The digital transformation in banking is real, and in recent years, financial leaders and customers alike have seen real benefits from it. Omnichannel banking, as one example, has enabled the industry to diversify and bolster revenue streams, driving down costs and boosting margins, while digital innovation has empowered consumers to embrace the portability and flexibility of mobile banking.
When it comes to contact centers, though, many banks are still finding their footing or are still using ineffective traditional systems. While promotional campaigns can certainly generate new customer accounts, maintaining and nurturing long-term relationships means enhancing the customer experience with every engagement. Here's where flexible, scalable, and customer-friendly omnichannel solutions come into play.
The Lacking Legacy
Who doesn't get frustrated dealing with traditional call centers? The endless automated menu options when calling customer support can be confusing, especially when you miss an option. Assuming your customers don't fat-finger their account numbers, their success entitles them to a precious spot in the queue. Relief kicks in when they finally connect with a representative who again asks them to answer more security questions before finally getting a chance to explain the reason for the call.
Legacy in-house PBX systems like this one are burdensome for both the bank and the customer, requiring costly up-front investments for hardware, software, and IT support staff for servicing upgrades and maintenance, not to mention the high cost of labor for contact center agents who have to navigate overloaded queues and re-connected inquiries. This can be especially detrimental in the financial industry, where many banks are already feeling the loss of customers to online-only banking and are struggling to keep up in an increasingly competitive market.
With this in mind, it's no surprise that the top three strategic priorities for banks in 2018, as reported by The Financial Brand, are to redesign/enhance the digital experience for customers, enhance analytics capabilities, and reduce operating costs. In fact, 61 percent of the banks in the report claim that removing friction from the customer journey is their overall top priority.
So banking leaders know a solution is needed; they just have to execute.
With an omnichannel cloud contact center in place, banks can avoid the pitfalls of traditional systems and deliver the efficient service customers expect out of their financial institution. Banks gain the flexibility and scalability to accommodate customers through multiple channels, including voice/phone, chat, SMS, social media, email, and video.
Customers gain the flexibility to choose from a wider selection of contact touchpoints to better accommodate their preferences and serve their needs. One customer may prefer to use a social media platform like the bank's Twitter account to ask general mortgage questions, whereas another may prefer to use an online chat rep to send a replacement debit card, and another may find comfort in talking to a rep over the phone to transfer money between two accounts. No matter how customers engage with the bank, financial reps can interact with them in real-time, providing them with the best possible service through multiple channels.
Moving to a cloud-based omnichannel contact center can seem like a big step for banks only knee deep in the digital transformation, but its a move that can augment your existing center into a growth driver.
A Turbine for Data
Everyone has had the frustrating experience of calling a banking contact center to ask about an account discrepancy, only to have to recite their information several times and with each new representative. Imagine replacing that sequence, though, with a more streamlined version: "Hi there. I have your account details on my screen. It looks like you last experienced _____. How can I help you solve that problem?"
This kind of personalized and efficient customer interaction is the result of omnichannel banking, where various channels of communication are connected and are able to pass customer data seamlessly from one channel to the next. Instead of the caller having to repeat their information again and again, the cloud collects information and sends it along to the representative most equipped to handle the inquiry. This is especially critical for today's brick-and-mortar financial institutions competing against digital banking solutions; these banks provide the quick, personalized service customers want, while keeping center agents from becoming overloaded.
Cloud-based omnichannel banking not only enhances the customer experience, it also transforms the contact center into a robust data turbine that collects real-time customer data. With AI-powered bots sifting through data to spot trends, nuances, and patterns, banks can leverage this data to enhance personalization initiatives that match relevant products to specific customers. This kind of real-time data collection is key to meeting — and exceeding — customers' expectations of value.
Re-Shaping Engagement Models
Omnichannel enables contact centers to maximize engagements by parlaying relevant solutions to a captivated audience in real-time to compound positive outcomes. While a customer may call about replacing a debit card, omnichannel enables the agility to connect relevant product solutions that can result in the customer upgrading to a high-interest checking account or applying for a mortgage or exploring wealth management services. True omnichannel enables simultaneous connectivity without the friction, which is the magic formula to nurturing long-term relationships.
Moving to a cloud-based omnichannel contact center can seem like a big step for banks only knee deep in the digital transformation, but its a move that can augment your existing center into a growth driver. Banks creating an omnichannel experience for their customers are heading in the right direction of their transformation initiatives, using the benefits of an omnichannel contact center as a foundation for building more effective customer engagement — and they're beating the competition in the process.