Customers want questions answered — not the other way around

Posted on: July 09th, 2014 by Art Barger

How are you authenticating your inbound calls? If you’re still relying on telephone agents to invest a few minutes on each call to identify your customers you’re wasting precious time and putting your bank and customer accounts at risk.

Why? Spending any amount of time to determine the authenticity of your inbound calls today eats up precious time on each call and continues to drive up your overall operational expenses. Using traditional knowledge-based authentication (KBA) methods to interrogate customers over the telephone channel is no longer efficient or reliable for identifying customers. Here’s why:

  • Increased operating costs: Today’s business environments require quick, reliable telephone authentication. Taking the first minute or two to ask customer-identifying questions increases your average call handle time. So, the more time you add to each call, the more labor costs you end up spending every year.
  • Damaged customer relationships: Imagine an inbound call coming from a longtime customer of five or ten years. Instead of being met with a warm greeting, they are treated like anyone else — untrustworthy until they’ve been positively identified through a lengthy telephone interrogation. This treatment could damage the goodwill you’ve created between you and your customers.
  • Not predictive for customer identification: When customer sensitive information is accessible to anyone on the Internet, relying on a question-answer format to identify customers cannot positively authenticate customers over the telephone. The reality is crooks can correctly answer security questions and good customers often forget or incorrectly answer their own personal questions. With these two scenarios a possibility, call centers cannot afford to rely on KBA methods to determine if a call is trustworthy or not.

Quality customer service should be about answering your customers’ questions, not the other way around. With KBA, you’re immediately putting your customers in the hot seat. That’s no way to start a conversation or strengthen trusted relationships with your customers. Your customers call because they want answers. Turning the tables at the onset of each call will only put them on the defensive.

Using real-time telephone network forensics, the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution eliminates the need for telephone interrogations by validating the Caller ID and ANI before the call is answered. By automating the authentication process, your contact center operations can instantly block any suspicious calls from entering your system.

For calls that have been validated pre-call, your telephone agents don’t have to grill your good customers with a bunch of challenge questions. Instead, they only pick up calls that have been verified as trustworthy. When this happens, customers are immediately greeted by call center reps who are ready to answer any questions and quickly resolve any issues they may have.