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Artificial Intelligence in Your Contact Center: Boost CX with Intelligent Automation
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Implementing AI in Modern Contact Center
• What is customer authentication?• The many barriers to customer verification• Ways to establish customer authenticity• How does customer authentication work?
Caller authentication refers to the verification of a person’s identity without having to interact with them in person. In essence, it is about leveraging the latest technologies to enable customers to prove their identity while physically absent. The caller authentication process requires companies to identify, authenticate, and validate an individual’s data and real identity based on various parameters like passwords, customer IDs, OTPs, etc.
This simple step not only ensures the safety and security of customer data but also enables contact centers to do more for their customers by offering a range of self-service options.
Different industry verticals, including banking, retail, telecoms, etc., deploy different approaches like two-factor verification to authenticate the customers and make their services more secure. With a potential rise in call volume, contact centers need to deploy automation to ensure a customer-friendly authentication process that combats the threat of spoofing while ensuring a delightful CX.
According to Pindrop, “41% of consumers blame the brand for the fraud happening and churn the company after three or fewer bad experiences.”
While authenticating customers, contact centers or companies face significant challenges like
⦾ Disconnected communication among teams⦾ Managing the massive volume of data⦾ State of operational complexity⦾ Disconnected procedure⦾ Disparate data source⦾ Operations on different authentication platforms⦾ Controlling data movement⦾ Fraud-related risk⦾ Data privacy concern
Conventionally, companies were approaching the IT department and considering the customer authentication process as an IT issue. But now, companies are making customer identification & authentication a crucial component of customer experience.As discussed in chapter 3, poor customer communication complicates the authentication process. Thus, a need arises for companies and contact centers to march ahead by automating their workflows through conversational AI to authenticate customers and ensure a superior CX.
Unifying disparate contact center applications helps automate the conventional customer authentication process. With an integrated view of customer information, agents can identify the caller even before answering the interaction, thus simplifying the Passive authentication process. On the other hand, integrating advanced third-party authentication applications helps enable an effective Active authentication process.
Also, by leveraging the power of bots, agents can automate customer Identification & Authentication processes across different channels and identify the callers quickly before answering the calls. This, in turn, eliminates the process of repeating information while improving AHT and enhancing customer satisfaction scores.
Usually, contact centers prefer two common approaches:
⦿ Integration with CRMs – The solutions backed by automation seamlessly integrate with backend databases and third-party and CRM applications to identify callers directly from their numbers.
⦿ Integration with Multifactor Authentication Applications – By integrating solutions with third-party voice applications, contact centers can easily authenticate callers based on voice patterns, behavior, and profile matches.
This third-party business applications’ integration reflects the agent’s workspace through screen pops and provides relevant detailed customer information, including the first level of interaction channel – via Bots or IVR. This helps agents quickly authenticate customers even before answering the call and offer a delightful service experience without making them repeat the context repeatedly.
Caller’s Identification & Authentication can operationally handle authentication in 2 ways:1. Active Authentication – On-Call Authentication
2. Passive Authentication – Pre-Answer Authentication
Cyber-crimes have grown more sophisticated in recent years. Authenticating and verifying customers has become a necessity vis-à-vis just an alternative to impress customers. Whether you choose an active or passive authentication process, you should focus on deploying secure methods to authenticate the callers.
Here is a list of some sophisticated authentication methods used to secure the systems
1. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)2. Multi-Factor Authentication – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) includes two or more independent ways (codes, Captcha tests, fingerprints, voice biometrics, or facial recognition) to identify a customer.3. Biometric Authentication – Voice-based Authentication4. Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA)5. Password-based Authentication6. One-Time Passcode (OTP) Authentication via SMS & Email
1. The customer or caller initiates an inbound call into the IVR, and then it routes to the agent.2. Immediately, the agent receives multi-factor or biometric authentication status on their screen before answering the call.3. Then the agent authenticates the caller through
Biometric authentication works on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. It validates customers’ identities by analyzing their voice characteristics.
