From Chatbots to AI: The Next Big Thing in Call Center Automation for Financial Services

By Tinotenda Muradzikwa Published on Jul. 06, 2023

In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, call centers have become the backbone of customer service for numerous industries. They serve as crucial touchpoints between businesses and their customers, handling various inquiries, support requests, and complaints. However, the traditional image of call centers often conjures thoughts of long wait times, repetitive conversations, and impersonal interactions.

Nonetheless, with technology and continuous innovation, call centers are transforming remarkably. Implementing cutting-edge solutions and integrating advanced technologies are revolutionizing the call center ecosystem, enhancing customer experiences, and optimizing operational efficiency. Call center automation and other innovations are reshaping how businesses interact with their customers and are paving the way for a new era of customer service excellence. Companies constantly seek new ways to improve customer experiences, optimize operations, and stay competitive.

Improving customer experience: The power of call center automation

Call center operations are mainly categorized into two primary types of calls: inbound calls and outbound calls. Each type serves a distinct purpose and involves different strategies and objectives.


An inbound call center specializes in receiving calls initiated by customers seeking assistance or support. The support teams in these call centers primarily focus on monitoring and addressing incoming calls, as they typically originate from existing customers with inquiries, concerns, or problems.

Conversely, an outgoing call center makes outbound telephone calls to customers. Sales teams commonly utilize outbound call centers for activities like cold-calling prospective customers to promote and sell their products or services. Additionally, businesses can leverage outbound calls for various purposes beyond sales, such as conducting surveys, collecting feedback, or providing essential updates to their customer base.

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Innovation trends shaping call center services

The customer support industry is demanding innovative techniques to improve customer satisfaction and experience. The inbound call center management is not aloof from these innovative trends. Some of the key call center innovation trends focusing on inbound calls are:

Omnichannel contact centers and multichannel campaigns management: A single-channel network is no longer enough to cater to customer demand. For this reason, corporates must invest in call center automation to facilitate multichannel support, including live chatbots, video, voice chat, and co-browsing. Omnichannel engagement platforms offer a unified customer experience and empower call center agents to quickly change interactions from one channel to another while accessing customers’ details and all past interactions.

Workforce optimization tools empower agent performances with data, real-time guidance, and workflow automation. These tools increase the agents’ productivity and eliminate manual errors.

Self-service channels include online support that doesn’t involve direct interaction with a customer service agent (i.e., FAQ or chatbots). This way, call centers can reduce the call volume by providing an alternative channel accessible 24/7, guided, and easy to use.

AI tools allow contact centers to redefine customer management and deliver personalized and better customer experiences. Artificial intelligence can be deployed in conversational AI solutions like chatbots or virtual agents; for sentiment analysis to assess customer satisfaction and improve CX and call routing by better understanding customer intent.

Some active startups in this space include Unblu, which focuses on omnichannel engagement, and Uniphore, which is focused on workforce optimization with U-Assist and the self-service channel with U-Self Serve.

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Regarding the outbound calls, some trending call center innovations are:

Branded communication lets enterprises label their outbound calls with a business name, department, or reason for the call. With branded calling, businesses can manage their reputation, improve consumer trust and satisfaction, and increase customer engagement.

Banking on the go enables agents to work from anywhere and sell services via multiple channels. It aggregates all the information on the client and their need from cross-channel communication and empowers agents in the sales process (e.g., while on the call, the client receives a loan document in-app for signature).


Auto-dialer or predictive dialer: the solution starts the call immediately once it detects the agent is finishing the previous call. It predicts the best time to call a client.

Proactive notifications cross-channels: solutions enabling the agents to notify their clients about the upcoming payments or documents needed via multiple channels (e.g., SMS) and enabling them to take action immediately from the point of contact.

Some startups in this space include First Orion and LeadDesk, which focus on branding, banking on the go, auto-dialing and remote sales.

End-to-End platforms for call center operations

End-to-End, or E2E, platforms for both inbound and outbound operations are comprehensive software solutions designed to support and streamline the entire call center process, from handling incoming calls to managing outgoing calls. These platforms integrate various functionalities and tools to facilitate efficient and seamless operations.

By employing E2E platforms for both inbound and outbound operations, call centers can benefit from integrated and cohesive solutions that streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and improve overall operational efficiency. These platforms combine tools and functionalities to manage the entire call center ecosystem effectively.

Some of the key trends around call centers and E2E platforms for inbound and outbound operations are:


Advanced analytics and reporting: these are key for call center technology, as data can improve customer experience, suggest a more proactive service to agents, and make call center teams more efficient by managing demand and assessing performances. AI empowers agents in account onboarding, trade processing, and financial reporting, automated and customer-specific with real-time analytics.

Automatic verification of users is vital for preventing fraud. Twillo offers silent network authentication, enabling to verify the user based on the SIM. Silent Network Authentication, or SNA, is an innovative method of ensuring secure consumer authentication that safeguards end-users, accounts, and transactions.

What sets SNA apart is its ability to protect without inconveniencing users with wait times or requiring them to exit your application. By leveraging direct carrier connections, SNA verifies the ownership of a phone number in the background, eliminating the need for user input.

Deep personalized customer insights: available in real-time and gathered from all communication channels.

Access to local, national, or toll-free numbers enables agents to use any number when calling clients.

A look into the future

The call center industry is undergoing a transformative phase driven by innovation. From call center automation and artificial intelligence to advanced analytics, these trends revolutionize customer experience and operational efficiency.

AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots automate routine tasks, allowing agents to focus on complex inquiries, while omnichannel solutions enable seamless customer interactions across various channels.

Looking ahead, AI will advance further, enabling sophisticated virtual agents. Voice recognition and sentiment analysis will enhance real-time understanding of customer emotions, augmented reality will facilitate remote visual assistance, and the Internet of Things will integrate call centers with connected devices for proactive support.

By embracing these innovations, call centers can provide exceptional service, meet evolving customer needs, and drive future success. The industry is poised for significant growth at the intersection of technology and customer-centricity to deliver outstanding call center experiences.

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