Harnessing The Power Of Contact Centre Data: 3 Key Financial Services Trends

2023-01-17 |  Asha Sanderson

Your contact centre is the heart of your organisation and is a key touchpoint in servicing customers throughout their relationship and journey with your brand. Needless to say, there is a huge amount of data gathered by customer and client services - whether that be customer and employee experience insight, or process and operational information - but this data is rarely collated and analysed as a whole to provide the depth and breadth of insight required to inform change initiatives and decision-making processes.

Within the Financial Services industry in particular, there are 3 key trends that are increasing the role and importance of the contact centre. By looking at the data generated by your organisation’s contact centre, you can understand the impact of these core trends and ensure the best employee and customer experiences are being delivered and supported by effective processes and systems.

So what are the 3 key trends impacting Financial Services organisations today?

1. Increased Contact Volumes

With around 400 bank branches having closed across the UK in 2022, and nearly 200 more already planned by the end of 2023, many organisations are keen to increase opportunities for their customers to self-serve.

However, with the current cost of living crisis, organisations are also seeing contact volumes increase considerably across telephone and digital channels. Customers are looking for additional support, guidance and reassurance from financial institutions. Organisations that use their contact centre data effectively will be best placed to ensure the right type and level of support is being provided through the right channels at the right time for the customer.

The current cost of living crisis is also causing more customers to become ‘vulnerable’, as defined by the FCA.

It’s essential to have the right skills, processes and channels in place to properly and efficiently identify, track and respond to this group of customers' needs, especially with less opportunities to support them in person.

2. Accepting Hybrid and Flexible Working as the Norm

Flexible and hybrid working are here to stay. Employees have greater choice and control over how they work and contact centres are at the heart of this change. The evolution of banks into digitally enabled omni-channel service hubs brings with it new workforce management and customer experience (CX) challenges and opportunities.

These new ways of working may be negatively impacting the support provided to customers due to, for instance, training, knowledge access, systems, or culture challenges. For example, we have seen hold and wrap times increase considerably in contact centres that have moved to a more remote set up.

With the employee in the driving seat, with much greater choice available to them, it’s more important than ever for organisations to listen to their employees. They need to provide great employee experiences and empower them to deliver the best customer experience in these new hybrid operating models.

While a great employee experience can retain talent, recruiting the right skillset is equally as crucial, especially in this strongly candidate-led market. Having a clear job description, and knowing the must-have skills versus those that can be quickly developed, can help attract who you need to achieve your customer experience ambitions.

3. Accelerating Digital Transformations

As the world continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and we enter the next stage of global economic recovery, digitalisation unsurprisingly continues to be the most popular trend in Financial Services. Many organisations have accelerated their development of more digital products and services, with 47% of Financial Services organisations expecting to see a radical digital transformation in the next three years.

However, with quick acceleration often comes prematurely launched digital channels or supporting systems, e.g. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, that quickly suffer capacity and technical issues and become slow and complex for employees and customers. This causes confusing and negative experiences for all involved, which is even more detrimental for digital-only offerings.

Being able to understand your customers' needs, test touchpoints, and monitor the outcomes along the customer journey, will ensure a good customer experience is being delivered throughout.

The FCA’s Consumer Duty Impact

Alongside these 3 key trends, the FCA's new Consumer Duty regulation calls for a higher standard of care and support, especially for vulnerable customers. The regulation states that organisations must measure, continuously improve, and provide evidence for their responsible Boards, and from July 2023 the FCA can and will ask for evidence around outcomes generated for customers.

Organisations must be able to show clearly how the customer, employee and operational data they capture is being monitored and used to ensure products, services and communications consistently meet their customers' needs.

The value of contact centre data is undeniable, yet many organisations struggle to collate it, generate insights from it and use these insights to drive change for their employees and customers. Many opportunities to improve experiences, simplify processes and reduce costs are being missed by those not harnessing the power of their contact centre data. But we will see more organisations accelerating their efforts to do so as the Consumer Duty deadlines draw nearer.

To discover how PEN could help you transform your Contact Centre, please connect with Hannah Isaacs, or email her directly at hannah.isaacs@penpartnership.com.