HSBC Taps Google Cloud AI to Optimize Customer Service

A new voice-processing AI will help the bank identify opportunities for improvement at its call centers.

Need to Know

  • HSBC is using Google Cloud tech to automate the review of its contact center sales calls.
  • The use of Google’s AI tech will speed up the call review process, allowing HSBC to more quickly receive and act on feedback and improvement opportunities.
  • The Hong Kong Contact Centre for HSBC serves more than 1.5 million customers and over 20 million interactions every year.


HSBC is migrating its data and analytics workflows onto Google Cloud, as the bank plans to use AI solutions to optimize its call center review process.

HSBC’s call center is located in Hong Kong and processes more than 20 million individual interactions per year. Despite HSBC’s business having largely migrated to digital mediums, with more than 90% of interactions taking place online, call-center operations remain integral to HSBC’s business for customers seeking assistance; about 1.5 million customers access the bank’s call centers annually. But because there are often language barriers to navigate, quality assurance is often difficult.

Enter Google. HSBC’s Intelligence Hub, a team of data scientists, engineers, and architects, teamed up with Google Cloud to find ways to leverage HSBC’s call center data using AI and machine learning. The result was an Automatic Quality Management system (AQM), a voice-processing solution powered by AI that identifies areas of improvement in customer conversations.

The tool is the first of its kind, and will substantially decrease the amount of time HSBC invests in analyzing call feedback and implementing changes to its call center processes based on those analyses — for instance, HSBC will be able to more quickly identify call center agents who could benefit from coaching, and gather data on customer service successes and failures that can be leveraged into adjustments to HSBC’s call center processes.

The team that developed the new AI-driven AQM was lead by Maru Chu, who explained in a press release announcing the new tool that the teams used “AutoML Natural Language and Speech-to-Text to train machine learning models to classify, extract, and detect customer sentiment.”

Richard Bates, global head of HSBC’s intelligence hub, wealth and personal banking, HSBC, said that, in addition to improving the current customer journey, the insights provided by the new AI would help with designing “future customer journeys or work on staff training and reinforcement. Theoretically, it will involve 1,200 man-hours to monitor 100% of our sales calls. It is now unnecessary to spend this amount of time for monitoring,” he said.

A number of retailers, banks, and other consumer-facing organizations have turned to Google Cloud in recent months to optimize their customer experience. These include IKEA, which has tapped Google Cloud to help handle the unprecedented surge in online commerce the company experienced due to COVID-19. Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, has leveraged Google Cloud to provide better personalization and to fine-tune its user experiences, while Loblaws — like IKEA — has used Cloud to help manage its increased e-comm operations.

The Cloud partnership is just the latest in a series of new tools from HSBC, which include a cash-flow forecasting tool and a real-time payments tool, aimed at improving the increasingly-remote banking experience for its clients.