FINANCIAL INDUSTRY TRENDS REPORT - Cashing in on the Customer Experience: 7 Steps to Revolutionize Your Bank s Customer Service Strategy

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1 Cashing in on the Customer Experience: 7 Steps to Revolutionize Your Bank s Customer Service Strategy

2 Financial institutions must take action to adapt to a post-crisis era. Banks and credit unions face unprecedented pressure to improve the customer experience, address changing customer behaviors, strategically reduce costs and increase profitability. Adding complexity to the mix is the impact and consequences of new banking regulations. This need to adapt is forcing financial institutions to modernize their core banking systems for agility, operational efficiency and innovation. The ability to efficiently and effectively engage and serve customers will prove to be a major competitive differentiator that results in increased customer acquisition, loyalty and lifetime value. Following are 7 steps financial institutions should take now to implement customer experience improvements that impact the bottom line. #1 IMPLEMENT A FLEXIBLE, STANDARDS-BASED IVR Financial institutions that prioritize the customer experience are well positioned to reap the rewards of increased customer loyalty and acquisition. Standardsbased self-service technologies provide a way to balance the competing goals of providing outstanding 24x7 service and reducing costs. Many financial institutions have used basic IVR (Interactive Voice Response) for years to help route members to representatives, look up account information and automate common banking transactions. When properly implemented, these inbound, phone-based services can speed access to information, reduce customer wait times and free agents to focus on more valuable tasks. However, many banks have aging IVR and voice systems that are inflexible, lack functionality and require upgrades in order to support the latest operating system technologies and address compliance requirements. Additionally, internal IT resources often cannot service these cumbersome legacy platforms. Even simple moves, adds and changes are slow to implement resulting in added costs, missed opportunities and potential regulatory exposure. Modernizing customer-facing systems with industrystandard solutions like those offered by Voxeo and Waterfield, presents new opportunities to enhance service, streamline processes, and meet the expectations of today s engaged, always-on financial consumers. #2 PERSONALIZE AND SEGMENT THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE In order to compete, banks and credit unions must personalize the customer experience. Today s savvy consumers have choices and a one-size-fits-all approach will increasingly have a negative impact on acquisition and retention rates. This is especially true with regard to automated customer interactions. A poorly designed, inefficient self-service menu frustrates and alienates customers while a system with real-time access to business intelligence and customer data will delight callers with personalized services and fast, convenient access to useful information. Personalization technologies enable banks to: Segment the customer base to offer the right products and services to the right people, and more profitably serve each group Streamline access to information based on customer behaviors and recent transactions, which leads to higher self-service containment rates and fewer transfers to live agents Dynamically customize menus at group or individual level for context sensitive cross-selling and up-selling Provide priority routing and higher-touch interactions to profitable, revenue-generating customers Tailor interactions to customer communication preferences Optimize greeting and routing patterns to support ongoing marketing and customer acquisition campaigns Personalized interactions make customers feel valued. A more engaging, relevant interface also improves selfservice automation rates, resulting in reduced handle times, fewer transfers to live agents and lower costs. While personalization is common on the Web, proprietary systems and complex integrations have made it less prevalent in the voice channel. However, newer IVR platforms that use web-based standards 1

