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Talkdesk Shares How CX is Reshaping Financial Services
Today’s customers expect the best experience, and one bad customer interaction can weaken an entire brand image—a challenge facing many enterprises, especially financial services and insurance companies. But how can bank or insurance companies improve customer experience (CX), and where do they start? For many organizations, the first line of customer experience is the contact center, and this is where CX improvement initiatives should start.
The reality is contact centers are the missing link when it comes to CX transformation, and many financial services organizations haven’t upgraded them in years or even decades. Organizations that invest in cloud contact centers also have a competitive advantage over those that don’t, as SaaS innovation has outpaced on-premises products. Now that Covid-19 has accelerated digital-first initiatives, 71% of CX professionals consider the contact center as a strategic asset to their business, according to a Talkdesk study titled “The CX Revolution in Financial Services and Insurance,” which surveyed financial services and insurance CX professionals from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and other countries/regions.
The Talkdesk study reveals the pressure is on for financial services and insurance companies to prioritize integrated CX strategies and investments. Three-in-five (57%) of customers are noticing companies are making an effort to prioritize CX, and 71% of customers said they are more loyal to brands that invest in strengthening their CX.
That’s why 80% of CX professionals surveyed in the study cite linking contact center metrics to overall CX metrics as a priority. CX leaders are exploring the potential role of cloud contact centers in improving interactions between customers and brands. The Talkdesk survey found 84% of CX professionals are seeing an increase in demand for contact center customer data and analytics.
Contact centers are also assets of rich customer data, which organizations can use to gain deeper knowledge of current trend and predict future ones. Organizations with cloud contact centers can then utilize AI to decipher why customers are calling or messaging. Leveraging this data, the opportunity to be more proactive in addressing customer needs becomes closer to reality. Cloud contact centers also allow the CCaaS provider to offer cross-company analytics, letting businesses benchmark themselves against industry peers.
Most of the respondents (79%) want to invest in gathering and using customer data from the contact center, Talkdesk said. When comparing the 2020 findings to pre-COVID-19, 84% of the respondents reported an increase in demand for contact center customer data and analytics compared to last year, while 82% saw an increase in demand for contact center customer feedback and insights. The pandemic has changed almost everything, which holds true for the value of contact centers.
The study reveals the desire for agent responsibilities to extend beyond traditional problem resolution. As branch office closures continue due to the pandemic, CX leaders across financial services and insurance are aiming to change the perception of contact centers. To the dismay of some customers, financial organizations want customers to use self-service/virtual channels for less complex interactions and contact center agents for higher-value interactions, thus creating a positive impression of the value contact centers deliver.
Contact centers are starting to shift to profit centers, with 85% of CX professionals citing repositioning this area is important for their organization. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that 89% of CX professionals view increasing agent upselling and cross-selling as critical, as well as retraining and upskilling contact center talent.
The fact that 51% of financial services and insurance companies in the survey still have siloed engagement channels and legacy systems, moving to the cloud is an opportunity to break down the silos. Cloud contact centers serve as an engagement layer between core systems and can provide a seamless experience for customers. More importantly, contact centers can become revenue-producing assets that drive customer loyalty.
One bad experience can lose a customer forever, and given the competitive landscape, too many of those spell doom for banks, insurance companies, and other companies. Shifting the contact center to the cloud and quickly rolling out a robust set of digital channels must be a top initiative, as it not only improves the customer experience but can also capture a larger share of wallet.