omnichannel ; crm; contact center

How Financial Service Providers are Improving ROI with Omnichannel Customer Service

As more financial service providers move to the cloud, they are looking for sophisticated omnichannel technology to improve ROI and digitally transform their customer communications. Whether you are a bank, brokerage firm, credit union, or other financial service provider, you can provide best-in-class customer service with omnichannel contact center technology.

Omnichannel Technology for Financial Service Providers

Differentiate yourself by providing multichannel interactions via voice, email, SMS, social messenger apps, and video. Financial service providers should select a contact center solution that includes the following features to improve ROI.

  • Outbound Calling Functionality – Make sure you select contact center technology that will enable your agent to be more efficient. Predictive, preview, progressive, and manual preview modes let campaign operators tailor their dialer for any list quality and/or desired agent engagement.
  • Banking Functionality – The banking industry has faced a number of challenges, one being the increase in omnichannel interactions. Consumers are demanding an omnichannel experience, and banks have become competitive with offerings like in-app mobile deposits and video ATMs. It is necessary to implement an innovative omnichannel experience to keep pace with competitors. Just make sure your channels work together seamlessly to improve the overall experience.
  • Integrate with Existing CRMs, Out of the Box – Increase agent productivity with an integration UI, click-to-call, screen pop, and activity history automatically saved with each ticket. Bright Pattern has out-of-the-box integrations with top CRM providers, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zendesk, Oracle Service Cloud, and ServiceNow.
  • Unified Agent Desktop – Many omnichannel contact centers comprise multiple technology vendors, making it difficult for agents to navigate. Select a platform that allows agents to work in a single user interface for all supported channels. Use a technology that pulls important data to the front of the agent’s screen to reduce scrolling and hopping from pages to locate important customer data like bank statements and payments due.
  • PCI Compliance – As a financial service provider, you must comply with strict regulations to protect consumer data and avoid litigation. Bright Pattern is compliant with PCI DSS 3.2, the highest level of PCI security, which provides the framework for your business’s compliance.

For more information, view Bright Pattern Omnichannel Contact Center Technology for Finance and Banking.

Unbeatable Omnichannel Technology Helps BPOs Get an Edge on the Competition and Retain Clients Longer

From Guest Blogger Bright Pattern

As more consumers use digital channels to talk to friends and family, the more they expect to find top brands on all their favorite digital channels, such as chat, forums, and social messengers. Companies need to respond by meeting their customers on these channels, or else risk losing them to the competition.

Business processing outsourcing companies (BPOs), in particular, need to respond swiftly to new client demands and offer a service that is impressive and efficient without breaking the bank.

Omnichannel Technology for BPOs

BPOs can use omnichannel contact center functionality to differentiate their offering and stand out among the competition. They can also experience cost savings when consolidating from multiple vendors to a single platform that provides all necessary channels. BPOs should select a contact center solution that includes the following features to gain and retain top brands.

  • Easily Add More Channels – As a BPO, some of your customers will need only inbound/outbound voice, but other brands will need to scale to a full omnichannel solution and add new channels as they grow. Choose a vendor that has all the channels necessary for your customers today, with continuous innovation plans for future channels.
  • Unified Agent Desktop – Many omnichannel contact centers comprise multiple technology vendors, making it difficult for agents to navigate. Select a platform that allows agents to work in a single user interface for all supported channels. Consider running specific use cases with the vendor to see how it prioritizes different channels and whether it allows agents and customers to move seamlessly from digital channels to voice.
  • Strong Integration Ecosystem – As BPOs, you may need to support multiple customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Select a contact center provider that provides out-of-the-box CRM integrations with top providers and has a well established integration ecosystem for workforce optimization (WFO), workforce management (WFM), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), artificial intelligence (AI), and bot capabilities.
  • Flexible Reporting Options – Retain customers by providing them with quality control and oversight options, including direct client access to monitoring, call grading, ad-hoc reporting, and customer survey data.
  • Fast Client Ramp-Up – Select a vendor with a web-based Agent Desktop in Citrix that can work through firewalls, one that boasts built-in softphone and other telephony features for easy deployment.
  • Compliance – As a BPO, you work within several different industries, including contact centers with strict compliance requirements. Ensure compliance by partnering with a vendor that’s third-party certified for compliance with PCI, HIPAA, TCPA, and other top security standards.
  • High Availability – Select a vendor with a strong disaster recovery plan and near 100% uptime. Any time your provider is down, you are losing money. Inquire about uptime, active-active disaster containment, and service-level agreements (SLAs).

 

4 Omnichannel Experience Considerations

The modern customer experience is about omnichannel, which is more than simply having a presence on multiple channels. The omnichannel experience ensures that all channels work together seamlessly. Customers think of a brand’s support channels as a whole and they should function the same way.

1. Are you offering the support channels that your customers want? According to CustomerThink.com, the average American is highly active on text messaging and Twitter, so most businesses will want those channels as part of their experience. Ultimately, it’s more important to offer the channels your customers are using than to offer every single channel available.