3 such as VoiceXML simplify the design, development and implementation of personalized solutions. Additionally, a multi-channel platform like Voxeo enables financial institutions to leverage personalization across voice, mobile and social customer touch points. #3 PROACTIVELY SUPPORT AND ENGAGE CUSTOMERS Too many companies view IVR solely in terms of inbound calls. However, many companies are leveraging the investment in their standard-based IVR platforms to provide proactive support and notifications to their customers. Unlike proprietary voice dialers, these solutions take advantage of advanced functionality such as speech recognition, text to speech, personalization and even voice biometrics for added security. And unlike auto-dialers, customers aren t greeted by dead air and static recordings but rather a complex, personalized set of options tailored to their account and relationship status within the organization. There are a variety of applications for outbound communications that can improve customer loyalty, reduce costs and generate revenue. Banks and credit unions can use personalized outbound IVR and text to provide low-balance alerts, send payment reminders, update loan applicants on approval status and send relevant marketing offers. There are even possibilities for engaging strategies such as new customer welcome messages and transactional-based satisfaction surveys (e.g. anytime a customer leaves a branch) to help deepen the customer relationship. Depending on customer preferences, notifications can be conducted interactively via voice or text, enabling customers to not only receive notifications, but also interact with a self-service system to complete a transaction, confirm notification or transfer to an agent. The ability to arm customers with the information they need, when they need it, and even before they know they need it, yields a competitive edge, increases customer interaction and loyalty without increasing costs. #4 ADDRESS SHIFTING COMMUNICATION PREFERENCE AND LOWER COSTS WITH MULTI-CHANNEL INTERACTIONS Customer communication preferences vary widely and are rapidly evolving from voice and text messaging to mobile web, smartphone apps and tablet devices. The ability to deliver a rich, consistent user experience regardless of the channel is becoming an important competitive advantage. Yet for all its potential, banks and credit unions are challenged to deliver consistent customer service across channels. Designing applications for each communication option not only requires significant human and financial resources, but also results in an inconsistent user experience. The most successful solutions leverage the same platform, development team, business logic, personalization and backend integrations across all channels. For example, if you develop a loan status application for the voice channel, you should be able to redeploy this same application logic across mobile web and SMS channels without redeveloping - or worse - re-architecting, an entirely different application. This approach greatly eases the migration to a multi-channel contact center at a significant cost savings. In fact, Voxeo has saved companies 50 percent in development time and 80 percent in ongoing maintenance costs with its design once, deploy anywhere architecture. Adopting a multi-channel customer service strategy enables companies to address two conflicting customer support goals: improving service while managing costs. Opus Research Sr. Analyst Dan Miller says, While costs vary according to application and campaign, IM and SMS are seen as low-cost channels for reaching customers and prospects. SMS and IM-based messaging can be carried out at one-tenth the average cost of outbound IVR and one-hundredth the cost of agentassisted services. Adding new contact options to a customer service offering is not only more cost effective, but also appeals to customer needs and preferences increasing selfservice adoption rates and reducing the number of customers requiring agent assistance. By incorporating outbound communications, companies can pre-empt spikes in contact center traffic and shift expensive agent interactions to higher value tasks. Deployment of a multi-channel customer service solution can be eased by cloud communication services for an easy, pay-as-you-go migration path. Furthermore, cloud-based solutions offer businesses the ability to quickly and affordably meet their immediate needs, with the flexibility and scalability necessary to adapt to changing requirements and market conditions. 2

4 #5 USE ANALYTICS TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER INTERACTIONS, IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES AND MEASURE SUCCESS #6 MODERNIZE SYSTEMS TO EASE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE AND PROTECT CUSTOMER DATA Pressures to reduce expenses and manage customer interactions in the most effective manner are at an alltime high. The ability to access real-time, actionable analytics across all self-service channels enables banks and credit unions to uncover issues, understand customer behaviors and identify opportunities for improved service. The amount of data generated by IVR, social media and other channels remains an untapped resource. For example, precise identification of the reasons customers leave automated systems can help financial institutions make changes that improve self-service containment across multiple channels. In fact, integrated analytics and reporting empowers banks and credit unions to turn valuable data into insights and actionable plans that produce higher automation rates, lower costs and a better overall customer experience. Use cross-channel analytics to: Get a consolidated view of performance across all of your automated self service communication channels, including IVR, text messaging, mobile web, social networks and Smartphone apps Quickly find and fix application issues Streamline menus to speed customer access to information and improve self-service satisfaction Reduce the number of customers requiring agent assistance Shorten call duration without sacrificing service levels Improve contact center productivity and reduce costs In the wake of increasingly sophisticated data breaches and heightened regulatory pressure, it s critical that financial institutions ensure their customer-facing automation solutions (website, IVR, mobile apps, etc.) are secure and scalable, and that consumer information is protected. Recent consolidation in the regulatory space will likely result in more consistent standards being imposed across banks of all sizes. Updates to IVR channels are critical for financial institutions to remain in line with new regulatory requirements. But for many banks, the necessary changes will require overhauls to outdated, legacy platforms. Newer, standards-based technologies will allow banks and credit unions to more quickly adapt to changes as dictated by the regulatory bodies, while also standardizing these fixes within their internal IT teams. Many banks have IT development resources, but most aren t tasked with IVR support. Standards-based technology could enable these resources to support the platform, which has historically been sourced to third parties, and thus remained largely stagnant. A modern system offers advanced functionality, such as two-factor authentication, to help ensure data privacy and prevent fraud. Capabilities such as voice biometrics and access to real-time, mobile phone location intelligence further reduces risk and improves the overall IVR experience. The March, 2011 U.S. Cost of a Data Breach report, put costs at $214 per compromised record with an average price tag of $7.2 million per data breach event all of which likely pales in comparison to the financial exposure of account losses related to lowered consumer confidence. Identify peaks and valleys in services Understand which customers are interacting with which communication channels, both positively and negatively to drive ongoing change and tailor new interactions to the desired customer behavior Measure the results of marketing campaigns and upsell offers, including in-line campaign data to measure unique conversion rates based on the channel, offer and product #7 WEIGH YOUR DEPLOYMENT OPTIONS Financial institutions now have greater choices in deployment of their IVR and self-service systems. Standards-based premise platforms offer unprecedented ease of deployment and integration, while cloud hosting has been proven a viable alternative for the secure deployment of customer service applications. 3

