Enabling team collaboration to drive next-gen CX

Banks and credit unions are under immense pressure to deliver seamless customer experiences in a world that is continuously being disrupted. Economic uncertainties and an increase in lending over the last year, coupled with the work-from-home transition, have sped up digital transformation, revealing painful gaps and inspiring opportunities to revolutionize the way consumers experience banking.

While digital-only banks have found their sweet spot, traditional banks and credit unions have scrambled to improve apps, enhance online services and adjust how customers engage with banking representatives.

The contact center is becoming the new front door of financial institutions and, in that role, are expected to handle and triage complex issues. Banking is a high-emotion, high-trust engagement for customers, so having a compassionate human on the other end of the phone, chat or video call is essential. Contact centers are being repositioned to do more than they’ve ever done before.

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But it’s not without challenges. Many banks were in the midst of a digital transformation that they assumed they had years to complete, but then the pandemic happened. Most banks’ primary systems were on premise, lacking the flexibility, scalability or work-from-home benefits of the cloud. Legacy software and core systems were often unintegrated and unable to connect secure customer data across customer touchpoints.

Moving and integrating systems to the cloud, while enabling data to flow freely between all systems that support customer experiences, is critical to the next generation CX and digital transformation. As banks make the transition, integrated contact centers and Unified Communications (UC) solutions can increase the efficacy of business processes and improve customer engagement.

Bridging the gap between experts and agents

Customers often seek help from their financial institutions for sensitive or complicated issues. By integrating contact center and UC applications, customer service agents can easily conference in a subject matter expert to assist during an interaction and ensure a smooth resolution.

The best integrated solutions provide consolidated directories that allow agents to quickly search for and find available experts and loop them into conversations in real-time. With a solid UC integration, customers will feel as though expertise is always there at hand, regardless of where an expert is located.

An integrated, omnichannel contact center and UC solution will even allow experts to initiate a video advising session, which is a growing preference for banking customers. According to Accenture’s 2020 Global Banking Consumer Study, only 15% of consumers had spoken to a bank advisor via video call prior to the pandemic, but 46% planned to do so when branches reopened, and 35% will now prefer this to a face-to-face meeting.

Connected everything

Combining all communication platforms and applications into a single interface vastly improves traditional contact center workflows, which often required agents to toggle between screens to find information and switch channels. Providing a good employee experience is key to keeping teams engaged in this new era of virtual banking and work. Plus, agents need proper tools that allow them to recreate the in-person banking experiences many customers are used to.

A contact center solution integrated with the organization’s CRM provides a holistic, real-time view of each customer’s engagement history. Data flows securely among the integrations to deliver the agent or banking expert all the information they need about the customer, their preferences, status of accounts and product usage. Having this data reduces customer effort and helps agents and experts make informed decisions to personalize the conversation.

Through digital banking, customers are increasingly using multiple channels during an interaction. They might start in chat window on the bank’s mobile application, then switch to a phone call. UC and contact center integration ensures that the context is preserved between channels – even when an agent has to transfer the call to an expert. It also allows agents, experts, and customers to share files and links instantly, facilitating a frictionless, multi-modal service experience.

Contact center solutions in the cloud also support call recordings and analytics that help financial institutions comply with data privacy and protection regulations, as customer information travels between channels and systems.

As banks and credit unions move forward digitally, they have an opportunity to deliver more value to customers and drive revenue and retention. Expanding the role of the contact center positions banks for a future in which agents will have the data and expertise they need to resolve customer issues to inspire trust, confidence and loyalty.

Scott Kolman is senior vice president of marketing at Five9.