During this pandemic, clients are struggling to reach their banks when they need them the most, driving an almost 75% increase in call center volume. Financial institutions’ contact centers are inundated with heavy call volumes resulting in long hold times and time-to-callback. So how can these institutions avoid leaving customers on hold? Many banks responded to urgent needs at the peak of the pandemic and are now in recovery mode. These banks are building new processes, incorporating new technologies and training their teams for #TheNewNormal. At Talkdesk, we believe this is a seminal moment in history — it’s a time to reimagine banking. Here are three ways to reimagine banking with the power of automation to provide a delightful and holistic enterprise-grade client experience.
1. Welcome to open banking
Accenture projects open banking-related services already account for 7% of total banking revenue in 2020.
Many industry executives already look at open banking as an accelerating trend in financial services. Banking as a Service (BaaS) is an open banking end-to-end process through which fintechs and other third parties connect with banks’ systems directly via APIs.
BaaS opens the door for third parties to operate on top of a bank’s regulated infrastructure and extends banking services through unified digital channels. With BaaS, financial institutions can allow third parties into their tech stacks, opening up their platform, commissioning leads and outsourcing customer service, so they never leave customers on hold.
BaaS can accelerate your bank’s ability to act as a marketplace, offering your clients services like insurance, travel and entertainment, to extend your brand’s reach and deepening your client’s loyalty.
2. Design customized, flexible client flows
Financial institutions can ease the struggle of keeping people on hold by redesigning Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems and routing to better anticipate clients’ questions, offer more relevant self-service and target segments with proactive outreach.
To reduce strain on an overtaxed call center and lower costs during the downturn, financial institutions should prioritize customizing the IVR for a smooth self-service experience, building IVR menus to deflect common questions or handle frequent requests. To achieve this quickly, harness the power of an IVR flow builder that can:
- Incorporate self-service options: Features such as natural language understanding (NLU) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) allow customers to “talk to” the IVR, triggering automatic actions that make IVR navigation easy and retrieving the necessary answers faster.
- Integration with CRM systems for personalized service: Customer relationship management (CRM) integration is a great way to give key accounts special attention. The system could play a special message thanking clients for their loyalty and extending a new offer. If the caller is interested in learning more, they can be automatically redirected to a dedicated group of agents trained on the new offer and experienced with handling high-value clients.
- Split inbound traffic: It may be operationally beneficial to split inbound traffic according to client location or split certain calls to another more specialized or outsourced call center.
3. Make systems speak the same language
For many clients, contact centers and online self-service bots are the primary communication channels with their banks. Thus, it is mandatory to connect the contact center to other teams, departments and data sources across the institution to keep the information flowing.
Much of the contact center operation thrives from context from questions like “Who is this client?”, “Have they been properly authenticated?“, “How long have they been a bank client?”, “What products and services have they purchased from the bank?” and “How can I resolve their issue in the most efficient and polite manner?” The necessary data to answer these questions relies on connections made possible by CRM segmentation, authentication and core system integration, so financial institutions should ensure their systems are agile, low-code and can quickly connect and integrate. Client information must be secure and accessible at all times across all channels.
For this, financial services’ contact center leaders should focus on:
- Customer Engagement: Your customers can visit their local branch, use Twitter, the bank’s mobile app, email, phone, SMS and more to engage with your representatives. You need to identify every customer touchpoint — offline and online. Ensure your clients’ preferences and challenges are shared across channels to provide them with a delightful and consistent experience.
- One platform: Allow your teams to swiftly perform tasks in a single environment, avoiding training supervisors and agents in multiple systems.
- Boosting productivity through automation: Trigger automated workflows between integrated systems for faster and better customer service. Automation eliminates manual tasks, streamlines business processes and improves the overall customer experience (CX). As your system identifies and learns patterns, AI can automate mundane and redundant tasks to reduce call times and cost. Your live agents can then focus on providing better service. Building better technology and automation will allow firms to quickly adapt to current events and perform the level of service expected by clients, easing the strain on front-line banking contact centers.