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3 Strategies to Reduce Member Wait Times with Website Chat and SMS for Credit Unions

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March 26, 2019
By: LiveVox
Topics: SMS , Webite Chat

In a recent survey of 150+ credit union leaders, increasing member wait times was noted as the top member engagement challenge while SMS and website chat were selected as the most desirable new digital challenges. In this blog we’ll explore how the most desired new channels can be used to solve for the most prevailing engagement challenge facing credit unions today.

Do More with Less – There are usually two ways to reduce wait times – increase staff or increase efficiency. To service members on the phone, agents must adhere to a 1-to-1 ratio – one service call per agent at a time. Adding a new channel can significantly increase those ratios by up to 500% while offloading inbound call volume. How?

1. Add SMS as an IVR option recent study by research firm, Bain & Company found that the fastest growing segment, millennials, may also be the reason why call volumes are increasing in financial services. In the graph on the right, 18-34-year-olds revert to phone for routine services such as “check account balance” and “check status of transaction” after they cannot solve for this on other channels.

Credit unions can help service this mobile-willing group by offering an opportunity to service their routine calls via other channels such as SMS while deflecting from the IVR.

By enabling members to “Press 1” in an IVR instead of waiting on hold to move the interaction from phone to SMS will allow the agent to service the interaction in a new channel and accomplishes three things with one functionality:

1) Meet member’s channel of choice

2) Minimize live agent inbound call volumes and therefore wait times

3) Increase efficiency of agents by empowering them to simultaneously answer texts and voice calls.

The same study showed that regardless of age, routine services are the driving force behind most calls – as seen in the figure on the left, focusing initial agent training to service these inquiries via SMS will have a significant impact on every member age group.

2. Enable Self-Service on Your Website  A credit union’s website offers one of the greatest opportunities to increase self-service and minimize inbound inquiries. Recent studies* show that website chat has the highest customer satisfaction rating (73%) over phone and email as shown on the graph on the right.

With web chat in such high demand – how can credit unions make sure they make the best use of it? Here are three functions your website chat should encompass:

1) Incorporate chatbots onto your website chat

2) Establish a seamless connection from chatbot to agent by equipping agents with a member’s chat history and account information upon connection

3) Enable the member’s journey to continue by also equipping the agent with Email/SMS capabilities

If successful, credit unions can leverage chat to further accelerate agent efficiency and empowering them to handle inbound phone, SMS, and website chat inquiries simultaneously.

Since member response times vary across channels (e.g. member response over chat may take longer than SMS), agents can handle several service inquiries at once across multiple channels – taking them from a 1-to-1 ratio up to a 5-to-1 ratio.

3. Cultivate Digital Behavior Finally, the recent Bain & Company study suggests that the biggest reason users, especially millennials fail to leverage digital channels and applications is “Habit” as shown in the graph on the right. By offering new channels and making it easy to use for members, credit unions can begin to cultivate a digital engagement behavior among its members. As digital adoption becomes more proficient, the volume of inbound calls is expected to decrease along with member wait times.

Learn More and See these Features in Action!

LiveVox’s comprehensive cloud customer engagement platform provides the functionality and expertise to develop a simplified path to evolving to a more digitally-focused member engagement. Learn more about LiveVox and see these features live by contacting us at info@livevox.com

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