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    17 April 2012

    Seamless customer service in the banking & finance industry

    Banks actively seek new technology solutions to further improve market share, customer service and operational efficiency.
    Reaching out to today’s consumer, a socially networked and increasingly mobile individual, can be a challenging task.
    In my experience of interacting with the banking community in the Asia Pacific region, I have noticed the following business challenges and the ways in which banks can adopt Next Generation Customer Contact technologies to overcome these challenges:
    • Managing the complexities of siloed channels
    Banks and customers can come in contact with each other through a variety of channels such as Internet banking, mobile banking, contact centres, SMS, emails, physical branches and ATMS.
    Although a greater number of channels gives both customers and banks the choice to reach each other in their preferred way(s), oftentimes these channels are not integrated, resulting in an inconsistent customer experience.
    Banks may want to contact their customers for a variety of reasons, for example, new product and service promotions, collecting past due or soon-to-be due credit card payments and other loans, alerting customers of potential fraudulent use of bank cards, and sending notifications for transactions made. Customers also contact their banks regularly for a host of reasons. How do banks integrate the various contact channels to improve customer experience?
    There are customer contact technologies available that allow banks and customers to interact with each other more efficiently. Aspect Software technology for the Next Generation Customer Contact, allows for two way multimedia customer interactions, that can support the various disparate customer channels touch points. For example, in the scenario of ATM withdrawals, Aspect’s Customer Notification Alerts and Response Platform allows customers who receive SMS alert messages when transactions are made to reply via the SMS for a call back from the bank if a suspected fraudulent transaction was made. This call back is done with the full context of the transaction, providing improved customer assurance and service.
    Recently the Bank of Communications China (BOCC), one of the top five leading banks in China, partnered with Aspect Software to manage the growth in credit card debt. Before the deployment of Aspect’s solution, BOCC made on average 8,000 collection calls each day. BOCC is now able to handle more than 32,000 calls at its peak and 20,000 on a daily average by integrating its collection channels.
    • Reaching customers for successful sales and telemarketing activities
    Acquiring new customers and growing business with existing customers is the lifeblood of any successful business. Time and again, without accurate call monitoring, outbound calling simply translates to blindly “dialling for dollars”. Next Generation Customer Contact technology allows banks to grow their prospect contact opportunities by boosting campaign penetration rates.
    Tailored solutions allow banks to assign call records to specific agents with the best skill sets for each account, improving customer – agent match. Agents can then “own” those customer accounts for all activities and have the added ability to schedule call backs as needed.
    These advanced capabilities ensure more personalised service, either through traditional media like the physical branch or social media like Facebook, leading to higher-quality interactions with customers and prospects, and increased profits and market share for the bank.
    • Maximising contact centre agent efficiency and effectiveness
    A credit card company in Mexico that offers a variety of credit plans and financial services found that its contact centre agents did not have much control over their productivity since call activity was not monitored and no record of their performance and sales progress was given. In addition, supervisors did not have a clear view of how the agents were performing, affecting their judgement on overall productivity. Account management, sales and telemarketing and debt recovery became a difficult challenge for the company.
    The company employed Aspect Software’s solutions to improve call logging capabilities, empowering the bank’s agents to realise their productivity and control their success. The management staffs now have a comprehensive view of the contact centre progress, enabling them to set goals and objectives for the agents to achieve.
    The Asia Pacific banking community is beginning to understand that with the right technology, they are able to integrate contact channels, improve employee effectiveness and campaign results, and lower staffing costs. 
    Seamless customer service in the banking & finance industry
    Christopher Yeo, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & Middle East, Aspect Software
    Email at: [email protected]

    Christopher leads the Asia Pacific & Middle East theatre for Aspect Software. In this capacity, he is responsible for the operations for Aspect including sales, marketing, customer management and professional services.
    Christopher has more than 20 years of experience in software solutions in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining Aspect, Christopher was the General Manager at Fidelity Information Services (NYSE:FIS) where he led the Card & Payments Solutions Group in Asia and was interim Managing Director of FIS operations in Greater China.
    Christopher holds an Executive Marketing Diploma from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Canada; a Master of Business (MBA) from Curtin University, Australia; a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, Canada.

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