How important is it to provide contact center representatives with a 360-degree view of the customer, and what types of systems enable that? What metrics are the most important in helping banks track the productivity and effectiveness of their call center staffs? How is social media changing banks' contact center activities, and ultimately, what is the role of the call center in the 21st century multichannel financial institution? --Peggy Bresnick Kendler
Customers have come to recognize contact centers as both painful and indispensible. This reliance has led financial institutions to view contact centers as a first line of defense.
For contact centers to become more effective, banks should evaluate their contact centers from the outside in. Look at the customer experience first -- see if you're meeting their needs and where you might be falling short. Typically these assessments will lead to strategies and prioritized enhancements. You are now seeing more-flexible solutions coming forth via hosting alternatives and modularized technologies.
Due to numerous mergers in the banking industry, along with a need to differentiate around service, institutions have an opportunity to take a fresh look at contact center initiatives. Requirements for staying relevant to customers include the need to incorporate channels such as social networking and mobile communications into your customers' experience.
Automated voice messaging for alerts, strategies and built-in capabilities for call deflection, enhanced agent desktop reporting, and cross-channel campaign optimization are other examples of possible improvements. Many improvements are driven solely by gathering a comprehensive view of the customer. Reduction of inbound calls, wait times and customer satisfaction scores are a subset of many key metrics that need to be tracked and improved upon.
The bottom line is that as we become a more mobile and connected society, the contact center will be the front line of an integrated customer experience.
Raj Dhinsa is managing principal of Verizon's financial services practice.