By Dominique Toubin, VP Channels & Alliances, Odigo
Although the banking sector is mainly known for its retail banking business, it can actually provide myriad other services such as consumer credit, business savings, car rental, electronic banking, etc. As such, this sector should not be looked at in one dimension, but rather in the plurality of its businesses. A natural consequence of this is that there is a need for diverse customer relationship management. While this can be a challenge for many businesses, the right technology and know-how, such as contact centre solutions (CCaaS), can help cover all the needs of this industry.
The evolution of retail banking under the impulse of digitalization
In the early 2000s, the banking sector was mainly known for its radical digitalisation of retail banking. This transformation had a direct impact on the number of bank branches, and due to the widespread use of online banking, their numbers are constantly decreasing.
At the same time, banks are positioning themselves as being capable of offering a simple and fluid experience, centred on digital channels. However, it goes without saying that retail banks will have to go further to sustain their business models. According to recent forecasts from Exton Consulting’s prospective report, which looks at the evolution of retail banking by 2030, the profitability of its activities will be undermined by new banking players. The historical resilience of traditional banks is fast becoming a distant memory. It is therefore urgent for retail banking to rise up to meet its four biggest challenges: bank pricing, loyalty, digital marketing and customer experience.
A diverse customer relationship and solutions
One of the main services banks offers is the dual handling of customer relations in both in branches and contact centres. However, the solutions used are often varied and misaligned between branches, contact centres and back offices, which impacts the quality of customer service. It is therefore in the interest of banks to use so-called “scalable” solutions, capable of covering all the needs of the banking sector, such as retail banking, consumer credit, insurance, car rental, etc. in a uniform manner. These solutions must be designed to benefit customers and their ever-evolving needs as much as the branch advisors.
In addition, most banks have set up multiple ways to communicate with their customers. However, banks need to be able to quickly identify a contact and provide contact centre agents with all the relevant information about the customer in real time. Once identified, the customer should be sent to the agent who can best respond to and support their request. Contact centre solutions (CCaaS) can significantly help facilitate customer identification and provide agents with a real-time profile of the customer and their context (VIP, preferred channel, current requests, history of interactions, etc.). Once this information is coupled with customer segmentation rules, contact centres can implement the most relevant routing strategy possible.
The role of the bank advisor in the quality of customer relationships
Banks need to be able to manage a large number of interactions, whether in the branch, in the contact centre or in the back office. Often, they are seeking to rationalise the number of telephone numbers, emails and accounts in order to simplify customer access to their services. However, to do this, they need to have a holistic view of the customer, and the only way to establish this is through an omnichannel approach.
Banks need to be able to automate calls that are of low priority, in order to free up advisors for tasks that are of high priority. Through integration with presence management tools (Teams, Jabber etc.) agents can be integrated into the same contact centre management solution. This means agents can manage phone calls and emails when they are not in a physical appointment. And when they are busy, calls can be distributed according to business and segmentation rules, either in the branch or in contact centres, in order to optimise productivity and customer satisfaction.
Overall contact centre solutions add value for banks by providing services that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and through a variety of channels. This omnichannel approach is prompting banks to reshape their customer experience in favour of digital.