Reimagining Customer Engagement in Finance: The AI Revolution

Matt Gosden
3 min readMar 4, 2024


Remember the “Man from the Pru”? If you’ve been around the financial services industry longer than I have, you’ll recall a time when insurance salesmen would literally knock on the door to collect the insurance premiums, sit down for a cup of tea, and chat about your financial needs. It was personal, engaging, and built a strong connection between customers and companies. Fast forward to today, and we’re on the brink of a new era, where AI might just bring back the essence of that personal touch, albeit in a digital form.

The Man from the Pru becomes an AI engine? — created using Dalle-3

From Doorstep to Desktop: A Brief History

When I started work in the financial services industry in the late ’90s, there were significant changes underway. The “Man from the Pru” approach, with its door-to-door service, was fading away, making way for more cost-effective methods such as call centres, websites and direct debits. Yet, despite its efficiency, something was lost by customers in this transition — the personal connection.

As technology evolved, so did customer interaction. We moved from post and paper forms to emails and online forms and web pages. We moved from telephone contact centres to human live chat systems and simple chatbots.

AI: The Digital “Man from the Pru”?

But here’s where I think it gets interesting. AI isn’t just about streamlining processes; it’s able to fundamentally change customer engagement. Imagine an AI that doesn’t just handle queries, faster, more accurately and 24/7 (which let’s be honest, would itself be a wonderful thing). But the AI also properly understands your needs, preferences, and goals. An AI agent that brings back the personalised touch of the “Man from the Pru” but in a digital format.

Here’s why AI is set to change the game:

  • Personalised Conversations — AI systems can be configured to have access to past data and can offer guidance and solutions, much like a human coach or advisor.
  • Efficiency and Accuracy — With AI, the accuracy of information and advice can be improved significantly to rival and surpass that of the better human agents. We have done studies that already show this on Pensions.
  • Focus the Human Touch on Complex Cases — By handling routine inquiries, AI agents allow human staff to concentrate on more complex and nuanced cases.

The Future Is Personal

We are already working on AI that can truly personalise the customer experience in the pensions space. The goal is not just about cost and replacing human agents; it’s about enhancing the connection between customers and companies. Those human agents also get to evolve their role and focus on training the AI and adding value where the human touch matters.

As AI becomes more integrated into financial services, we can expect a more engaging, efficient, and personalised approach to customer interaction. And AI can work together with human staff where that human touch is important.

Engage Smarter AI is a UK-based technology startup focused on building AI agents for companies to plug in that can empower everyone to make smarter financial decisions.

We are working to push the boundaries of what AI can do to improve financial decision-making for consumers.