The call center is integral to your financial institution (FI). Often, it serves as one of the first interactions with your brand and reflects your unique values. The best call centers foster strong relationships with callers and keep customers or prospects coming back to the FI.
But it’s not easy to work in a call center. 71 percent of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76 percent of those consumers get frustrated when it doesn’t happen. Newer FI members, like millennials or Generation Z, expect a winning customer service experience. But banking customers aren’t happy with the experience they get from the customer service department, ranking the lowest in a survey from XM Institute.
These high expectations and low satisfaction results show why it’s so important to take good care of contact center agents. Not only are engaged and satisfied call center agents 8.5 times more likely to stay at a company within a year, but they’re also 3.3 times more likely to feel extremely empowered to resolve customer issues. AI supported workflows and purpose-built solutions help improve customer experiences in the call center while improving retention.
In order to best understand what AI applications and services are best for the call center, it’s important to understand what’s causing your call center agents to leave. While there are many reasons and it can be difficult to pinpoint specific root causes, there are two common buckets:
1) Job dissatisfaction. Feeling unhappy in a job can stem from multiple aspects. For example, some agents don’t feel prepared post-onboarding. They may feel they don’t have the answers to and can’t help callers, which can deteriorate into negative interactions.
2) Missed potential. Many call center agents feel a lack of empowerment and autonomy to help callers. They feel like their skills to help callers are underutilized. Some agents may feel like they’re continuously answering the same repetitive questions.
Without addressing job satisfaction and missed potential, FIs risk higher turnover rate. Some organizations may accept the turnover rate as the cost of doing business. But between recruitment, hiring, training, and supervision costs, it’s much better to retain call center workers than replace them.
Call center investments are predicted to increase 24 percent in 2024 due to AI additions. The right AI solution not only improves the efficiency of customer service operations and the overall customer experience, but it can help address the root causes of call center dissatisfaction and attrition. Here are three ways that purpose-built AI solutions can help improve call center satisfaction:
1) Get more accurate answers to questions faster. Generative AI solutions ingest a company’s internal documents, like SOPs, to build the internal search bases. Tailored, customized internal knowledge bases can quickly serve answers to customer questions. Posh’s Knowledge Assistant delivers precise answers to agent questions, enabling agents to respond to customer questions within seconds. As a result:
2) Align caller questions to the right agent. Make sure agents only interact with callers who have questions in their discipline. The right AI solution enables call centers to create modular-based training strategies that ensure agents are confident in certain areas of the institution. Then, intelligent routing sends callers asking about that specific discipline to the call center agent. For example, Posh’s Voice Assistant routes callers directly to the right agent with full context and a transcript of the call. Hudson Valley Credit Union’s VP and Director of the Contact Center Steve Goodwine credits Voice Assistant with improving call center satisfaction: “Our agents now enjoy more engaging conversations with members that go deeper. They’re using their skills and are more engaged, so our agents are more satisfied with the work they’re doing.”
Empowered call center agents:
3) Focus on complex, not simple, questions. Oftentimes, callers ask routine or simple questions, such as business hours, location information, or requesting a new card. Instead of talking directly to an agent, AI solutions empower customers to self serve and get the answer without needing an agent. Both Posh’s Voice and Digital Assistant manage everyday customer requests so agents focus on the more complex questions, allowing FIs to:
4) Gain insights and improve knowledge gaps. Not only can AI solutions improve immediate workflows and processes, but it can help contact center leadership teams scale and continuously improve. AI solutions show you analytics about trending searches, helpful and unhelpful queries, and pinpoint areas where the bot is unable to find answers. Ultimately, these insights and analytics enable leadership teams to change their overall strategy in ways that directly improve the lives of call center agents. For example, leadership can:
Financial institutions are already experiencing the power of purpose-built AI solutions to improve call center satisfaction and boost retention rates. VyStar Credit Union partnered with Posh to completely overhaul its onboarding and training programs, going from a six-week arduous training program to a modular-based strategy that has improved employee turnover by a factor of three and trains new hires four times faster.