5 Financial institutions can also deploy IVR on premises while taking advantage of failover to a hosted environment. This approach eliminates the expense of over-provisioning hardware and capacity to handle bursts in call volume while drastically simplifying business continuity planning. Understand the Cloud Cloud hosting enables banks to leverage state-of-theart technologies without major investments in hardware and infrastructure. This approach typically requires very low IT overhead and affords financial institutions the scalability needed to grow on demand to meet changing business conditions and regulatory requirements. Hosting provides a level of mission-critical reliability that is difficult and expensive to achieve in-house. Hosting providers invest heavily in the expertise, network and tools needed to ensure high performance and 24x7 availability. Choose a provider with a redundant, geographically distributed architecture, backed by a written service-level agreement (SLA) with commitments to incident responsiveness and monetary penalties when levels are not met. Hosting also offers low-cost access to advanced capabilities, including multi-channel feature support, multilingual speech recognition, encrypted call recording, voice biometrics, location based services and more. Additionally, in many hosted environments, platform and operating system updates and feature enhancements are immediately available without managing upgrades or installing additional hardware. In all cases, it is essential to select a hosting provider with a commitment to continual innovation for low-cost access to business-differentiating technologies. A standards-based offering enables companies to retain sensitive data and applications on their premises using a hosting outsourcer for the IVR infrastructure. The leading hosted speech providers are intensely focused on having the expertise, processes and systems in place to ensure security and data privacy. Some hosting providers also offer the option of shared or dedicated environments, including PCI-compliant environments suitable for deploying applications which handle cardholder information. ABOUT VOXEO AND WATERFIELD Waterfield Technologies and Voxeo have partnered to address the unique customer care and communication challenges facing today s financial institutions (FIs). Voxeo optimizes the way companies communicate with their customers using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), text, mobile web and social media. Waterfield has joined the Voxeo Connect partner program as a Certified Partner to offer deep expertise building and deploying solutions for financial institutions. Together, the companies deliver advantages in the following key areas: Customer Experience Improvements. Waterfield and Voxeo enable personalized self-service capabilities that dynamically adapt to individual customer preferences, streamlining common requests for a better user experience and resulting in fewer overall transfers to a representative. The solution is also multi-channel ready for a unified customer experience across voice, text, chat, mobile web, and native mobile platforms such as ios and Android. Proactive Customer Care. The most progressive financial institutions are using outbound IVR and SMS to offer customers the information they need, when they need it and even before they know they need it. The solution easily integrates with common core banking platforms and utilizes existing business intelligence systems to enable personalized up-sell and cross-sell offers that drive revenue and increase Customer Lifetime Value. 4

6 Integrated Business Intelligence. The Voxeo and Waterfield solution offers built-in, actionable analytics and reports to eliminate the black box aspect of legacy voice platforms, thus enabling customer-focused teams to easily pinpoint issues in real-time, better understand customer behaviors, and identify opportunities to enhance the service experience. This baseline understanding will empower organizations of all sizes to adapt and evolve their customer strategies to compete in today s emerging financial marketplace. Self-Service Administration. Unlike legacy IVR systems, Voxeo and Waterfield offer a solution built on known web standards for flexibility, control and ease of management. This standards-based platform enables FIs to utilize their existing IT staff to make routine changes and update selfservice menus as dictated by the business. This capability represents a fundamental shift for FIs that have historically been captive to black box legacy IVR vendors for maintenance and upkeep of critical customer-facing voice channels. Simplified Security and Regulatory Compliance. Banks are facing increased regulatory pressure to protect the privacy of customer data. With a 100 percent standards-based, certified-compliant solution, and capabilities such as two-factor authentication and in-queue PIN validation, Voxeo and Waterfield ease the complexities of ensuring automated customer interactions are secure. To learn more about Voxeo and Waterfield, visit Visit us or join our conversations on the web at blogs.voxeo.com, or twitter.com/voxeo 2013 Voxeo Corporation 5

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