Creating a Frictionless Customer Experience in Banking Call Centers

Consumers today have more options than ever before in their choice of credit union or bank. The rise of digital banking has created an entirely new level of expectation around seamless transactions and what it means to be user-friendly. These changes have made it vitally important for financial institutions to create a frictionless customer experience or member experience. The call center is an ideal place to start, with so many proven and emerging technology solutions available. 

What Is Frictionless Customer Experience?

Frictionless customer experience or CX is defined by the ease with which a customer or member can accomplish their goals in any given interaction. By preventing frustration and eliminating unnecessary steps, financial institutions can deliver service that consistently meets or exceeds customer expectations. A frictionless approach can be implemented across all platforms and channels:

  • Website and mobile apps
  • Chat (chatbots and live support)
  • Call center (live agent and IVR)
  • Email and text support
  • Brick-and-mortar locations

It also applies across all areas of an organization where customer contact occurs from the sales process through onboarding and ongoing support. 

Creating Frictionless Customer Experiences Improves Engagement

Engagement is the prize you win by consistently improving the customer or member experience. More engagement is tied directly to outcomes like customer retention and revenue from selling more products to existing customers. 

The impact of poor experience is very real. According to a credit union quoted in Mario DiNitto’s recent article in the Credit Union Times, “The member experience directly affects member engagement…If we make the website easier to use, we are likely to raise engagement. If we provide a poor member experience by creating inconsistency from channel to channel, we are directly impacting member engagement and therefore jeopardizing that relationship.” Let’s look at how to avoid this pitfall.

How to Offer a Frictionless Customer Experience in Your Banking Call Center

Identifying the points of current friction is the first step. The call center is a good place to begin because:

  • For credit unions and banks, there are many areas of friction in the typical contact center experience
  • There is often a great deal of data and metrics available to show areas for improvement
  • Most call centers conduct regular customer surveys that highlight areas of dissatisfaction

Common issues in the call center include:

  • Long wait times for calls to be answered
  • Lengthy security Q&A for verification
  • Difficulty navigating the phone menu in the IVR
  • Challenges with escalating to an agent
  • Not having access to easy self-service 24/7
  • Agents taking too long to answer questions or resolve concerns
  • Being transferred from one agent to the next and having to repeat a conversation

Once you identify which of these problems are causing the greatest amount of friction, you can begin exploring ways to resolve them using technology. See the following examples for some effective solutions.

3 Frictionless Customer Experience Examples for the Contact Center

Here are just a few ways to use modern technology to provide frictionless customer service in the banking sector.

#1 Passive Voice Authentication 

In the banking sector, the need for a high level of account security has led to a great deal of customer friction in the identity verification portion of calls. Customers and members routinely express frustration with being forced to jump through hoops and answer questions before being allowed to proceed with even the most basic interaction. 

A passive voice verification solution like Illuma Shield(™) replaces security Q&A with biometric authentication. This form of verification is highly secure and not susceptible to fraud from imposters equipped with hacked, stolen, or socially engineered access to a customers’ security answers. Voice authentication enables a frictionless customer experience by reducing the verification portion of a call by 85% and allowing agents to verify members seamlessly during the course of natural conversation.

Did you know? A study sponsored by the CMO Council and the BPI Network reveals that 82% of customers prefer to do business with companies that make authentication simple, fast, and safe.

#2 Conversational AI in the IVR

Self-service is one area where an upgrade can make a big difference by allowing members and customers to accomplish their goals without waiting on hold. Implementing an IVA (Intelligent Virtual Agent) gives callers a way to handle simple questions and transactions around-the-clock instead of waiting for business hours or waiting for an agent to take their call. 

Enabling self-service with conversational AI reduces the friction caused by the limitations of older IVRs that provide limited functionality. Being able to have a more natural conversation instead of choosing from a menu of prompts reduces the frustration callers feel when interacting with an IVR.

Did you know? You can implement voice authentication in the IVR. Gartner predicts that 70% of self-service customers will use some kind of voice biometric verification by the end of 2023.

#3 Personalized Call Routing

One of the common areas of friction for members or customers is having to start a new conversation with a new agent every time they call to discuss an ongoing issue or concern. A customer interaction platform that allows you to create a unique identifier for each customer can allow you to intelligently route them to their designated agent. This personalized call routing helps build stronger connections between customers and the call center team, creating more trust and providing a much smoother experience for both parties.

Did you know? Voice authentication software from Illuma can be integrated into the most popular call center and customer experience telephony platforms used by credit unions and community banks.

Ready to Start Removing Friction from Your Call Center?

By choosing technology that is aligned with your budget and easy to implement with a low lift for your internal IT team, you can make rapid strides in creating a frictionless customer experience. To learn how Illuma can eliminate the frustration of voice authentication, contact our team for a demo today.