Basic banking services have long been commoditized. Checking and savings accounts are pretty much the same from bank to bank. Online and mobile banking services have further distanced customers from their financial institutions, creating a self-service environment that makes it difficult to build strong relationships.

Technology has certainly been a disruptive force within the financial services sector. However, smart banks and credit unions are embracing technology solutions to enhance the customer experience. The key is to create an interactive, omni-channel environment that blends intuitive self-service with highly personalized assistance.

The contact center serves as the focal point of this activity. Today’s contact center solutions combine traditional voice communications with online chat, text, email, and social and mobile applications. This platform enables customers to communicate using the channel of their choice, and move fluidly from online self-service tools to assisted service interactions.

It also helps banks and credit unions meet the expectations of today’s consumers. Accustomed to the speed and convenience of online services, consumers expect nothing less in personal interactions. By facilitating customer engagement, the contact center helps financial institutions build customer relationships, and becomes a profit center that drives top-line growth and improved profitability.

In the financial services sector, the contact center should:

  1. Direct Customers to the Right Agent. A well-designed contact center connects customers with subject-matter experts who can facilitate complex transactions and create revenue-generating opportunities. Sophisticated routing software uses algorithms to automatically connect customers to the right agent based upon their needs.
  2. Provide Business Intelligence. By integrating the contact center with enterprise applications and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, contact center agents can quickly access the account information and transaction history needed to respond more quickly to customer requests.
  3. Unify Branch Locations. Customers shouldn’t be required to contact a specific branch for service. An IP contact center can seamlessly route calls regardless of location, and enable branch staff to handle customer interactions during periods of heavy call volume.
  4. Increase Productivity and Efficiency. A well-designed contact center enables real-time communication and collaboration among employees and managers. This helps to streamline business processes and speed decision-making across the organization.

The ShoreTel Connect Contact Center delivers powerful features in a secure, highly available platform that can scale up to 1,000 users. Building upon the success of its Enterprise Contact Center solution, ShoreTel took the common platform and user experience of ShoreTel Connect and incorporated multichannel routing, real-time and historical reporting, and deep integration with workforce optimization and CRM solutions. A full suite of collaboration tools can be accessed through a sleek, browser-based interface that enables agents to work from anywhere. Supervisors gain the advanced statistics, detailed agent activity and contextual interaction information they need to optimize both efficiency and service levels.

In an era of near-zero interest rates and ever-increasing competition, banks, credit unions and others in the financial services sector must find new ways to attract and retain customers while boosting revenues and profitability. UtiliComm can help you design and implement a contact center platform that helps you achieve these goals by optimizing the customer experience.

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