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Banking today looks nothing like it did in years past. The smartphone has largely replaced the teller window as the main point of contact between a bank and its customer. Transactions and customer service requests now occur online at the customer’s convenience—well outside of banking hours. And there’s no going back. The financial sector has been quick to embrace the digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic.
Digital transformation has redefined the industry with customers preferring to communicate with banks via digital channels. One of the core challenges that banks face today is their constant failure to deepen existing customer relationships. For this, they need to focus on specific core priorities which include- a frictionless customer experience, personalized customer services, and improved agent efficiencies.
The single biggest competition differentiator is Customer Experience which ultimately decides whether customers would stay with a bank or switch to another.
Research suggests that 89% of customers switch their service providers after a bad customer experience.
It is important to have technological strategies, particularly around CX, security, and scalability if banks wish to serve their customers at par with their expectations and retain them for a longer time.
Here are a few challenges that continue to plague the banking industry:
Banks are no more the big, non-human entities that do not care about the individual problems of their customers. Digitalization has emphasized placing humans at the center of technology and not the other way around.
For example, a simple question like “am I eligible for this loan?” The usual customer experience is getting standardized, machine-like responses that fail to address the question directly. This is a big no-no from the perspective of personalization, given the fact that customers today are more impatient and expect instant answers to their queries.
Carpo’s study reveals that 82% of survey respondents felt personalization is important to their experience and are willing to provide feedback on their experiences at least annually.
Banks need to formulate strategies centered around personalization that caters to the specific needs and preferences of customers. This could be done by bringing in AI, ML, and NLP tools on your website or mobile banking applications that make the customer feel heard.
While financial institutions are becoming more proficient at gathering and presenting data to form a single view of the customer relationship, challenges remain in enabling agents to use customer data effectively during customer interactions. When customer service agents are loaded with several requests, they may fail to answer them instantly which can be the cause of customer frustration.
Banks need to make it easier for agents to view and understand customer journeys and actions across channels, such as providing visual maps to agents of customer actions. With the right tools, contact center agents can use customer information to effectively and accurately answer customer questions and concerns. Further, they can make proactive recommendations on the next best action a customer can take regarding products, services, and account management.
Today, customers are spoilt for choice and they expect high-quality service every single time they are with a bank via any channel.
42% of consumers say a seamless experience across all devices and channels is a top expectation while only 11% of decision-makers see seamless, omnichannel experiences as the most important factor when delivering quality experiences- Wunderman Thompson.
With such expectations, it becomes crucial for banks to enhance their CX delivery across all channels, and in all instances to keep customers satisfied. But if you rely solely on human resources for this, irrespective of your well-trained employees there is a scope for error.
An omnichannel banking environment can help take a typical customer-agent interaction from transaction to relationship-oriented. Yesterday’s requirements and skill sets are no longer applicable in today’s omnichannel operating environment as agents need to be tech-savvy, problem solvers, and proactive financial advisors able to effectively cross-sell while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.
There are higher chances of customers switching banks due to poor customer service rather than poor products. So, meeting customer expectations becomes crucial if you wish to establish long-term loyalty relationships with them.
According to Accenture research, the average customer attrition rate among financial institutions is 15%. Additionally, 56% of customers who told their bank they are leaving say their bank made no effort in keeping them.
Needless to say, loyal customers are far more profitable for any business, and retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than onboarding new ones. Loyal bank customers are 12.2X more likely to try new offerings from the banks.
Retaining customers is the linchpin for maintaining a profitable business in the long run. Using the right tools to address their queries while also improving their satisfaction rates is the mantra to do just that.
It’s always easy and beneficial to integrate a CRM or Ticketing application with an agent desktop as they are widely-used applications for which finding a suitable integration is not a challenge for any contact center. However, things turn to an opposite side when it comes to industry’s core applications, and to specific banking core systems such as Jack Henry & Associates, Infosys Finacle, etc.
Banks expect new core banking systems applications like finserv, jack and henry associates, symitar, etc to integrate with their existing stack of channels, customer-relationship-management systems, data architecture, risk systems, and middleware—all of which are very difficult to replace and represent hundreds of millions of dollars of investment over the years, meaning they cannot be written off without causing significant disruption and losses. Integration also entails high risks and costs as well.