The first agent conducts the standard authentication processes. As a caller talks to the agent, the system will take a sample of the caller’s speech for at least 30 seconds. This voice sample collection can be done naturally or ask callers to repeat the phrase. The system will store the voiceprint of the caller on its database.
When the caller calls again through IVR, he can be asked to say a few key phrases. Further, the system compares this temporary voiceprint with the stored voiceprint; if there is a positive match, then the agent will answer the call by addressing the caller with their name. It will not only personalize the customer interaction process but also save the agents’ time so that they focus on addressing customer queries quickly.
A customer or caller is authenticated against the following parameters for accurate verification:
⦿ ANI ValidationIn this, confirmation is made based on device use. ANI Validation confirms that a call is coming from the caller’s device and is not spoofed.⦿ ANI MatchAutomatic Number Identification (ANI) is an advanced telephony service that enables agents to capture and display the phone number making the call. It searches from an existing database, making authentication easier if it is a positive match.
1. Low-Risk TransactionThere are events or transactions that have a low-risk factor involved. In such scenarios, businesses can deploy active authentication to validate the identity of the callers. Since the risk of fraud is limited, agents can opt for a two-factor authentication method, including- a username & password and a One-Time Passcode or Password (OTP).
If it is a Low-risk transaction, agents can deploy other authentication methods:
⦿ Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)⦿ Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA)⦿ Password-based Authentication
The retail industry involves low-risk transactions. Here, contact center agents can use Active Authentication to validate the identity of the customers. They can authenticate customers’ identities through the Two-Factor method or deploy Knowledge-Based authentication.
1. High-Risk TransactionBusinesses can deploy Per-Answer or Passive authentication methods to strengthen the validation process in the case of critical transactions involving higher risks. Agents can rely on powerful authentication methods like biometric authentications, including voice authentication, given the high risk of fraud involved. Further, a combination of ANI Validation and ANI Match can be deployed to enhance safety and combat threats like call spoofing.
If it is a High-risk transaction, then agents can deploy other authentication methods:
⦿ Multi-Factor Authentication – Codes, Voice Biometrics, or Facial Recognition.⦿ Biometric Authentication – Voice-based Authentication
Use-Case of Passive Authentication in High-Risk Transactions
Various industries like the Business sector, Banking/Credit/Financial, Government/Military, Education, etc., are at high risk of cyber-attacks and vulnerable to the risk of sensitive data breaches. Passive Authentication is the best method to authenticate customers or callers in these high-risk transactions. Contact center agents can deploy passive strategies like Multi-factor (codes, voice, face) and Biometric authentication (voice sample and faceprint, etc.) to authenticate callers’ identity before answering their calls.
i. Improved Customer ExperienceThe automation in the customer authentication process eliminates the hassle of the manual authentication process and simplifies the onboarding process to delight customers with superior CX. With an automated workflow, agents can easily authenticate and validate the true identity of the callers or customers.
ii. Enhance Agent ProductivityManaging customer authentication processes and customer interaction simultaneously can affect the agent’s productivity. The combination of AI-based authentication processes and a unified communication tool for contextual conversation drive agents’ productivity to deliver exceptional customer service.
iii. Eliminate Repetitive InformationAgents are occupied with a number of tasks in contact centers. When they have to deal with repetitive, manual, monotonous tasks – especially authenticating the customers or callers- it impacts agent productivity and motivation toward their job. Automation in customer authentication frees agents to take care of more important issues while significantly reducing errors and keeping information up-to-date.
iv. Improve Average Handle Time (AHT)Automating customer identification & authentication process with the help of unified customer view, and third-party integrations help agents to streamline their operations. Through automation, agents can automatically and instantly authenticate the callers’ identities before answering the call. While answering the call, the agent can solely focus on listening to customers and address their queries during the first contact itself, thereby improving customer satisfaction.
v. Reducing Data BreachAccording to cloud nine, 81% of hacking-related data breaches are due to stolen and weak passwords. The key benefit of identifying & authenticating customers through two-factor or multi-factor authentication primarily lies in its ability to deter frauds.
vi. Improving Brand Reputation & LoyaltyTrust-building is a crucial factor that makes your customers or clients stay with you for the long haul. And trust comes when you ensure your client’s data are kept confidential. Thus, identification & authentication is the process to ensure complete safety.
