If you manage an inbound call center for a financial services firm, your job just got that much tougher.
A recent survey indicates that 80% of financial services organizations will increase investments in three key areas in 2015:
- Business processes
- Staff Training
- IT systems and personnel
Heavy investments in these areas indicate that more and more financial services firms are adopting a customer first strategy when doing business.
To execute this strategy, these firms will have to create exceptional customer experiences—the kind of customer experiences that boost customer satisfaction ratings.
Doing this is easier said than done. But as a call center manager, you’ll be asked to spearhead the effort, which means your job and your reputation will be on the line.
Below are some of the challenges you’ll face in trying to create exceptional customer experiences in 2015.
Top Call Center Challenges
A recent survey revealed what many senior managers feel will be the top call center challenges in 2015. The percentages beside the challenge indicate the importance placed on each one:
- Ensuring the quality/consistency of call center agent responses (98%)
- Providing call centers with the proper systems access and online tools. (97%)
- Having secure and consistent access to client data (97%)
- Providing fraud detection capabilities preceding any financial transaction (96%)
- Training and retraining call center employees (94%)
Other top call center challenges in 2015 include ensuring disaster recovery capabilities, capturing the customer’s voice, and providing incentives for call center associates.
Beating The Top Challenges
If you manage a call center at a large organization, you’ll have a leg up on managers of SMB call center when it comes to beating these challenges. That’s because scale matters in call centers.
Those in large financial services organization are often much better funded than those in smaller financial service organizations. The extra dollars make a difference.
They allow managers at these firms to invest more in the online tools and advanced software solutions needed to create exceptional customers experiences.
Mangers of call centers in SMBs don’t have this advantage. Instead, they’ll have to leverage experts in agent training and employee motivation to beat the challenges discussed above.
They’ll also have to seek out alternative ways of making up for the lack of scalability. Outsourcing call center operations, for example, is one way.
Outsourcing call center operations frees you to dedicate resources to activities where you have core competences.
Shifting more resources to core competencies can help differentiate your company and transform it into a market leader.
Boosting Agent Performance
In addition to dealing with the challenges mentioned above, mangers will also be asked to optimize call center performance. The key to doing this in the financial services industry is boosting individual call agent performance.
Having good call agents is important in every industry. But it’s even more important in financial services where a premium is placed on building trust and developing solid relationships with customers.
Agents in these call centers need a unique set of skills and the right technology to perform their jobs effectively. They also need the right mix of knowledge and professionalism to achieve high levels of performance that today’s financial customers demand.
Below are 5 best practices mangers can use to boost individual agent performance in financial call centers:
- Invest more in the hiring process
- Train in phases and continuously
- Recognize and reward
- Monitor performance thoroughly
- Provide access to customer data
Beating the top call center challenges you’ll face in 2015 won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be a lot tougher than in 2014.
But thinking of the investments of time and money you make in overcoming these challenges as an investment that yields benefits over time helps. In fact, it provides a leg up on other call center managers in your industry.