UK Financial Services Firms Are Turning to AI to Develop Streamlined User Experiences, Report Claims

Cost cutting is said to be behind a significant drop in satisfaction levels in 2023, according to a comprehensive update shared by KMPG.

The UK’s biggest brands are turning “to artificial intelligence (AI) to develop better customer and colleague experiences,” according to KPMG’s latest Customer Experience Excellence Report, now in its 14th year. This is allowing some UK businesses “to reverse declines in customer satisfaction, caused by previous cost cutting.”

The global study, which “asked over 13,000 UK consumers for their views on 376 brands in this year’s report, ranks brands based on how well they score across six areas.” This includes empathy, integrity and personalization.

A new AI adoption index looks “at which businesses are implementing the latest technology effectively, safely and ethically.”

The majority (64%) of brands “included in the report saw their scores across each area decline compared to last year, amid a challenging economic landscape for businesses and consumers.”

Customer satisfaction levels “have dropped to pre-COVID-19 levels, falling by 3.8 percent in the last year.”

Financial services and non-grocery retail brands “have a strong presence” in this year’s overall top five for customer experience:

  • first direct
  • Lush
  • American Express
  • John Lewis & Partners
  • Nationwide

first direct has consistently placed in the top three of the index “for 12 of the last 13 years while the top five have all been in the top 10 at least once in the last five years.”

AI adoption key to staying ahead of the pack

Brands with the highest levels of customer experience “are also successfully experimenting and scaling their use of AI to improve customer and colleague experiences, whilst improving business performance.”

Examples of AI adoption “include content generators, language translators, and smart knowledge management assistants, as well AI’s ability to analyze data, detect patterns and identify anomalies in areas such as fraud detection.”

As noted in the update, financial Services lead the AI Adoption index “where the technology is helping to create both business and customer value from the vast amount of data held and managed by financial firms.”

The top five sectors for AI adoption are:

  • Financial Services
  • Travel & Hotels
  • Telecoms
  • Public Sector
  • Logistics

Commenting on the findings, Tim Knight, UK Head of Customer & Operations at KPMG UK, said:

“In the last year, UK customers have suffered, as businesses have cut costs, often implementing older technology to inconsistently automate their service. Whilst these brands may deliver lower costs this year, it’s likely they will lose customer spend over time. The latest artificial intelligence platforms are helping early adopters in the UK to address this, delivering both improved service and enhanced business performance. These brands are using AI to empower colleagues to achieve more, or to directly deliver empathetic and personalised customer experiences.”

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