2. Is customer data synced and stored in one primary location? Even though customer data will be collected across a variety of departments, it should be stored centrally, like in the cloud. Regardless of the channel the customer uses or the support department they reach, every contact center agent should have access to the same up-to-date information.

3. Are the various channels integrated? Customers need to be able to switch channels while still being recognized as the same customer and at the current step in the process. Channel integration also allows customers to switch channels in order to get the best service possible, like when switching from text to voice if an issue is more in-depth than expected.

4. Do you offer customers automated self-service? Automation can give the customer an immediate answer without requiring a live agent. The experience is often faster for the customer and less costly for the contact center. By analyzing past customer contact, automation technology can even offer personalized service to the customer.

Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel Contact Centers

Contact centers are evolving constantly, challenging management to come up with more efficient strategies. A majority of CRM technologies strive for the same goal: to provide as much intelligence as possible so that the customer can be given a solution without requiring a live agent.

According to Gartner Inc., over the next few years customers will begin managing up to 85% of their brand relationships without interacting with people. To help with this change, contact centers are adopting multi-channel and omni-channel solutions.

3 Benefits of Multi-Channel Systems

  1. Contact center agents are able to connect with customers through their preferred method. According to TCN, this results in higher rates of customer satisfaction.
  2. As customers are serviced through alternate and automated systems (chat, social media, e-mail, etc.), call waiting time is reduced.
  3. Call agents will field phone calls that require in-depth troubleshooting and complicated inquiries. While there will be exceptions to the rule, expensive channels, like phone communication, will be more available to “high-value” customers, while “low-value” customers will be serviced via low-value channels.

From Multi-Channel to Omni-Channel Strategies

In the past, multi-channel meant that a customer could contact a brand via various channels (e-mail, phone, online chat, etc.). These channels were poorly integrated, though – they worked alongside each other but not with each other. Omni-channel is what multi-channel was reaching for but didn’t always achieve: multiple channels that are seamlessly interconnected. Now, customers can switch between contact channels without the brand losing any knowledge of the conversation.

The Omni-Channel Approach

Many customers prefer contacting a brand via social media. While there’s a distinct demand for these channels, many companies are still not using them as efficiently as possible. Jeremy Curley, Director of Business Solutions for Bomgar, told Customer Experience Report that the flow of going from one channel to the next should be seamless. If a customer decides to switch communication channels midway through a conversation, they should be able to do so, and only one record of interaction should result. Contact agents and customers should be able to pick up right where they left off.

According to a survey by The Corporate Executive Board Company, simplification is important to customers. As much as 84% of customers are more interested in having the right outcome than they are with worrying about the mode of contact. Ultimately, customers want smooth service as quickly as possible.

A ContactBabel study of multi-channel contact centers that supported e-mail, text messaging, online chat, and social media, as well as phone support, found that telephone channels were dominant at over 70% of the centers’ inbound communication. While phone channels are currently the most popular, though, even in contact centers that have adopted omni-channel or multi-channel practices, other communication channels are growing at a faster rate, specifically social media and online chat.

In an interview with Customer Experience Report, Paul Sweeney, Chief Product Officer of VoiceSage, pointed out that some modes of communication fall by the wayside and then become popular again, like text messaging. In the same article, Kumaran Ponnambalam, Director of Data Science and Analytics for Transera, said that he expects there to be an increase in mobile customer service applications. Brands recognize that smartphones give customers a readily available, easy-to-use-tool to send product questions, especially with images or videos of the issue they’re having. According to comScore, consumers access digital media on smartphones much more than they do on PCs.

Supporting an Omni-Channel System

In order to have an omni-channel system, CRM technology has to provide information about the context of each interaction, the customer’s profile, relevant history, and customer preferences.  Many companies are starting to train their agents in more than one channel.  Additionally, contact center systems should be able to support a universal queue and have intelligent routing.

Sweeney also talked about the difference between interactions and conversations. Interactions are based on process, automation, and reducing problems. Conversations are predictive – the customer feels like the brand knows them. In the Customer Experience Report piece, Matthew Choy, Managing Director of Rsupport, agreed, suggesting that contact centers begin reaching out to customers before there’s a problem. This will be possible if the brand monitors social media for trends, specifically those regarding product defects or common user issues. According to Destination CRM, an important trend in CRM is personalization by way of agents or self-service channels giving tailored responses or product offers based on information gathered from past interactions.

4 ContactBabel Predictions for the Future of CRM

  1. The percentage of live inbound communication will slightly decrease throughout the next few years.
  2. An increasing percentage of simple transaction-based contact will be managed through self-service channels.
  3. Voice channels will manage complex conversations and will require an extended amount of time to handle.
  4. There will be a large increase in the number of online chat and social media interactions, especially for support of online browsing.

According to the Aberdeen Group, 2014 saw several improvements in CRM, most notably when it came to the customer experience, including customer satisfaction, retention, up-selling and cross-selling. In 2015, this trend is expected to continue. Contact centers will become more responsible for a large part of a brand’s profitability, much more so than before.