in production.2 While the uses of AI can span from hardening cyber security to portfolio optimization, the primary use case for financial service providers is enhancing customer service.3

Generative AI, the type of AI that powers models like ChatGPT (which use training data to produce content), is at the forefront for financial service communications. Generative AI enables real-time communication with customers in various multimedia formats, providing personalized recommendation engines, budgeting tools, investment guidance, lifestyle advice, and more—all tailored for the individual consumer.

The Benefits of AI for the Customer Experience in Financial Services

By effectively employing AI in financial service communications, providers can deliver a seamless customer experience across a variety of channels. This enables businesses to provide personalized, engaging, and proactive customer interactions, leading to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. As we point out in The Top Five Reasons for Prioritizing Customer Experience (CX), a positive CX can slash customer churn, justify higher customer costs, generate business by word of mouth, and much more. And as we point out in How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Improves the Customer Experience (CX), those benefits come at a highly economical cost for businesses when AI is the driving force of change.

Unified Communications

Unified Communications (UC) unite and streamline internal and external communications by integrating various communication methods—including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling, instant messaging, video conferencing, emails, and more—into a single user interface. This centralization of communication tools eliminates switching between multiple applications or devices, saving time, reducing errors, and enhancing the overall communication workflow. Furthermore, leading UC systems are compatible with a wide range of devices, ensuring accessibility and adaptability for a mobile and distributed workforce.4

The Benefits of Unified Communications for Financial Service Providers

Unified Communications offer many advantages over traditional communication methods. They enhance team productivity by allowing seamless collaboration across different communication platforms without the need to switch interfaces.

This ecosystem of tools reduces communication costs, boosts productivity, and improves customer service quality.5

Additionally, UC enables financial service providers to manage their communication infrastructure centrally, leading to increased efficiency, reduced response times, and lower overall costs. The adaptability of UC systems allows employees to work effectively from any location, fostering a flexible and responsive work environment into the future.6

Collaborative Digital Workspaces

In financial services, collaborative digital workspaces facilitate seamless interactions within internal teams and between clients and financial service providers. For instance, mortgage borrowers and originators benefit significantly from integrated portals that enhance communication, allowing for streamlined document uploads and real-time updates on application statuses.7

In many ways, modern digital workspaces combine modern intranet suites and unified communications, creating a platform equipped with tools that significantly boost efficiency and user engagement. These can include chatbots, interactive calculators, and virtual consultation tools, collectively improving customer and employee experience during complex financial processes like mortgage applications. Additionally, internal stakeholders such as underwriters and loan officers can collaborate effectively through these portals, thereby enhancing both operational efficiency and compliance.8

The Benefits of Collaborative Digital Workspaces for Financial Service Providers

Collaborative digital workspaces lead to considerable improvements in operational efficiency and customer satisfaction for financial institutions. A study by McKinsey and Company showed that these integrations can reduce loan processing times by 15% to 40% while decreasing costs per loan by 10%.9 Moreover, the enhanced transparency and continuous communication facilitated by these digital tools significantly improve the customer journey.10

Modern Intranet Software

Modern intranet software forms a digital workspace on a private, remotely accessible network. It facilitates internal communication, collaboration, and information sharing and typically offers tools for document management, messaging, employee directories, announcements, task management, and integration with other business applications.

In contrast, traditional intranet software is typically only accessible within the organization’s physical network, delivers far more limited collaboration capabilities, and is generally regarded as being clunky and unpleasant to use.11

The Benefits of Modern Intranet Software for Financial Service Providers

For financial institutions, the benefits of adopting modern intranet software are substantial. These systems not only streamline communication by providing time-sensitive information across the organization but also support regulatory compliance and enhanced data security. By centralizing data access, financial organizations can ensure that sensitive information is protected while still being readily accessible to authorized personnel.12

Additionally, modern intranet software changes internal communications from a one-way, top-down approach to a dynamic, two-way interaction channel. This can facilitate cross-departmental collaboration by empowering employees to connect and contribute, thereby enhancing the overall corporate culture, even within  large-scale financial organizations.13, 14

1 https://www.ringcentral.com/us/en/blog/financial-services-trends-2023/
2 https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/ai-in-financial-services-survey-2024/
3 https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2024/01/tech-trends-2024-ai-will-aid-digital-transformation-financial-services-companies
4 https://spokephone.com/understanding-unified-communications-and-its-benefits/
5 https://www.8×8.com/blog/elements-of-unified-communication?locale=us
6 https://spokephone.com/understanding-unified-communications-and-its-benefits/
7 https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-matters/how-digital-collaboration-helps-banks-serve-customers-better
8 https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-matters/how-digital-collaboration-helps-banks-serve-customers-better
9 https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-matters/how-digital-collaboration-helps-banks-serve-customers-better
10 https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-matters/how-digital-collaboration-helps-banks-serve-customers-better
11 https://www.beekeeper.io/blog/modern-intranet/#:~:text=With%20its%20emphasis%20on%20user,company’s%20top%20employee%20engagement%20strategies.
12 https://intranetconnections.com/blog/5-key-ways-an-intranet-software-can-help-your-financial-institution/
13 https://www.thoughtfarmer.com/blog/social-intranet-case-study-financial-institution-banking-on-employee-engagement/
14 https://www.scnsoft.com/finance/case-studies/intranets

For Expert Guidance

Integrating AI, unified communications, collaborative digital workspaces, and modern intranet software collectively enhances financial service providers’ operational efficiency and customer relationship management. These innovations streamline external and internal communications and fortify the infrastructure necessary for a digital financial landscape, making these business communication trends essential for a competitive edge and sustainable growth.

As such, the implications of these trends extend far beyond immediate operational improvements—they signify a shifting paradigm in how financial services are delivered and experienced. For those looking for expert guidance navigating this rapidly advancing digital world, contact the experts at IPC Tech. We can help pave the way for your organization’s digital evolution, ensuring a competitive stance in the evolving financial services landscape for years to come.