The typical American’s trust with financial institutions has shrunk considerably in the past few years
. A recent Edelman Insights survey found that Americans trust financial institutions even less than the media sector, which is setting a pretty low bar for financial services. Add to the problem the recent breach and exposure of information from one of the nation’s leading credit reporting bureaus and it’s understandable that consumer confidence in the sector is at a low point.
Customer feedback firm ReviewTrackers found that “customer service” was the most frequently used keyword used by banking customers that posted reviews online. And it discovered this keyword was tied to both the highest and the lowest sentiment scores, meaning that service can largely determine if someone is disgruntled and angry, or surprisingly pleased. For banking institutions, there’s also fewer in-person touchpoints with the customer, as many transactions have moved to mobile, and banks actively encourage people to use the ATM’s expanded functions or transact online. But people still use the phone when they have questions, and they expect competent and speedy answers. However, there’s opportunity for vast improvement within financial services providers’ call centers as well as their other channels of communication such as email, chat, or social.
Poor customer care results in multiple bad outcomes for financial service firms. Losing customers is costly, as there’s considerable marketing and sales efforts that must go into acquiring new “replacement” customers. To remain competitive, financial service providers have to adopt new tech-driven tools and adjust their business models to keep customers engaged and satisfied.
Performance Evaluations of Every Interaction
Financial services firms know they need to improve individual agent and department-level performance, but unfortunately there’s not typically enough available data and insights that inform this improvement. Consider the typical call center’s method of conducting performance reviews. A supervisor will manually “listen in” on only a few of an agent’s calls per month which typically works out to less than three percent. This not only results in an inaccurate view of agent performance, it does not reveal the insights that can be found in the other 97% of agent-to-customer interactions.
An elegant solution can be found with new tech solutions that transcribe 100 percent of call recordings into searchable text. By turning speech into text, these solutions can then develop analytics that provide managers with entirely new layers of insights. Such solutions can gauge not only an agent’s ability to follow compliance and sales scripting, but also their empathy and tone. Supervisors can identify agents that are ending calls too quickly, or using confrontational language with the customers. Using analytics means call centers can spot and fix negative behaviors while also promoting positive actions to create a feedback loop of agent improvement.
In the broader context, access to such analytics provides a business with valuable information about how it is viewed by the average customer. It can identify pain points, by for example by recognizing a spike in calls regarding questions about a newly-offered financial product. Marketing and operations can review the call data to find trends about the questions/complaints. Perhaps the product is confusing or it doesn’t compare favorably to competitive offerings in terms of interest rates or other terms. Whatever the exact reasons, the analytics platform can pull those insights because it’s looking at every spoken word, every chat, and every email. Managers can review these interactions in the aggregate and at the individual level to conduct performance evaluations for each agent, group of agents from one or multiple contact centers.
Context-Based Coaching with Analytics
Agents that feel their performance reviews are off the mark (due to incomplete data) will quickly lose engagement with the company and their role in the customer’s satisfaction. They won’t be motivated to perform at an elevated level because they might already feel (perhaps rightfully so) that they are doing well compared to their peers.
But a company that records 100 percent of interactions can provide agents with accurate and repeatable data that’s tied directly to the individual. Armed with this data, the supervisor can provide truly personalized training. Perhaps the analytics shows the agent knows all of the right compliance language, but does not show enough empathy on difficult phone calls. The supervisor can have the agent skip a compliance training session and instead more efficiently spend time working with them one-on-one to develop more empathetic phrases and tone. And since these analytics platforms can present data in near real-time, the coaching can also be adjusted dynamically to account for the actual “on the ground” conditions.
Context-based coaching that is tied to analytics gives financial services contact centers a more unified view of the customer’s needs and wants. It can tie unresolved or argumentative calls with certain aspects of the business or the agent’s actions, which then provides a roadmap for fixing those issues. Perhaps the company recently launched a new insurance division, but the agents were not properly trained on the specifics of the insurance products. Call analytics could quickly uncover the problem, giving managers time to perform in-depth training to bring agents up to speed, or even pausing the availability of the new product for a short period. Analytics of every interaction are what allow the business to take steps to prevent small or medium-sized problems to linger and start negatively impacting the entire brand.
About Scott Kendrick
Scott has 20 years’ experience in software product management, design, and marketing for everything from shrink-wrap consumer applications to enterprise cloud solutions. He introduced the tag-line “Listen to your customers – Improve your business” which is both something he passionately embraces in marketing and production management, and how he articulates the benefit CallMiner Eureka brings to market. Prior to CallMiner Scott was Sr. Director of Global Product Management at MIVA (an internet search marketing company), and Director of Product Management and Marketing for the New Ventures division at Corel Corporation (makers of personal and business software CorelDraw® and WordPerfect®). Scott holds a BScE in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada), and is certified in Pragmatic Marketing and SCRUM.