Give your agents the best data – they’ll thank you for it!
What makes a good contact centre? Is it smart, knowledgeable agents? A 24/7 service? How about the ability to treat consumers as individuals and give them the answers they need at the first point of contact?
I know there’s nothing more frustrating than being treated like just another faceless customer, to be handled and dealt with as quickly as possible. These days, we all expect a certain personal level of service, and we won’t settle for anything less.
But to do this, agents need to know who they’re talking to, as well as what their issue is. This is particularly true when individuals are being passed on to a different department – how many of us have felt the frustration of having to repeat the same details multiple times on one call? – but it remains the case through every stage of a customer interaction.
This is an issue that’s especially important to businesses in the financial services sector. Banks, insurance providers and other financial institutions handle people’s most sensitive details, but if you can harness it properly, this data can also offer powerful insights that help your agents deliver a much better service.
Better data = better results
But don’t just take my word for it. This was also the key finding of a recent survey by visual analytics firm Qlik, which revealed that giving customer-facing financial services employees greater access to data means revenue and customer satisfaction go up, while churn goes down.
In fact, 83% of financial services firms agreed that by fully leveraging their financial and customer data, they could increase their annual revenue by at least five per cent.
This all sounds great, but putting this into practice is another matter. A common problem is that this information doesn’t make its way to the front-line staff, such as contact centre agents, who are best-placed to use it.
Only about half of Qlik’s respondents say they are effective at understanding who needs what information, though a small majority (55 per cent) agree that customer-facing functions will be a priority for improvements.
Overcoming the challenges
So why is this? Well, one of the key reasons is that many organisations are still plagued by complex internal systems and poor communication that make sending data from A to B a logistical nightmare.
For instance, more than four out of ten firms reported that their information is spread across a wide range of systems, many of which are mutually incompatible. Other problems include critical information being lost due to poor communication and a lack of recognition of data as a shared corporate asset
While this is an issue that needs to be addressed throughout a financial institution’s systems – not just in the contact centre – having the right tools in place for your agents that connects them to key databases is essential. By doing this, agents can gain the necessary insights to offer customers a higher level of service.
With the right technology in place, contact centre agents can fully understand customer’s profile, history and preferences. This can not only make them better agents by enabling them to solve problems more effectively, it can help improve their revenue-generating capabilities, by allowing them to make more personalised product and services offerings. The result? Agents are happier, and so are customers.
Stephen Ball is Europe & Africa SVP at Aspect