Taking the guesswork out of customer service

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By Guest on 06 September 2017
Taking the guesswork out of customer service

This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Record.

Imagine this scenario: a customer calls his bank to confirm that the funds from a cheque they deposited have been transferred. After verifying the customer’s account, the call centre employee assures the customer it will be transferred tomorrow. The customer is relieved and satisfied – but did the bank make the most out of this phone call?

Modern banking requires efficient customer engagement and meeting more than the minimum standards of customer satisfaction. Imagine if the employee had the ability to go beyond the customer’s initial request and add value to the customer relationship. If the employee could view the customer’s channel usage information, they could have seen that the customer did not have the bank’s mobile app installed. Then, the employee could offer to help the customer set up the banking app and to receive notifications when funds become available. Or, if the call centre rep was aware that the bank was missing key parts of the customer’s account information, they could have used the call as an opportunity to fill in data gaps. 

Traditional banking interactions are inefficient, with overly narrow engagements, limited by minimal or inaccessible customer data. Today’s customers want their banks to be proactive, personal and quick. However, bank employees are unable to deliver on these expectations because they lack the ability to tie together customer preferences, decisions, previous conversations and more; they miss the bigger picture.

With nearly every transaction in the banking industry executed electronically, the amount of data generated is staggering. However, while data is pervasive, it does not always yield insights immediately. Banks have a plethora of information at their disposal – from product usage to channel usage data – but they need a data management approach to bring this data together from all parts of the business. 

According to the 2014 Capgemini study of banks, Big data alchemy: How can banks maximise the value of their customer data?, 57% of respondents cite data silos as being the biggest delay to effective decision-making in their organisation. For all our advancements in data collection, often banks are faced with the challenges of unifying data from separate channels and integrating it for a holistic view of the data. 

Banks that empower all their employees with actionable customer insights will be better positioned to address customer issues for increased customer satisfaction. Before this is possible, banks need to solve their major pain points ranging from siloed customer data, compliance issues, inconsistent channel integration, usage of expensive, highly assisted channels to poor portfolio management. 

With these challenges, banks today are just operating blindly, without a specific target in mind. Suppose instead, you could easily identify which customers were at risk for churn. Or you knew a customer frequently worked with the call centre to resolve issues that could more quickly be solved on the mobile app. What if you could solve data compliance issues by working with customers when you have them to fill in missing information? 

With more visibility into the information that banks already have at their disposal, banks gain an easy way of knowing the right customers to focus on at the right time. 

Customer Insights for Banking, built on Microsoft cloud technology, empowers banks and bank employees with a holistic, 360-degree view of their customers. The solution consolidates data from across the business, enabling bank employees to drive more informed conversations with customers. With role-based views, dashboards can also be customised to deliver the most pertinent information in real time – increasing servicing efficiency across all employees. By collecting relevant customer data from a variety of customer contact points, including e-mails, mobile apps, call centres, in-branch interactions, ATMs, social media channels and relevant market data from external sources such as real-time stock market data, economic events and sentiment analysis, Customer Insights for Banking gives your employees an insight about product usage, channel interactions and more. This enables them to deliver informed, personalised interactions, offers and services to customers. 

Without this capability, banks stand to lose to competitors that have replaced guesswork with data-informed decision-making and seamless customer experiences across all channels. Bringing your data together with Customer Insights for Banking is the first step towards standing up against the competition. 

Wim Geukens is managing director of VeriPark Europe

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