Any moderately competent marketing professional will tell you that customers are now spread throughout different communication channels and that it’s important to be where your customers are - even for customer support.
As you’ve probably noticed, recent developments in technology means your customers will want to reach you in different channels - mobile, on-site (or specifically, on-page), social media, voice chat and more. In fact, gone are the days when bank customers fumble through your brochure to look for your customer service number and patiently wait for the next available representative while listening to that Für Elise flute solo 10 times. Nobody has the patience anymore.
But to be able to meet and help customers wherever they are, banks will need certain tools or functionalities. Here are some of the basics:
1. Multi-Channel Communications
Some people like to talk over the phone. Others prefer to chat. Some might even want to see the person they are talking to. These are your customers’ preferences. You need to open more communication channels for your customers to reach you. Here are some capabilities you need to look at:
- Website chat
Your website is one of your flagship branches, and what flagship branch doesn’t have personalized customer service? If you aren’t treating your website as such, now should be the time to change that. Having your customer service or support available for customers to chat gives you plenty of opportunities not just to solve customer problems but also to help website visitors make important decisions such as opening an account or applying for a credit card
If you already have chat capabilities in your website, it’s worth looking at video chat capabilities as well. Through video chat, you can build more trust with your online customers. Since most of your bank’s processes have to deal with money, the element of trust is very important. Video chat also allows your representatives to help your customers more through screen sharing and co-browsing allowing your representatives to “show” rather than “instruct” your customers how to solve their issues.
Give your customers the option to speak directly to one of your customer service agents. Sometimes customers feel more safe and they want to share sensitive information over a voice call. Try to look for a call-back option where with just a click of a button, your customers will be called by one of your agents as soon as they are available. This removes the need to make your customers wait on the line.
- Social Media
Facebook has taken its chat capabilities to the next level with chatbot applications and allowing companies to use Facebook Messenger as a contact point. This is an opportunity for banks to capture the younger generation of Generation Z and the Millennials who are more comfortable with using social media chat to communicate.
2. Real-Time Monitoring, Insights and Reports
You will need a way to monitor your customer engagement efforts in real-time. Preferably, they should also be integrated with your website’s monitoring as well so you can have a good handle on your overall online presence. Here are some important metrics to track:
- Total number of customers being served
- Total number of customers that can be managed
- Average waiting time of contacts
- Which pages are contact requests coming from
- Currently active contacts on a specific page
- Trend of website visitors through time
- Daily failure report (number of contacts that weren’t served or abandoned the call etc.)
- Agent reports (contacts served per hour, average time to answer requests, average working time etc.)
3. Integrated Platform
As you can see from the tools we mentioned above, you will need either a large collection of tools or one very capable software that has all the capabilities we enumerated previously. You are looking specifically for a customer engagement platform. This type of solution handles customer interactions and their capabilities vary from brand to brand.
You’ll need to identify what capabilities you need most and put them on a priority list. That will help you immensely when selecting a multi-channel customer engagement platform.
Customers today have diverse needs that only a versatile integrated multi-channel customer engagement platform is capable of. Of course, you can always choose to have several tools that each handle an aspect of your customer service strategy - a software for calls and chats, a business intelligence software and Facebook Messenger for a start.
However, the siloed nature of a non-integrated customer support and engagement system will drag you down eventually. In the end, only an integrated system that has all the necessary tools will be sustainable for your organization.
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