The incumbent core banking system has usually undergone significant customization and development, reflecting changes in business logic over decades. Untangling the integration from the old system and re-integrating the new core banking system is an extremely difficult exercise—the banking equivalent of high-risk brain surgery.
A screen pop refers to a contact center functionality in which a customer information screen pops up on the agent’s computer screen at the same time the agent answers calls from the customers. A basic screen pop that fails to capture the customer interaction journey only serves to give very basic information about the customer, which hardly helps the agents in resolving queries faster. It opens up in either a separate tab or window which causes screen toggling at some level for agents. Since basic screen pops are not configurable, agents have to skim through all the data stored in the screen-popped applications which increases handling time.
The role of an agent in the client-agent interaction is of paramount importance. Adoption of ‘right’ technology can help solve many issues related to compliance and legislation, policies, and procedures and avoid placing the onus on an agent. One such tool that helps agents execute their processes without worrying about the procedures and policies to a large extent is a Unified Agent Desktop for the Banking sector.
Also Read: Learn steps to improve customer service in the banking sector here.
The key is to get information to agents in a format they can understand and effectively translate into action when engaging with customers. This means equipping agents with tools to:
Unified Agent Desktops play a crucial role in a banking contact center. With the right tools for the banking and financial industry and insurance call center services, it is possible to deliver a high-quality customer experience to the Banking customers. The next-gen agent desktop can be used for everything from telesales financial services to regular inquiry handling and customer service.
Here are the features of nextgen agent desktops which make them a preferred choice for the banking industry:
Single 360-degree View of the Customer
Disjointed customer journey is the bottleneck for businesses in delivering high-level customer services as it increases complexity and miscommunication. To deliver the level of engagement that customers expect, the solution is to have – seamless communication with the right context. A critical customer-first approach stems from bridging the various departments and work processes in an integrated manner.
An agent can more quickly understand the complete picture of the customer’s relationship with the company. Agents get to see customers as a single contact entry that may be referenced by a variety of unique identifiers, such as a phone number, account number, contract ID, etc. Agent Desktop acts as a customer activity hub that displays not only all customer service tickets, but also a customer’s purchase, billing, and miscellaneous service activity throughout the entire organization.
At any time during a customer interaction, the Unified Agent Desktop provides the necessary tools to escalate or transfer the contact for quick resolution without requiring a lengthy hold-and-transfer period. NextGen agent desktop also offers seamless integrations with core banking applications, enabling agents to fetch data from such systems effortlessly.
According to ContactBabel, 85% of contact centers demand agents use multiple applications within a single customer call, with 49% requiring agents to access 3 or more applications.
Thus, an agent desktop plays a pivotal role in reducing the length of time for call resolutions. Automating an agent’s desktop and unifying the applications utilized by them onto a single screen, it thus dramatically reduces the time it takes to navigate a large number of systems. Studies show there is a 20 – 30% reduction in average handle time. A lower AHT enables contact center agents to direct their focus more on the customer, increasing sales revenue and boosting the overall customer experience.
Convert Information into Actionable Insights
Customer information is deduced and aggregated from internal and external sources, including all channels, and prepared for real-time use in the contact center. Customer information is used to make recommendations on the next-best actions, including historical analysis of the customer as well as predictive analysis of future customer needs and behavior.
Effectively Handle Multi Channel Interactions
According to a study, companies with omnichannel customer engagement are able to retain 89% of customers. Yet not every business has shifted over to this approach.
As alternative channels such as mobile banking grow, the contact center must continue to evolve beyond basic transaction handling to a relationship and omnichannel focused approach that supports 24×7 interaction with customers and their activities, questions, and needs across banking channels and lines of business.
A coordinated, Unified Agent Desktop accelerating agent’s efficiency and enables agents to handle multiple interaction channels with equal proficiency. Instead of dedicating staff to various channels, you’re free to allocate staff as needed because all of their tools are presented in the same, familiar interface regardless of the channel. The Agent Desktop can be easily integrated with multiple interaction channels giving agents the ability to handle and resolve queries across the channels from a dedicated console. This enables the agents to focus on developing customer-service skills, rather than technical proficiency.
In the banking industry, unified agent desktops provide the benefit of regulatory compliance other than improving key metrics such as AHT and FCR. A unified agent desktop presents only context-specific data to an agent. The agents need not flip-flop between different banking or financial applications while executing their business processes. An intelligent agent desktop is probably an answer to the many issues that the banking industry faces today.
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