Can automated authentication strengthen customer trust and loyalty?

Posted on: January 27th, 2016 by Art Barger

Are your contact center agents still interrogating callers instead of serving them? If so, they may be creating a level of frustration and disappointment that can lead to lost customers and less profits for your bank or business.

In the recent article, “Happy Call Center Agents Create Loyal Customers,” a recent Harris Interactive survey found that 89 percent of customers who have a poor service experience end up switching to a competitor. So, the question call centers should be asking themselves is: “Are you continuing to create a better or weaker customer experience?”

One of the processes that can prevent contact centers from improving their level of customer service is how they authenticate inbound calls. While customer identification has nothing to do with solving a customer’s specific problems, it does have a substantial impact on the customer’s overall experience.

For example, the moment a customer runs into a problem with their bank account, they feel a sense of concern. After taking a few steps to phone their call center, they’re already disgruntled or anxious about getting the matter resolved. When they finally reach an agent, the only thing on their minds is getting their problem resolved in a timely manner.

If any part of that process is interrupted by an unexpected telephone interrogation, then that already disgruntled customer can become frustrated. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. They call up their bank and the first thing the bank does is hit them up with a bunch of security questions to help determine if they are who they say they are. How does this make customers feel? This supports a second finding in the Harris Interactive survey, which found that only one percent of customers feel companies always meet their expectations.

Today, knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions are part of the problem for contact centers. Not only are they frustrating to deal with, but they can leave customers feeling a sense of distrust with your brand.

The thing is, by the time an angry customer connects with a telephone agent, that agent should be all about the customer’s needs; greeting them with a friendly tone and ready to resolve whatever problem or issue they’ve called about. The problem many financial institutions have with meeting today’s customer expectations is the fact that many still rely on outdated tools such as KBA to identify callers over the phone. These methods are intrusive and can create irreversible damage to the bank-customer relationship, resulting in unhappy customers. And this goes without saying that KBA solutions are no longer predictive for accurately validating customers because today’s advanced social engineering schemes can easily defeat them.

Proactive automated authentication tools like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution makes sure that the customer’s needs come first. By automatically authenticating each caller while the phone is still ringing, TRUSTID doesn’t interrupt the customer’s quest to resolve their problem. When the caller who reaches a bank agent has already been validated in real time, the agent doesn’t have to start the call with a lengthy interrogation process that can eat up anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes before addressing the customer’s needs. Instead, the agent greets the customer with a friendly voice and immediately begins talking to the customer about why they’ve called. That’s the power of real-time automated telephone authentication.

By removing unnecessary interruptions, problem resolution is more efficient and customers feel good about the overall banking experience. This is how we help banks reduce increasing call center costs while building trust and loyalty with their customers.