How to get ahead of FAQs surrounding the second stimulus packages
A $900 billion economic relief package was signed on December 27, 2020. This package includes a second round of stimulus payments making its way to Americans immediately and hitting bank accounts via direct deposits as early as December 29th, according to the IRS.
Here’s what credit unions and banks need to know to handle the onslaught of questions regarding the second round of Economic Impact Payments.
What We Learned from Stimulus 1.0 (Q2 2020)
- Despite the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Department of The Treasury being the issuing institutions, consumers turned to their personal banks and credit unions for information on when, where and how the stimulus payments would be issued.
- CU members and bank customers had questions. Lots of questions. Questions ranged from when and how stimulus checks would be deposited or mailed, to who qualified.
- Chatbot usage skyrocketed. Financial Institutions on Engageware’s platform saw a 39% increase in chatbot activity.
- As a matter of fact, over the course of 2020, the greatest amount of chatbot activity occurred during the first week stimulus payments were issued, particularly Wednesday, April 15th through Friday, April 17th, 2020.
- FI contact centers were flooded with inquiries the week of the first round of stimulus payments, with some FIs noting call volume being equivalent to periods around core conversions – a major system change.
“There’s no question that the Engageware Banking Chatbot has helped deflect calls that would otherwise be placed to our Member Service Center. The amount of activity we saw on the chatbot [around the first stimulus package] would equate to hundreds of calls each day. If we didn’t have the chatbot running during this time, our call center would be getting 3x the normal number of calls.”
– Mike Bunner, VP Director of Digital Marketing at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union
How to Prepare for Stimulus 2.0 Questions
- Prepare or refresh a package of FAQs developed specifically around stimulus topics. Some of the most common questions are:
- How much is the second stimulus check?
- Where can I find more information about the second stimulus package?
- How do I check the status of my second stimulus payment?
- When will I receive the second stimulus check?
- Who is eligible for the second stimulus check?
- Do I have to do anything in order to receive the second stimulus check?
- Frontload your chatbot/virtual assistants with the latest information and FAQs specific to this second stimulus package. This will likely be the #1 requested info in coming weeks.
- Add a link to the top of your website, online banking and mobile banking to link directly to stimulus related info and questions (see examples below).
- Pre-record an automated message to play on your customer service lines, directing customers where to go for more information (make it a simple URL that’s easy to remember).
- Train frontline employees on how to address the FAQs. Make sure they have quick and easy access to the critical information they need to know – usually within a knowledge base.
How Credit Unions and Banks Are Keeping Account Holders Informed
Every financial institution has a unique approach to how they are keeping their members or customers informed. But one thing remains the same – proactive communication and ample information is key to a successful member or customer experience and will alleviate stress on contact centers.
See how FIs around the country are keeping their account holders informed about Stimulus 2.0:
- Kemba Credit Union – Prominent site banners point members to up-to-date resources on various timely topics. Chatbot is with the FAQ “When will I receive my second economic stimulus payment?”
- Altra Federal Credit Union – Coronavirus (COVID-19) informational page
- Community First Credit Union – Prominent homepage banner directly addressing stimulus related questions
- Greylock Federal Credit Union – Provides helpful information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union – ‘Stimulus payment info’ frontloaded as top topic in chatbot, leading to a detailed page with more information, including how to check on your payment
You may also be interested in:
- Conversational Banking Trends – October 2020
- 6 Insights from Banking Chatbot Activity in Q2 2020
- Franklin Mint FCU Shares 5 Things About Engageware’s Banking Chatbot
- How to Support Bank and Credit Union Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis
- How to Support Your Banking Customers During the COVID-19 Crisis