Pre-call authentication: Creating a trifecta for contact centers

Posted on: November 11th, 2015 by Art Barger

One way contact centers can lower average call handling times is by removing unnecessary security questions. This alone can shave an average of 45 seconds off each call. Depending on how many customer calls you receive each year, this can reduce anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars in annual operating expenses. It can also free up your call center agents, who are available to answer more inbound calls during a spike in call volumes.

While lowering the time your telephone reps spend on calls may be good for your budget, there are other things to consider when optimizing your call center operations.

First, each time your agents pick up an unvalidated call, they’re putting your customers and your confidential business data at risk. That’s because using sensitive customer information to identify customers over the telephone is no longer predictive and should not be trusted. Data breaches and the mishandling of personal information weakens security defenses that rely on challenge questions to identify callers over the phone.

Second, knowledge-based authentication (KBA) does nothing to help improve the profitable bank-customer relationship. By interrogating customers over the phone, you’re interrupting the user experience. This frustrates customers, negatively impacting the way they feel about your brand.

Instead of simply replacing post-call authentication methods for the sake of saving time and money, financial institutions need to consider proactive measures that validate callers pre-call.

By automating your authentication process, contact centers can identify customers before they are allowed into your telephone system. Along with taking costly challenge questions out of the mix, both financial institutions and customers can benefit in a number of ways, including:

  • No more interruptions: When a caller is validated before an agent picks up the phone, security questions are no longer required. The bank rep can immediately start addressing the customer’s problems without any disruption. This saves both the customer and agent time.
  • Stronger customer relationships: Of course, customers can always appreciate when their problems are resolved in a timely manner. But making callers feel like they are the priority can strengthen the bond between you and your banking customers.
  • Secured customer environment: Pre-call authentication allows banks to verify callers earlier in the process, without relying on non-predictive KBA methods. When banks can make faster decisions around security, they remove high-risk calls from their telephone system. This blocks social engineers from getting the chance to scam bank agents. With spoofed calls removed from your environment, bank reps can focus on providing quality services to more good customers.
  • Scalable contact center: Call volumes can fluctuate. By spending less time on good calls and no time on bad ones, contact center operations work more efficiently and can scale when they need to.

While managing average handling times (AHT) is important, it’s not the only thing contact center managers should focus on. Customer identification tools like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution go beyond improving efficiency, providing additional benefits to enhance the overall contact center environment.

By invisibly validating customers while the phone is still ringing, TRUSTID helps improve the level of security, creating a better overall banking experience. And when your authentication process allows you to improve efficiency, security and customer relations, it creates an winning environment for everyone involved.