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A strategic approach for banking contact centers

Kevin Emeigh
13 March 2024

Redefining customer interactions with advanced personalization

In the ever-evolving landscape of customer service, contact centers are more than mere operational hubs; they are experience hubs that excel in service and create exceptional moments. As the primary interface between businesses and customers, each interaction within such a center holds the power to profoundly influence a customer’s opinion.

In response to the escalating customer expectations, businesses are strategically adopting advanced personalization strategies and technologies that cover end-to-end customer journeys. This is especially important for financial institutions, where contact centers play a significant role for customers, demanding interactions that are not just satisfactory but deeply personalized. As per Capgemini’s latest World Retail Banking Report, 45% of contact center agents’ time is spent on operational activities resulting in a dip in customer interactions and engagement.

In this blog, we will explore the essential elements of effective and improved customer interaction and personalization in contact centers, focusing on the indispensable role of data, creation of personas, and the application of behavioral science.

1. Convergence of marketing and service: Orchestrating seamless journeys

Effective personalization in banking contact centers begins by mapping the customer journey. Here, the right convergence of marketing and service is essential. Shifting from short-term transactions to long-term relationships requires breaking down organizational silos – the primary culprit in unsuccessful digital transformations. This provides an opportunity for marketing to deepen customer relationships and foster loyalty. Such approach allows organizations to build cohesive experience and journeys.

Integrating marketing and service reshapes organizational structures, fostering collaboration and introducing new leadership roles like Chief Customer Officer. Cultural and technological shifts, along with leadership commitment and investment in CRM systems as well as analytics platforms, are essential. For example, a large European Financial Services Firm successfully organized its marketing and contact center teams under a larger customer experience department ensuring an integrated CX and streamlined process.

2. The vital role of data in personalization success

Data, often described as the new currency, plays a pivotal role in the personalization journey. Contact centers house a trove of valuable customer insights that can be harnessed to understand customers at a deeper level. Consider, for instance, a scenario where a bank’s contact center utilizes transactional history to tailor investment advice, aligning recommendations with each client’s unique goals and risk tolerance. This personalized approach not only fosters trust but also cultivates long-term loyalty.

Leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence empowers agents, ensuring personalized interactions and tailored strategies for diverse customer segments. Building on customized service, top brands are using conversation intelligence solutions to improve the digital to call experience. As per Forrester, 82% of marketers agree that insights from inbound calls and call experiences reveal costly blind spots in their organizations.

3. Creating personas for enhanced personalization

Forward-thinking organizations create personalized experiences at scale by designing and orchestrating omni-channel journeys. This enhances customer experiences, reduces costs, and generates sales opportunities. Segmenting customers into personas based on behaviors, preferences, demographics, journey stage etc., enables tailored interactions, refining experiences through hyper-personalization. In line with this trend, Capgemini’s latest World Retail Banking Report underscores the growing preference for chatbots and self-service options among a significant quarter of millennials and gen Z, indicating a shifting landscape where such technologies are increasingly embraced as preferred modes of interaction. Consider this scenario: Two customers call a contact center seeking assistance. Alex, a digital native, is quickly diverted to self-service options tailored to their needs. Meanwhile Emily, who prefers speaking to a representative, remains in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – an automated phone system directing the call based on voice or keypad input. This highlights the importance of recognizing and catering to the diverse preferences of customers, ensuring a seamless and personalized experience that supports individual needs.

4. Applying behavioral science in contact centers for optimal interactions

Behavioral science is defined as the study of human behavior, which involves applying scientific methods to comprehend, predict, and influence behavior across diverse contexts, including contact centers. It provides insights that help you anticipate problems and design solutions by understanding likely human behaviors.

Technology can be leveraged to observe customer behaviors and provide timely guidance to agents. This application of behavioral science seeks to grasp the underlying motivations of individuals and optimize service interactions accordingly. Integrating behavioral science principles allows organizations to improve the efficacy of service interactions and ensure precisely addressing of customer needs.

Barclays exemplifies this approach by applying behavioral science techniques in its contact center operations. By harnessing behavioral insights, the bank segments customers based on their communication preferences, personalizes interactions across various channels, and identifies opportunities for proactive outreach and support.

5. Personalization for agents’ development

In today’s landscape, personalization extends beyond enhancing customer experiences to encompass the development and support of contact center agents. According to Capgemini’s latest World Retail Banking Report, a staggering 62% of Tier 1 bank contact center agents and 40% of Tier 2 bank agents express concerns over inadequate chatbot capabilities affecting their productivity and efficiency. This underscores the critical importance of equipping agents with robust tools and resources to meet evolving customer expectations.

With the advent of the quality assurance (QA) era and the widespread adoption of AI-powered solutions in every interaction, organizations now can discern what works effectively and what does not for each agent. This abundance of data serves as a foundation for creating personalized training plans tailored to the specific needs of individual agents, thereby ensuring continuous improvement and optimal performance across the board.

On-demand training can be provided through dynamic delivery models and tailored to learning styles and needs. Additionally, automating simpler interactions enables organizations to redirect agents’ attention towards more intricate tasks, ultimately saving time and enhancing overall efficiency. This contributes significantly to agent development. Gartner projects that 10% of agent interactions will be automated by 2026, an increase from an estimated 1.6% of interactions today that are automated using AI.

By optimizing training efforts and investing in agents, organizations can achieve the maximum return on investment, creating a workforce that consistently delivers exceptional customer experiences. In the rapidly evolving landscape of customer service, personalization in contact centers is no longer a luxury but a strategic necessity.

Meet our expert

Kevin Hill

Director – Customer Experience, strategy and Transformation at frog
Kevin is an executive leader, focused on customer experience, strategy and transformation. He has also serve as the lead for multiple teams of varying sizes and complexities within the Capgemini organization (including Capgemini’s industry-leading frog customer capability). Kevin has a passion for building compelling customer experiences through bringing together people, process and technology to create exceptional moments. He has extensive experience working across multiple industries in the U.S. and abroad with some of the largest organizations in the world. His prior work includes driving strategy and innovation programs, helping optimize service operations and transforming customer experience. He’s committed to driving impactful work, rooted in purpose, that has a measurable effect on both customers and employees.
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