Contact centers have long been the embodiment of the banking data paradox: tons of customer data but little in the way of meaningful information and insight. In 2018, contact center managers should start with a focus on “small data.”
“Small data” is less about purchasing a shiny new CRM than ensuring proper system access and permissions so that reps don’t have to transfer when customers ask about their checking and credit card accounts during the same call (I know, crazy concept).
The focus, at least to start, shouldn’t be on a data warehouse, data lake, data pond, etc., but rather on forming the right habits and cross-department accountability when it comes to making and qualifying referrals for products and services. The same goes for driving processes and policy decisions based on customer satisfaction and complaint data. The customer feedback treasure trove has been neglected for too long.
In 2018, contact centers should aspire to become the internal hub and standard-bearer for utilizing customer data.
Despite the many pronouncements about artificial intelligence and chatbots, human representatives are the most important part of the contact center experience and will be for the foreseeable future. Representatives must be given the tools they need to navigate increasingly complex and demanding customer interactions.
Based on non-scientific field research, Cornerstone Advisors has found that the vast majority of “knowledge management” in contact centers is done through a combination of Word docs on shared drives, archived emails, and good ol’ fashioned three-ring binders. But the select few FIs that have nailed intranet as the “system of record” for policies, procedures and quick reference guides have seen real results. These organizations have been able to reduce unnecessary transfers to supporting departments and cut down on hold times as representatives are no longer required to scramble to search for an answer or flag down a supervisor.
Most financial institutions have an intranet solution in place, and 2018 should be the year this investment is put to work. For those banks and credit unions that have already passed “knowledge management 101,” optimization, including predictive search, should be on the resolution list.
Future Ready FIs see this as more than a one-time effort. Sharing insights and continually building and refining knowledge resources based on customer interactions should be an expectation of everyone on the frontline.
If 2017 taught us anything, it was that no single piece of customer data is safe from hackers. The days of using a customer’s Social Security number and the name of the joint account holder to authenticate are firmly in the rearview mirror.
A slew of new technology providers like Pindrop and TRUSTID have come on the scene with tools to confirm caller location and identify “spoofed” calls. Meanwhile, national firms have started moving in the direction of voice analytics and “voice printing.”
While understanding the business case and integration points for additional technology solutions is important, all managers should start with a review of current authentication policies. Are layered questions in place and suitably varied to prevent easily recognizable patterns? Are additional security measures in place for particularly sensitive calls? Are tools that we’re already paying for (such as optional self-authentication) being fully utilized?
And finally, when attempted fraud is identified, is that data shared in an actionable and timely fashion? (See resolution #1).
In 2018, resolve to be the contact center that the press and analysts refer to when they talk about who’s getting authentication right.
This year is sure to bring myriad challenges for contact centers across the industry and most managers’ time will be consumed by just keeping up with call volume. In the precious little discretionary time that remains, strategic leaders will be getting a jump start on their 2018 resolutions.