NovelVox is making authentication quick and easy by unifying systems and workflows through automation and unified CX communication tools.
Here are the steps involved in identifying & authenticating callers over voice calls:
Step 1 – The caller calls into IVR.Step 2 – The IVR routes the call to the contact center agent.Step 3 – The agent receives the call on the unified communication tool, like the unified agent desktop, that reflects all flags and call variables to identify the call.Step 4 – The agent screens pop-ups with the relevant customer information, like basic contact details and past interactions, before answering the call.Step 5 – Now, the agent accepts the call and treats a caller with his first name to personalize the CX.Step 6 – The agent can easily re-authenticate the caller’s identity through voice match by leveraging back-end integration and unified customer view.
What if your customer or a caller interacts with you over instant messaging channels like Social Media Channels, chatbots, WhatsApp, or LiveChat? You can automate customer identification by combining instant chat solutions like Chatbot or WhatsApp with Unified Agent Desktop.
⦿ Agents can deploy automated Chatbot solutions like InfiBot to automate the authentication process.
⦿ Simultaneously, a Unified Agent Desktop like Agent Accelerator helps the agent to continue with the contextual conversation.
Here are the steps involved in identifying & authenticating callers over Chatbot:
Step 1 – The customer or caller initiates chat on digital channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Web chat, SMS, and WhatsApp.
Step 2 – Chatbot responds to the caller personally through his name with the help of backend integration.
Step 3 – When the customer asks queries related to account balance, balance check, ticket status, and password reset, the Chatbot starts with customer authentication at this point.
Step 4 – Chatbot identifies callers through channel identifiers like Social Media ID or Mobile Number saved in the backend.
Step 5 – On successful validation chatbot sends a confirmation text to the caller.
Step 6 – The caller asks the chatbot to connect to agents for specific queries.
Step 7 – Chatbot escalates the conversation to the appropriate agents.
Step 8 – The agent on his screen receives all flags, interaction details, and chat script from the agent’s desktop.
Step 9 – The agent’s screen auto-populates relevant customer details or past interactions before initiating the conversation.
Step 10 – Customers start interacting with agents leaving the bot.
NovelVox understands that not all transactions are equally risk-prone. Some are low-risk, and some have high-risk transactions that require safety. For any high-risk transaction or event, NovelVox deploys a sophisticatedly safe Passive authentication method – Voice Biometrics.
In this authentication method, agents consider the unique biological characteristics of an individual – Voice to authenticate the caller’s real identity. Further, it compares voice samples to voices saved in a database from past interactions.
Here are the steps involved in identifying & authenticating callers over Voice:
Step 1 – The caller calls into IVR.Step 2 – The IVR routes the call to the contact center agent.Step 3 – The agent receives the call on the unified communication tool, like the unified agent desktop, that reflects all flags and call variables to identify the call.Step 4 – ow, the agent will receive customer authentication status on the unified agent desktop through integration with third-party multi-factor authentication systems like Pindrop.
Step 5 – The application authenticates customers based on IVR behavior, ANI Match, Device used, and Voice.
Step 6 – The responses of the above parameters will display on the agent’s screen as authenticated or not authenticated.Step 7 – In case of ‘Not Authenticated,’ the agent will receive the status of the high-risk event. Then the agent will go for the next-level verification like OTPs.
Thus, in this way, agents can authenticate callers in high-risk transactions.
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