In the financial department, chatbots will be our colleagues

In the financial department, chatbots will be our colleagues

Author: Alina Fanita, Partner, PKF Finconta

In recent months, customer service centers around the world have had to mobilize urgently to respond to a growing wave of requ-ests. Under additional pressure from low staff and remote working conditions, text-based chatbots were adopted quickly and suc-cessfully to take over surplus demands.

The rapid mobilization of chatbots emphasizes their importance in modern digital communication. A technology seen by many execu-tives as a toy given to the young generation of employees has come to be recognized as an invaluable member of the team.

However, discovering the value and widespread adoption comes with greater responsibility. As chatbots move well from pilot pro-jects to critical communication tools, they need to demonstrate not only a constant value to the business but that they can trust their customers.

The role of chatbots in the audit missions

You may be thinking: we already have an online portal accessible to the customer for document sharing. Why do we need a chatbot, too? Portals and workspaces shared with customers are great, but the way chatbots differ is that they "learn". Thus chatbots are able to collect data relevant to the audit mission and to improve financial processes in a more structured way.

With this type of input, chatbots reduce the data processing time required for the audit because, by using artificial intelligence, chatbots can classify data types and highlight deviations, recommending certain approaches and answers. This means that when an auditor receives information from the chatbot, it has already begun part of its task. If an anomaly is detected, chatbots can issue an alert for auditors to contact the financial department of the audited company directly for additional information.

For customers, it is unbelievable that you are talking to a robot and that it can answer your questions or guide you to find a solution. But customers' trust in chatbots can be gained by considering and addressing the following 3 issues:

Overcoming implementation barriers

For pop-up chatbots to quickly prove their worth, companies need to identify and address any obstacles they face in the adoption phase. These barriers could be related to the company's infrastructure, the data architecture it needs to communicate with, or infor-mation security issues, especially if they are cloud-based.

Where possible, working within the parameters of existing communication and network technologies and platforms will help address the likely challenges posed by risk and governance teams. It is useless to quickly adopt a top pop-up chatbot solution if it will take several months to implement the architecture to be used only for basic use cases.

Integrating chatbots into the communication flow

Pop-up chatbots need a formal role in communication flows to be effective, including a clear description, to employees, of what they will do and what they will convey, because they need to be

comfortable with the help provided. of chatbots. They need to understand and trust how a chatbot will complement them, rather than replace them, in customer support activities.

Therefore, leaders need to clearly explain how the implementation of chatbots will help employees perform their jobs better, giving them time to focus on more valuable tasks for customers.

Gaining confidence in the mode of action

It's not just employees who need to trust their new colleagues. And customers are vital to trust the information provided by a chatbot. To exceed the minimum confidence threshold, the information must be correct and the user experience must be positively predicta-ble. A single wrong answer or a simple mistake, such as providing a web link that doesn't work, can erode customer trust.

Customizing a chatbot also helps build trust. Naming them is a first step that brings them closer and causes customers to often engage in small discussions with robots, perhaps to assess their intelligence or how perceptive it is. The intelligent design of the chatbot pays special attention to the tone of voice, behavior, personality and language it uses, so as to create an authentic and reliable experience for customers.

The key is conversational coherence. If a chatbot is usually friendly and supportive, but occasionally answers a customer question in a sudden manner or with an answer that seems out of place, then customers begin to lose confidence. To support consistency in chatbot design, define and use a description of the chatbot person and appoint a person from the development team to review each bot response at the beginning.

Chatbots offer a huge potential for improving services and customer relations, the current period proves it. Companies should take advantage of this moment to implement solutions that not only solve important internal issues, but also help to gain and maintain customer trust now and in the future.

About PKF Finconta

For more than 25 years, PKF Finconta is one of the 10 leading professional services companies in Romania. Since 2006, we are a member of PKF International Limited. PKF International is a leading international business advisory organization. The company grew consistently over the years, forming a Group of four companies: PKF Finconta, PKF Finconta Consultanta, PKF Finconta HR and Finconta Consulting SPRL, members of national professional organizations CECCAR, CAFR, CCFR, and UNPIR. We provide a wide range of business advisory and related specialist services. We have seven core areas of expertise and within these areas, we tailor our services to your business and your needs: audit, corporate finance, tax, bookkeeping and accounting advisory services, transfer pricing, payroll and personnel administration, and insolvency.