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While striving to meet their digitalisation goals, companies should not forget, that the continues support and guidance of their customers’ digital journey should remain one of the key elements.

What are the challenges and opportunities of conversational AI?

Most of the customers consider his/her inquiries as truly personal (therefore yet only a few of them willingly opt for a bot), though a significant part of their questions are repeating routines, thus offering automation potential. The exploitation of this automation potential should come step-by-step in order to avoid CX issues.

What should companies pay attention to when striving for digitalisation in order not to lose the personal touch?

We in Erste believe a conscious combination of online self-service & personal advisory – the latter shall remain a true value-add for quite a while, especially in case of complex products – like investments or mortgage lending. It is also of utmost importance to continuously educate, guide and support the customers throughout their digital journey – the key and increasing role of all physical channels, including contact centre.

How has the pandemic affected customer behaviour? What channels have been demanded?

Like in all other fields of life, customers’ digital activity trends have accelerated significantly, roughly by 1-1,5 years during the pandemics; not only in daily transactional banking (e.g. number of active netbank/mobilebank users or number of logins), but also in acquisition and cross-sell (e.g. proportion of online sales). Simultaneously, the primary support role of contact centre has also been boosted – new-to-channel customers has appeared in our contact center and CC has temporarily took over the lead from our branch network in number of customer interactions.


During the 12th Annual Optimising Contact Centres Summit, Laszlo will also be sharing his insights on Implementing AI-Based Voice-Analysis for Enhanced Customer Experience and Higher Efficiency.

Laszlo BEK-BALLA, Head of Digital Channels & Contact Centre currently leads Erste Bank Hungary’s retail digital channels and contact centre. His main digital responsibilities cover the local development and business management of the bank’s recently implemented new digital platform George, online customer onboarding & sales, mobile payment, the digitalisation of branch advisory, as well as the continuous digital activation, education and support of the retail customer base. In terms of Contact Centre, Laszlo oversees inbound call centre, telesales, complaint management and the business management of the CC infrastructure development.  Prior to joining his current position Laszlo led the HR and Controlling functions of the Erste and earlier has held various HR management roles in ING, BNP Paribas, SAP & Price Waterhouse.

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