November 20, 2012

For many years, the quality of the relationship between banks and customers has been gradually eroding. Only one in four Americans now view banks in a positive light, while fully half have negative perceptions, according to a Gallup survey conducted earlier this year.

Banks are just starting to recognize the detrimental impact on their brands, and are in turn beginning earnest attempts to quickly repair their customer relationships.

One potential avenue to drive market differentiation entails abandoning a reliance on traditional, outdated call centers. Today’s most prescient banks are now providing customer service via advanced contact centers that can handle customer interactions in myriad forms, such as e-mail, mobile texts, and Web and video chats.

Given this proliferation, and to meet surging demand for always-on customer service, banks are literally driving a digital revolution, making significant investments in six transformative technologies:

-- Video

-- Proactive outbound multi-channel solutions

-- Session Initiated Protocol (SIP)

-- Mobile Applications

-- Analytics

-- Social media monitoring

Video Proliferation and User Adoption Drive Video Demand

Leading this client-service transformation is video throughout the enterprise. In stark contrast to the expensive and outdated centrally located videoconference room, desktop solutions are increasing efficient use of video throughout the bank, including the contact center.

With video, widely dispersed employees and customers can quickly come together, face-to-face, anywhere at any time, to discuss accounts. As a result, customers can form more personal relationships with their contact center agents and financial advisors, while addressing any personal financial issues directly with well-trained experts at the banks.

IVR Goes Outbound

Proactive outreach solutions comprise another intriguing contact-center service offering, particularly in light of the ongoing shift in client demographics. Breaking from the habits of most Baby Boomers (who prefer phone calls to communicate), Gen-Xers rely more-so on e-mail and text messages.

Proactive outreach technology now enables financial service companies to proactively reach out to customers – via automated voice, text or e-mail – to politely address sensitive customer issues, such as early stage delinquencies. Such tech deployment often improves collections, agency productivity and the customer experience, while cutting costs.