Prescribe a dose of AI for the PPI nuisance call blues

Sam Madden
Follow Sam
Chatty Cat
Source: Getty

We all know that feeling, seeing an anonymous number appear on our phone screen and the inevitable call about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

PPI has cropped up in the news again recently as the final deadline for people seeking compensation over mis-sold PPI has been set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as 29 August 2019, in an effort to draw a line under the issue.

However, the legacy left by PPI extends beyond the scandal within the banking sector. It has negatively affected consumers’ perception of voice calls, leaving them suspicious and reticent to answer calls from businesses, whatever the importance of the subject message.

Marketers must address the PPI issue head on because, like it or not, voice is a highly valuable form of communication. We need to restore consumer faith in the power of voice and remove the stigma. This starts with personal, timely and relevant communication that provides value to the receiver, rather than inconvenience.

Helpful, engaging and personalised voice conversations can be a quicker and far more effective solution than ongoing email communication. Our recent study discovered that 86 per cent of customers who left their insurance, energy, mobile or banking provider said they would have been more content with the service if they had been contacted in the way that they preferred, in a timely manner.

Many businesses are now turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to automate phone calls, which is equipping them with the capability to meet heightened expectations for tailored experiences. Combining AI with customer data means you can create intelligent service oriented communications that are automatically adapted to the customer’s behaviour in real time. The communication is done in a way that suits the customer’s requirements, preferred times and channels.

The latest technological advancements in this area mean that it is now possible to retain a human approach and be just as intelligent as a customer dialogue. Not only can AI help to enhance the speed and relevance in which you can reach customers, it can help gather intelligence about how best to reach them in other ways. The right time of day, the type of voice used or knowing what time of year is best to contact specific customers, for example, are valuable insights for any marketer.

PPI has left a bad taste in our mouths, but as marketers we now have the opportunity to claw back credibility and use voice in a truly effective way. This can finally deliver a personal, tailored and valuable experience for all.

Sam Madden is director at Wiraya.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles