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Ace banking consultant Cornerstone Advisors recently conducted a survey titled, “What’s going on in banking?” to assess the future-readiness of banking and financial institutions. A mere 26 percent of the executives spoken to were confident of taking on the coming challenges, which was down from 31 percent in the previous year. To uncover more, Cornerstone went a step ahead to examine the contact center operations of financial institutions, the technologies deployed in them, and the processes they followed for interacting with customers in terms of loans and other banking services.
The second survey indicated that only 5 percent of the institutions were future-ready, in the sense that they were capable of deploying modern technology to cater to their customers’ possible demands in future by offering a differentiating experience. A little more than a quarter of the banks and credit unions surveyed could be classified as leading, for they leveraged CRM, intranet, and other technologies to lower the hold times and accelerate transfers. The remaining institutions had technologies that were not adequately integrated to unleash their full value, resulting in underutilization of resources. Response to customer queries was largely manual and paper-intensive and often involved fragmented approaches to call-handling.
On the contrary, the future-ready banks differ from other institutions in multiple ways. However, the three important areas that positively impact their sales turn out to be: referral management, outbound sales, and loans by phone.
Hardly 16 percent of the future-ready institutions rely on manual referrals for revenue generating instruments like loans. Most institutions focus extensively on quality control and deliberately do not impose goals or targets in terms of references. While outbound calling is not uncommon, majority of the institutions restrict it to follow-up calls and customer queries. All future-ready contact centers are found to accept loan applications by phone; this is in contrast to two-thirds of the institutions that are not future-ready, where loans are accepted by phone not by contact centers but by other departments.
Contact centers have a vital role to play in transforming opportunities into revenue for banking and all other domains. Representatives must be equipped with the right technology, training, roles, and policies to seamlessly onboard a prospective customer and cater to their requirements.