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Contact Centers

Financial Services


Rise of Challenger Banks: How Legacy Banks Can Respond

Natterbox Team

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The biggest banks are some of the oldest in operation, but that doesn’t mean they should continue to serve their customers using old methods and technology. A report by Deloitte found that legacy infrastructure and data fragmentation across the enterprise continues to impede banks’ digital transformation initiatives, but the pandemic brought a greater appetite for technology-driven transformation at banks. With challengers and disruptors like Monzo and Atom Bank gaining steam with their digital-first approach to financial services, the stalwarts must adapt quickly to avoid becoming industry laggards.

Customers want quick and efficient service, with personalized experiences that meet expectations. And when it comes time to make contact, a report by Accenture found that the majority of customers prefer to make a call, especially if their issue is urgent. Legacy banks must therefore embrace technology and solutions that support the outstanding customer service interactions that consumers expect and anticipate while factoring in proper compliance and cybersecurity to protect this technology. By making the right investments today, banks can deliver safe, secure, and satisfactory results tomorrow.


Build Trust Quickly

Banks often struggle to gain a 360-degree view of their customers, so customer service agents need to have the right tools to greet customers by name and have their entire call history at their fingertips. This is especially important in banking, an industry in which nearly three-quarters (72%) of customers say that personalization is “highly important.”

To ensure that customers receive the prompt answers they need, businesses should consider skills-based routing functionality, which allows them to easily and efficiently direct their customers to the best-fit expert every time. Using technology to route customer calls to the relevant teams automatically ensures that queries and issues are dealt with quickly and provides a consistently high level of customer service.

And in a world where consumers may need assistance at any hour, customer service should never sleep. Automated interactive voice response (IVR) flows – based on any data point in a CRM like Salesforce – ensure that customers can take immediate action on any critical issue. That way, when the worst happens, and a credit card is lost or stolen, customers can take immediate action and resolve this problem without needing to speak to an agent.

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Embrace Artificial Intelligence for Superior Results

Looking ahead, Gartner estimates that AI will become a foundational element in the development of contact center software. Until now, contact centers have largely used metadata to improve their customer experience, but AI has started stepping in to assist in offering exceptional, intelligent customer experiences. For example, if any negative sentiment is present during a customer interaction, AI technology can detect the problematic words and flag the call recording for management to address. A manager can then listen to that recording to pinpoint the problem and provide the necessary feedback and/or training to ensure the agent understands how to better address the situation going forward.

That’s an important feature, but AI can do more than customer sentiment detection. Consider the challenge of problem-solving: if an agent doesn’t understand how to resolve a particular issue, AI can suggest agent training, helping to facilitate on-the-job learning. Alternatively, AI may suggest transferring the customer to an expert on the topic.


Increase Cybersecurity to Protect Customer Data

As a standard practice, businesses should record calls to zero in on where their teams can improve. But, given the personal and private nature of the recordings, they need to be stored securely and compliantly in cutting-edge cloud infrastructure. Especially with strict FCA and GDPR regulations in place, there is clearly no room for error. When it comes to protecting customer data, contact centers have a big responsibility on their shoulders. Customers must share personal information – both relating to who they are and their bank account – over the phone. That information will then make its way to a database.

Companies of all sizes rely on their staff to ensure that customer data is securely transmitted – however, this isn’t the most secure option. It is essential to be able to rely on the integrity of staff. But if contact center databases are not properly managed and secured, they would quickly become an easy target for theft of personal and sensitive information. Neustar’s 2021 State of Call Center Authentication report highlights the challenges that financial services firms face, with most (64%) expressing concern about fraud originating in the call center. Data breaches are a significant risk for the industry, resulting in millions of dollars in damages every year.

These risks cannot be overstated. Businesses must take the appropriate steps to ensure their customers are protected with the right technology solutions. For example, customer data is much more secure when agents wear their headsets, which ensures that no one else can hear the conversation. Without this barrier, no one knows who may be listening in the background.

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Fulfill Customer Expectations with the Right Technology

Customer expectations are higher than ever – they want better service and faster resolutions while knowing that the information they share is secured. It’s a tall order, but technology is here to fulfill those expectations. Legacy banks and other financial services firms have the ability to use technology that improves customer interactions in every respect. Customer service agents can become more knowledgeable, receive accurate feedback and excel at what they do with the right solutions at hand. This is the power and potential of technology to bring innovations and a customer service revolution to contact centers everywhere. Now is the time for the financial services industry to take notice.

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