Odigo: Banks, you can no longer afford to ignore contact center agents

With the war for talent raging, banks must step up their efforts to attract and retain the best contact center agents. If they don’t, they risk falling behind competitors who can provide increasingly anxious customers with quality customer experience (CX).

Financial services have not escaped the impact of the ‘big quit’ – with 56% of people in the sector saying preventing people from leaving their jobs is one of their top three workforce priorities. work this year, according to PwC and CCR to research.

Andy wattssenior account manager at Odigocontact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solutions provider, explains how an AI-powered technology that provides a single source of truth about a customer, enabling agents to be part of an omnichannel strategy, redeployed to perform value-driven tasks like upselling and cross-selling new and existing products and services:

Andy Watts, Senior Account Manager at Odigo

The “great resignation” affected all sectors, including financial services. More than half (56%) of those industry say preventing people from leaving their jobs is one of their top three workforce priorities this year.

But while much of the emphasis in banking has been on retaining analysts and graduates, contact center workers have been somewhat neglected. With some financial organizations offering greater flexibility in hybrid working, the industry has seen tremendous growth 40-50% agent churn rate.

With highly complex products, especially in the B2B space, it is increasingly difficult and expensive to recruit the right talent into financial services contact centers. Yet, combined with the pursuit cost of living crisis and the resulting influx of anxious customers seeking support and advice, banks and financial service providers must act now to protect and support their agents.

Banks can’t risk ignoring contact center workers

Financial institution contact centers have always been a key point of contact for customers to access different types of assistance, from queries to complaints to fraud advice. While their role today has not necessarily changed, the value that organizations and customers place on them has certainly changed. Over the past few months, we’ve seen the focus shift from adapting customers to business processes to redesigning contact centers around customer needs.

Agents are a fundamental part of any successful contact center. But there is a real need for banks to put even more emphasis on attracting and retaining the best contact center agents in today’s digitalized environment. Those who are unlikely to be left behind by competitors who can enable their agents to provide increasingly anxious customers with a quality customer experience and the advice they need.

This requires a solid infrastructure and technological base. One that can enable agents to capture customer pain points, understand their context, and orchestrate the best, most optimal route across any channel. All to deliver fast, impactful and personalized services that convert prospects into lasting advocates.

Automation increases agent productivity

Until recently, there were virtually no front door filters between customers and agents. However, effective self-service – which is just beginning to become a reality – gives agents the time and space to handle more complex cases on their own.

It’s here that automating As data-driven insights and capabilities become the norm, organizations have the opportunity to identify simpler customer queries through AI. They can then direct customers to self-service areas, virtual assistants, and AI-powered services. Elsewhere in the customer journey, businesses can harness the power of customer data to mechanize digital form filling, automate proactive product notifications, and boost loyalty programs and re-engagement.

Bots can also improve service touchpoints within a customer journey. By automatically retrieving customer data from various business systems, this technology can enable agents to provide personalized service that offers real-time responses to specific bank customer queries and concerns.

Retain the best agent talent

Agent experience (AX) has recently been elevated to the same level as customer experience (CX). Historical, and recent, bad press and burnout and turnover advertising across all industries is a real concern, and contact centers are not immune. However, the contact center industry is full of passionate and driven individuals.

Successful contact centers emphasize human-centric values, empathy, and well-being, while ensuring agents are equipped with empowerment tools. It’s no secret that the best technology keeps the best talent. Banking is a fast-paced world, and the demographics of today’s agents are typically “gen now”: they expect the same experience of consumer technology in their work lives as they do at home; personalized, agile and simple to use.

Contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solutions can bring cutting-edge technology to banking contact centers that benefit work processes and workforce management across locations, teams, and models hybrid work. CCaaS solutions can’t put people in the same room, but with mature voice technology and omnichannel tools, they can bridge the gap to create seamless conversations between teams and customers.

No industry can afford to ignore contact center agents, and this is especially the case in financial organizations that manage people’s income and monetary assets. The whole customer experience process should be as stress-free as possible. As the industry evolves throughout the 21st century, AI will play a greater role in agent operations to improve performance, enabling more complex queries that require human intervention.