7 banking call center technology trends in 2023
When it comes to banking call center technology, there is a tidal wave of change on the horizon. The carnivorous rooms with agents tediously typing info customers provide over the phone can no longer cut the mustard—today’s banking call centers are technology hubs dedicated to providing personalized, 360° support based on smart insights. The changes are so rapid, and the technology so advanced that it can be hard for any call center manager to stay on top of it all. To make it a bit easier, we put together a list of the main banking call center technology trends we’ve identified for 2023.
The CEOs of leading global companies have dubbed 2023 “the year of efficiency”, and for many companies, that means doing more without hiring additional staff. Call centers are no exception, and the new demands for efficiency have driven many banks to implement AI-powered chatbots to automate customer service inquiries.
Chatbots leverage AI to learn from past interactions and personalize their responses to meet the needs of each new customer. Unlike human agents, chatbots are available 24/7, providing customers with instant access to support, even outside of regular business hours. While a call center agent can only take one call at a time, chatbots can also handle a large volume of customer queries simultaneously, providing quick responses and resolving issues faster than human agents can. Their responses are always consistent and accurate, ensuring that customers receive the same level of service every time they interact with the bank.
Chatbots aren’t a replacement for human call center agents. However, by automating routine tasks and queries, they allow human agents to focus their time and energy where they have the most value, for example, on complex issues and on building relationships with customers.
Old-school banks were basically one-size-fits-all. The banks developed products and services, and customers could either purchase them or not. However, customer expectations have changed in the digital age. Accustomed to highly-personalized experiences in cafes, devices, and online shopping, they expect similar personalization from their banks. One-size-fits-all just doesn’t do the job anymore.
Digitalization and digital data intake are critical to enabling personalization in banking. When banks collect and analyze data about their customers' preferences, behaviors, and financial history, call center agents can better understand each customer’s needs and tailor their interactions with that customer accordingly. They can offer personalized recommendations for savings plans, investment options, and credit facilities that are designed to meet the individual financial goals of the specific customer, and not waste time promoting services that the customer is unlikely to need or want.
Customers today expect service to come to them, whether it’s a package delivered to their doorstep or their bank meeting them on their preferred digital and physical channels. That means that call centers can no longer focus on phone service alone.
Omnichannel support refers to the use of multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, chat, social media, and messaging apps, to provide a seamless and integrated customer service journey. It allows customers to choose the channel that is most convenient for them, which can increase their satisfaction and their overall engagement with their bank. In addition, it prevents the frustration of having to repeat themselves in every interaction with the bank. When they receive a consistent experience across all channels, it builds trust and loyalty.
Digital data intake is an important element of omnichannel support. Since customer data is standardized and on the cloud, agents have a single source of truth they can access on multiple platforms and channels, without missing a beat. Customers can interact with call center staff on their preferred channels, without the hassle of having to repeat or re-submit info every time.
Banks are providing more self-service options to allow customers to complete transactions and access account information without needing to speak with a representative. For example, online and mobile banking platforms allow customers to access their accounts, view account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and perform other banking transactions through a website or mobile app. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems allow customers to perform basic banking transactions by pressing numbers on their phone keypad. Some banks have even installed self-service kiosks in their branches that go above and beyond a traditional ATM, allowing customers to deposit checks and withdraw cash.
Like with chatbots, self-service options reduce the workload on call center staff so agents can focus their time and energy on complex tasks that deliver more business value. In addition, when many customers are able to manage basic transactions on their own, agents can spend more time with customers who need a bit more help.
If you can have a doctor’s appointment through video chat, why can’t you meet with a banking agent in the same way? The pandemic illustrated that time-consuming commutes aren’t always necessary—even face-to-face, interpersonal services can be delivered on digital platforms. As customers become more comfortable with this approach, some banks are now experimenting with video support to provide a face-to-face experience for customers similar to that of a visit to an actual bank branch.
One of the key challenges for call center managers is hiring and retaining qualified staff. During the pandemic, many banks shifted to remote call center work to keep employees safe and healthy. However, once they saw that remote work could be a viable option, it opened up new possibilities for recruitment. Instead of limiting themselves to talent in their immediate geographic area, call center managers and customer service directors can now hire people who live anywhere, tapping into previously inaccessible talent pools including people who cannot work out of the home due to health concerns or other personal circumstances. This trend is likely to continue as remote work becomes more commonplace across industries, and better, more secure platforms are developed to support it.
Banks are using data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, and those insights are changing the way call center agents work. Instead of trying to guess what service might be relevant to a specific customer, analytics leverage data from the specific customer and similar customers to deliver tailored recommendations that the agent can discuss with the customer. The process is faster and has a higher likelihood of success.
Data analytics are only as good as the data that feeds them. Like so many other technologies, digital data intake is critical for analytics as well, as it ensures real-time data accuracy, integrity, and standardization. Furthermore, digital data intake is critical to keeping sensitive banking data safe from bad actors.
Stay ahead of the curve
Digitizing customer data collection is an important first step to taking advantage of new technologies and workflows in a banking call center. With digitized data, call center agents have the data they need to provide personalized, omnichannel service to their customers. Furthermore, since digitization allows many low-level tasks to be automated or done through self-service options, agents can invest their time where it has the most value.
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