By Angus Chu at maaiiconnect – financial services expert

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

We are undoubtedly facing one of the worst economic downturns in generations due to COVID 19. No matter how hard we work, the reality is that business is not going to go smoothly – especially in the financial services, retailing and travel industries. Many businesses are struggling to deal with the challenges of the pandemic, and many see the situation as hopeless.

Why is that? Let me tell you a little story about a traditional private bank investment manager. Travis, as we will call him, has worked in the financial services for more than 15 years, and is what you might call a typical banker whose daily routine before COVID 19 involved calling customers, making appointments with customers, answering customer enquiries and providing the consultative services for VIP customers. Above all, he needs to achieve his individual KPI. 

All of sudden, COVID 19 has spread across the globe and his whole world has changed. Customers are not willing to meet face-to-face to discuss their needs or engage in investment consultations.  The aggressive business environment has faded. Travis needs to find alternative channels for connecting to customers through social media networks, telephone, fax, and mail, but it is NOT right for data governance. Travis now finds himself caught in the dilemma of how to increase his engagement with VIP customers.

Moreover, most bankers like Travis are facing the challenge of how they can leverage their close relationships with individual clients, including VIPs, and corporate clients, such as SMEs during the COVID 19 pandemic. Customers undoubtedly prefer to meet virtually through an online channel. So without a high quality, secure and fully compliant, communications platform, it is not easy for financial services professionals to generate more income and drive profit right now.

What solutions can help?

One of the first things people will think about is using Zoom for video conferencing. They might also consider Slack for text-based communication. But how about an all-in-one communication platform? In particular, a communications platform that embraces global business trend of Industry 4.0. in which manufacturing and other industrial processes are being automated using modern smart technology.  Large-scale machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and the internet of things (IoT) are integrated for increased automation, improved communication and self-monitoring, and smart machines can analyse and diagnose issues without the need for human intervention.

Fortunately, there is a ray of sunshine through the pandemic clouds. At M800, we have recently developed an a true all-in-one communications platform , which we see as the vaccine to the communications challenge posed by COVID 19.  maaiiconnect is a cloud-based customer engagement platform that is the only business communications solution that combines telecom and digital communications channels on one unified interface – a first in the world of communications.

Since Travis’s company has adopted maaiiconnect, Travis has undergone a digital transformation in the way he works :

  1. Visitor Interface –  Travis can answer and respond to VIP customers quickly and efficiently when they make enquiries through the website
  2. Screen Sharing Feature – Travis can share the contents of his screen with a VIP customer, and vice versa during a call to facilitate a better, easier conversation
  3. File Sharing Feature –  Travis can provide consultative services and conduct customer Q&A easily using a secure, fully compliant file sharing feature
  4. Staff Interface – Receive/follow-up on a customer enquiry made from any device, so Travis will never miss an opportunity to do business
  5. Can’t Reach Your Customer? Travis can send his customer a QR Code or a web-link via the maaaiiconnect web dashboard, email or SMS to allow the customer to call him with ease.

In summary, this is an example of how COVID 19 is driving the digital transformation and adoption Industry 4.0 in the banking industry, with customer engagement, AI and collaboration being the key elements in the future of digitalisation!