How to build great customer experiences in uncertain times with digitally augmented contact centers?

Jun 12, 2020
Banking | 5 min READ
In these times of the pandemic, when businesses are being forced to operate remotely or on half capacity, the contact center has taken center stage, especially in the banking and financial services industry. Customers are having increasingly complex interactions through contact centers as AI and automation curate a unique experience of the value chain on both sides—which means that the contact center has become the primary touchpoint for interaction between companies and customers. Businesses are, therefore, leveraging the power of disruptive technologies to navigate unforeseen business conditions. This article outlines the three critical features of a thriving contact center that can continue to deliver unmatched value to businesses in banking and financial services.
According to a global digital banking survey, contact centers remain customers’ most preferred channels in times of negative experiences that matter. The same study also reported that satisfaction with contact centers influences the customers’ overall satisfaction twice as much as with digital channels. The importance of contact centers has been repeatedly stressed upon for increasing customer satisfaction in banking. In the age of digital transformation, where developments in AI, machine learning, cloud solutions, and robotic process automation (RPA) are disrupting existing business models, financial services leaders are busy reinventing their contact centers to transform the customer experience. This article delineates three key features that enable contact centers to thrive and deliver an unmatched omnichannel experience and how they can be achieved through modern digital technologies.
The importance of contact centers in banking and financial services
With the increased focus on customer experience across industries, banks and financial institutions are now being forced to rethink contact centers as experience centers. Amidst a worldwide lockdown in response to the pandemic, remote engagement has become the only mode of interaction and exchange between organizations and their customers. Where both banking and financial services relied heavily on their branches for delivering their services, implementing cutting edge solutions at the contact centers has become the entry-point to survival, rather than a means to gaining competitive advantage. Contact centers are, therefore, not only becoming the primary touchpoint for more complex interactions with customers but also presenting newer avenues for selling services. So, what makes a contact center successful for BFSI players today?
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The contact center reimagined
In today’s situation, these are the three critical needs of a thriving contact center:
  • Workforce Management Dashboard: Data is the key to thriving in today’s business conditions. Such solutions solve a multitude of problems that plague and clog the contact center, like high response and waiting times, lack of unified and updated client information, non-compliant behavior, and inefficient resource management. In high-risk scenarios such as reporting the loss of a card, waiting times can cost real money to key stakeholders across the value chain. With automation and machine learning algorithms, the contact center employees can access visual maps to navigate problem resolution pathways, optimize call timings and durations, implement services across multiple channels and learn from the data generated – all of this, with a smaller workforce.
Value chain steps
Product Sales, Relationship Building
Risk and Servicing
Performance Management
Digital intervention
AI, Machine Learning
Making personalized product recommendations
Unified customer views through AI-augmented contact center solutions
Manage banking services like portfolio management and strengthen operations across channels
Fraud prevention and predictive problem solving
Monitor sales staff for non-compliant behavior across channels
RPA (Automation)
Reducing response times for information requests across all channels
Virtual assistants to accelerate the sales pipeline
Unifying customer experience of the sales processes across channels
Reduce manual effort and error in repetitive tasks like loan processing through
Accelerate problem resolution and enhance employee experience at contact centers
Automate onboarding processes to reduce hiring times by up to 90%
Using chatbots to augment the marketing process across multiple channels
Target the right leads to accelerate the lead-to-sales journey and assist human workforce in logistical tasks such as conversing and scheduling
Investment analysis, Intelligent document search, and information extraction at intelligence units
Provide real-time conversational guidance during customer service calls at contact centers
Extract information in an unbiased manner from inbound resumes and to enhance the hiring process
Use OCR to recycle existing collaterals and to accelerate the marketing processes
Use machine vision to validate documents in the sale of verification-intensive products like loans
Digitize cheques, forms and other documents to accelerate operations across departments
Digitally handle service requests such as bank statements, loan statements
Verify inbound applicants’ information to accelerate onboarding
Cloud computing services to process customer data and to create new revenue streams
Migrate the current infrastructure to cloud without disrupting the business
Achieve higher scalability while retaining the possibility to operate locally
Enforce higher levels of security and create an omnichannel experience for resolving service requests
Deploy cloud based HRIS systems to streamline administrative processes
  • Using automation to handle high volume repetitive tasks: Using RPA to automate repetitive processes not only reduces overload on the existing capacities but also addresses one of the significant challenges in contact centers – high attrition rates and poor employee engagement. When implemented with NLP applications such as chatbots, RPA can augment the problem resolution trajectory and improve resolution rates and time. In today’s situation, where organizations are being forced to function on half capacity, such contact center applications can allow businesses to operate more efficiently than ever.
  • Implementing cloud-based solutions: Cloud solutions always come with more robust security measures than local solutions, which is critical to financial services industry, which deals with large amounts of sensitive data. Besides, cloud-based solutions also allow the possibility to operate, even during a lockdown– both remotely and globally, while retaining the agility to deploy local solutions. They also help create seamless and unified omnichannel experiences, which are critical in such times when digital devices are the only interface between businesses and customers.
Investing in customer experience is not a short-term strategy to stay afloat. Every two of three millennials change loyalties to a company because of bad customer experience. For building a great customer experience, it is extremely important for banks to start with reinventing their contact centers to improve their customer satisfaction levels, which is, more or less, the only way to gain a competitive advantage in the industry today.
We strongly advocate the need for augmenting contact center solutions with the latest disruptive technologies to help major players in banking and financial services create differentiated service experiences. This approach will help support a variety of banking products, including collections, deposits, customer services, credit cards, payments, besides many others. It will help businesses handle service requests round the clock at high volumes while improving KRAs (e.g., average resolution time on a call, SLA compliance levels, level of latency) that measure the success of a contact center. Leveraging such robust and scalable digitally augmented ecosystems to build great experiences is the next step towards a future-proof business strategy in this industry, especially for uncertain times in the COVID-19 age.
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