Contact centers taking a lead role in the overall banking experience

Posted on: May 01st, 2013 by Art Barger

Long are the days of waiting in long lines to cash checks or make routine bank deposits. In today’s multi-channel marketplace, the way customers want to bank is changing, and in turn, so are the ways financial institutions service customers.

For many of us, walking into our bank’s branch office is becoming a rare occurrence, anymore. More and more customers are banking remotely because of the ease, speed and convenience it has made on our busy lifestyles. Along with that, the primary role of bank contact centers is shifting from informational and troubleshooting centers to sales and purchase-related activities.

The recent article, “Talking Up Sales in the Contact Center,” addresses some key changes that are taking place in the banking environment, including:

  • Customers are making less branch visits, but still want a live conversation with a bank representative when opening accounts
  • Remote banking is maturing from a transactions service to a full shopping and banking experience in a multi-channel marketplace
  • Bank contact centers are playing a central role in customer acquisition and cross-selling
  • Higher averages sales conversion ratios are taking place in contact centers (2%) than walk-in branch traffic (typically around 1.5%)
  • Despite years of investments in branch selling, the best sales conversion ratios have only a fraction of the potential of the contact center

With callers typically setting aside 15 minutes for help, if the bank agent can address their needs and service them in the first few minutes, a customer will likely have time to listen to additional banking services that go beyond their initial needs. This is one example of how banks can improve customer satisfaction and their bottom line.

With progressive contact centers fast becoming the largest branch for banking, the article suggests banks need to “strengthen their sales strategies and back up their commitment with the appropriate investments in people, processes and technology.”

Another way many leading financial institutions are enhancing the banking experience through the telephone channel is through the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication tool, which verifies the risk of the call pre-answer so when the banks agent picks up they can immediately begin serving the customer.

Unlike traditional knowledge-based authentication (KBA) tools that interrogate customers with a bunch of challenge questions during the first minute of the call, TRUSTID validates the risk of the call before it is answered to help banks take advantage of the “golden minute” of the phone conversation. These precious few seconds present the highest likelihood of positive engagement to immediately address the customer’s needs and use the time saved to sell additional products and services.

Too many financial institutions continue to lose the opportunity by relying on time-consuming security questions to validate callers. This outdated method uses up valuable resources, drives up call center costs, and is destroying the trust and goodwill of their customers, which ultimately impacts the bottom line.

Moving forward, every banks’ success will be determined by its ability to constantly change with the market and meet growing customer demands. The TRUSTID Physical Caller Authentication solution helps them get there by averting fraud without wasting valuable time and resources interrogating customers over the telephone channel. By deploying tools that keep each customer’s needs upfront and center, banks can better serve their customers, sell new services, drive down operating costs, and generate more revenue through customer loyalty.