Most banks struggle with effective customer service within their contact centers. High call volumes flood call centers leading to poor customer service. According to Bain Insights, 50% to 70% of call volumes are avoidable. These high call volumes result from bank errors, or, due to the nature of calls, should be routed to lower-cost service channels. An imbalance between call capacity and workload overwhelms call center agents, leading to poor customer service. As management addresses issues causing high demand, other problems arise, maintaining elevated call demand.
Fortunately, some leading financial institutions have initiated effective approaches to solve these call-volume problems, according to a Bain Insights article recently published in Forbes. This undertaking involves four strategies that have produced a reduction of 20% to 40% of total demand, delivering an estimated savings of $20 million within two years.
First, bank call centers should have a capacity plan based on realistic forecasts. An initiative to reduce call volumes is timely and may necessitate additional staff to handle calls. One institution increased its contact center agents by 10% to target this problem. After six months, staff levels were reduced significantly.
Eliminating non-value-adds also have proven effective. A Canadian bank streamlined its processes, eliminating unnecessary steps. This helped its call center focus on improving customer service.
Creating a central hub to address changing demands helps improve customer service quality. Subject matter experts coordinate policy changes, product design, and training. This involves a minimally added expense to target demand trends and allow for quality checks.
Agents on the frontline should be involved in the process of reducing call volumes. They are the ones who know the customer and can identify problems causing high demand. Engaging them in this process and providing additional training can help manage calls. Another institution trained its agents to provide education for customers to use self-serve channels.
Shifting the scope of contact center metrics may also improve customer service quality. In addition to average handle time, financial institutions can look at returning customers and customer satisfaction.
Tackling high-volume call demands involves consistent efforts across the team within the call center and organization.
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