A New Role for the Financial Services Contact Center
What is at the core of great customer experiences? Friendliness, convenience, and reliability are all things that may come to mind. From a delivery standpoint, how can a contact center attain each of those things?
To start, you need to look at your customer data, because customer data holds the answers to questions you haven’t even asked yet. For contact centers within financial services organizations, this is a serendipitous reality as they amass mountains of data during each customer interaction.
When used effectively, customer data can enhance the human touch – not replace it like many incorrectly assume when things like AI & RPA are mentioned.
Data-Smart Brands Deliver Better Customer Experiences
Building a seamless customer experience has been a top priority for a while now. There isn’t an industry on the planet that hasn’t been disrupted by the cloud and its promise of agility and flexibility to do just that. Each new disruption, from banking to housing to retail has been underpinned by volumes of new data types that, thanks to the cloud, can suddenly be captured cost-effectively.
The personalized, on-demand experiences of B2C giants like Amazon and Uber have forever changed the customer service landscape. Customers today choose businesses that deliver engaging, relevant experiences on all fronts, whether by phone, online or in-person.
Data is at the core of that unified, personalized experience.
For financial services, this is fortuitous. As an industry, a side benefit of mandatory compliance and regulatory requirements is the vast amount of both customer and communication data financial services brands can capture.
This data can be the foundation for creating more personalized experiences as it jumpstarts the ability to build a 360-degree view of the customer.
Brands that have taken advantage of innovative contact center technologies that both house and capture data, streamlining and structuring it into readymade reports and dashboards, have expanded their understanding of satisfaction levels and agent performance. With all of this data, they can now detect sentiment on voice calls, for instance.
Simply put, their capacity to understand and serve customers at the most granularly bespoke levels is greater than ever before.
The bottom line: Brands that have capitalized on delivering seamless experiences are in a position to win loyalty for life. This is because they meet their customers where they are and through the mediums they prefer, whether that’s on mobile, webchat, or voice.
But Challenges Remain
The first of which is that a vast amount of financial services brands still rely on legacy systems with siloed data. For them, integrating mountains of information in an effort to create a single source of truth for each customer that can be accessed across all departments seems unattainable, if not a full-on pipe dream.
Second, for some, customer data capture and integration remain incomplete or improperly categorized. Brands have trouble capturing and integrating data and of course, determining what gold actually exists in the vast data mines they sit on because they lack the tools or resources to effectively quantify and action the information.
Financial services brands that turned to all-in-one contact center platforms housed in the cloud are much farther along in addressing such issues.
Tools that utilize the automatic constant capture required for compliance have become invaluable. Because of these tools, brands have an expanded view and understanding of the customer thanks to the data captured across multiple communication channels such as email, texting, and voice. Applying AI, they’ve begun to automate and trigger actions that make personalization even faster and more accurate.
Data can be used as a strategic asset throughout your entire customer journey. But actioning your data starts with agents.
For more on how to marshall data for optimized performance, check out our article on the 5 trends shaping WFO & business intelligence.
Customer Expectations Continue to Redefine the Way Agents Work
Customers seek high-quality interactions, and the financial services brands they work with aren’t an exception to that rule. A new disruptor in the consumer landscape is the voice assistant, a device whose impact is only beginning to be seen on the customer service front. The use of voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa is set to triple over the next few years, according to a new forecast from the U.K.-based analysts at Juniper Research. The bar continues to be set ever higher, what can financial services brands do now to ready themselves for the next big thing?
They can start with an understanding of the customer’s history quickly and effectively use it whenever there is contact. Contact centers need to simultaneously provide identical and seamless digital and human interactions or risk being deemed out of touch, out of date, or irrelevant.
An added wrinkle is the fact that the lines between service and sales continue to blur. More and more contact center agents are expected to forge and strengthen customer relationships and, ultimately, generate revenue by leveraging these service touchpoints as upselling launchpads.
To accomplish this, contact centers need to adopt new types of diagnostic and technical awareness. Many have turned to platforms with capabilities that allow agents to
interpret relevant data in order to promptly identify the needs of customers & capitalize on moments to upserve.
Customers have no issue with bots to get to a resolution. Brands need to recognize that human agents can work interchangeably with AI and customer-facing digital assistants. Doing so will free up an agent’s capacity to apply the kind of finesse that can lead to greater sales opportunities.
But many brands struggle with deciding how to introduce these digital assistants to customers and which use cases are readily adaptable to AI. Contact centers with high call volumes are excellent places to pilot and refine solutions like chatbots or even highly-refined IVRs because they can quickly accumulate data to determine where such innovations are working.
The CX Arms Race Carries On
There is a greater focus on obtaining and leveraging data within the financial services contact center. This is because contact centers are well-positioned to gather additional, improved customer data through human-to-human interactions, but to capture this information, agents need the right tools.
This means using all the data provided to know them across all touchpoints. With improved data, agents and the broader organization can deliver a more personalized end-to-end customer experience – one that incorporates context from recent interactions along with robust customer profiles.
Changes in customer expectations have been ignited by the cross-platform ease of use seen in devices like voice assistants. But these are just a few factors pushing financial services brands to explore new strategies, methodologies, and capabilities to transform their customer experiences. But you don’t need to have a Ph.D. in data science to understand what these trends mean for your brand.
The new role for the financial services contact center is one rife with opportunity. Knowledge is power, and as the primary data aggregators and interpreters of customer-facing interactions, this means contact center managers are in a position to shape the future for their brand.
With a unified, one-stop-shop platform, stakeholders at every level of the business can glean insights about customers, making everybody smarter and more collaborative, which always leads to better outcomes.
LiveVox is a leading provider of enterprise cloud contact center solutions, managing more than 14+ billion interactions a year across a multichannel environment. With over 15 years of pure cloud expertise, we empower contact center leaders to drive effective engagement strategies on the consumer’s channel of choice. Our leading-edge risk mitigation and security capabilities help clients quickly adapt to a changing business environment. With new features released quarterly, LiveVox remains at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Supported by over 450 employees and rapidly growing, we are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Bangalore, and Colombia. To learn more, schedule a demo today.