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It’s Time to Evolve: The Journey From Contact Center to Engagement Center

Customer service has changed dramatically; the shift that was already in progress moved into warp speed last year, immediately impacting how credit unions help their members. Members are managing their most simple financial needs with self-service, as they like the ability to bank on-demand from anywhere. And when they need support, they expect that same level of service. When members ask for help, they want it to be tailored to their unique needs, and they don’t want to spend time providing background information.

Credit union representatives can no longer afford to ask, “how many I help you?”. By the time a member reaches out, they likely have a timely and complex request, and they want representatives to be up to speed on their digital activity. Luckily, contact centers can transform to meet these high expectations by adopting new technologies that engage members in high-value interactions and evolving the roles of their personnel. Every function must work together to achieve success; here’s how the transition begins:

Member service representatives train for more skilled services

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help members solve simple problems through self-service, providing members instant gratification and saving representatives for more important transactions. Virtual representatives and other forms of self-service can take over the monotonous tasks that cause both high turnover and low job satisfaction with today’s representatives.

While challenging work can be more interesting, it also requires higher skill sets and more training. In order to evolve into an engagement center, call centers will need to train their representatives better and provide higher pay in order to properly equip them to resolve complex inquiries left behind by bots.

Supervisors oversee both representatives and bots

When the roles of representatives and bots change, the supervisor’s role changes with it. Supervisors should motivate representatives to continuously improve their knowledge while tracking bots’ performance to ensure desired results. Successful supervisors are equipped to make some crucial adjustments to the bots’ performance, such as creating, tagging and classifying bot responses. They can also bridge the gap between representatives and bots by setting up training sessions for bots to learn from sessions handled by humans and reconfiguring which issues land with what service.

Managers create more strategic plans

Contact centers were cost centers, sometimes looked at as a drain of funds. Today’s engagement centers are the front lines to your member relationships. Managers have to increase service, drive member satisfaction and improve business outcomes that were once being managed in branches with a sense of a budget and efficiency. Cloud-based solutions may help managers keep pace with fast-paced technology changes. And hiring or training staff with the skills to operate those solutions and develop key metrics will be crucial as the contact center evolves into the engagement center.

Data analysts make member information actionable

A well-staffed research team is a necessity. With the amount of data in the world doubling every three years, data analysts are challenged with identifying actionable insights that improve business outcomes.

By combining information from internal and external resources, such as Amazon Customer Reviews or Yelp Reviews, data analysts can expand the scope of insights to evaluate the performance of a credit union’s products as well as competitors. This enables them to train representatives on what aspects of a product to emphasize in conversation. A data analyst’s insights can be used to adjust hiring practices, change staffing level, fine-tune representative scripts, adjust existing training, create whole new training modules and develop new member interaction program initiatives.

Knowledge managers write the playbook

Sports teams have a playbook, why can’t contact centers? A sports team’s playbook provides strategies to create or respond to different circumstances during a game and guides team members to perform their roles. This is not too different than the playbooks that contact centers use to address member opportunities and issues.

Script and the knowledge base are the two most common elements in a contact center’s playbook, which may be built and maintained by knowledge managers. They gather and curate the insights supplied by the data analysts and decide how best to use them and build assets that make the insights available to others. They also build assets, such as FAQs to enable member self-service, canned and suggested responses for agents, full-on scripts that guide agents step-by-step through a call and knowledge bases for representatives to search. They should also update any existing bot language to meet new conversational capabilities of the AI. 

Credit unions need to evolve their contact centers into sophisticated engagement centers with highly trained and specialized employees. Being nimble is paramount in today’s financial services landscape. The benefits of this evolution are three-fold: 1) member satisfaction will increase, 2) more strategic guidance can increase sales and the bottom line, and 3) employees will be rewarded with more fulfilling careers. Digital member service is a crucial focus for the success of all aspects of a business.

About Auhtor:
Steve Kaish is the SVP of product marketing and partnerships for Glia, a leading provider of Digital Customer Service.

Glia is reinventing how businesses support their customers in a digital world. Glia’s solution enriches web and mobile experiences with digital communication choices, on-screen collaboration and AI-enabled assistance. Glia has partnered with more than 150 banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other financial institutions across the globe to improve top and bottom-line results through Digital Customer Service. The company has won numerous awards for its innovation – most recently recognized by Gartner as a Cool Vendor for 2020, and raised over $100 million in funding from top investors. Visit glia.com to learn more.

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