Is your authentication process holding your call center back?

Posted on: May 07th, 2015 by Art Barger

When customers call your contact center, they don’t want to be interrogated or get their ear bent by a number of product pitches. They just want your help.

While there’s nothing wrong with leveraging the telephone channel to market new products and services, the challenge is doing it without disrupting the customer experience.

The recent article, “Marketing Underutilizes Customer Service, Says Demand Metric,” suggests that evolving from a legacy call center to a modern-day, profitable contact center means that marketing will play a bigger role in the customer experience. This may be the direction call centers are headed, but banks need to make sure that their authentication process isn’t limiting their ability to deliver superior customer service.

If your call center is still relying on knowledge-based authentication (KBA) tools to identify customers, you could be spending as much as a quarter of your phone time identifying customers. This leaves little time to provide exceptional customer service, let alone educate callers about your new product offerings.

Sure, there may be untapped opportunities for marketers to up-sell and cross-sell their customers over the telephone channel, but pitching new services to someone asking for help can negatively impact the profitable bank-customer relationship. Achieving a level of customer service that builds trust and goodwill with your customers doesn’t mean you have to spend more time on the phone, it simply requires using your call time more efficiently and effectively.

This can’t happen when the first minute or two is spent on interrogating your customers. This only leads to frustrated callers, which nobody wants. But when your customers’ needs are addressed at the start of the call, you resolve their problems faster, and in doing so, create an opportunity where they are more receptive to offers that add value to their banking experience.

One way banks are saving time on the front end of inbound calls is through automated caller authentication. Customer identity tools like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution proactively validates customer identities while the phone is still ringing. When only verified callers get through to your telephone agents, customers aren’t put through lengthy challenge questions. Instead, they’re greeted by a friendly voice that starts the conversation by asking about the caller’s immediate needs. As a result, the precious minutes you save at the start of each call (or what we like to call the “Golden Minute”) presents the best opportunity for positive engagement to sell additional products and services.

We all know that making customers feel like they are your top priority can open the door to marketing opportunities. As contact centers evolve, having the right authentication tools in place will play an important role in transforming traditional call center environments into profitable channels that build stronger customer relationships, and ultimate, more secure and trusted banking experiences.