Contact Centres - Future Strategies

Updated: April 11, 2010

Market Drivers: Key Trends in Financial Services

Several industry mega-trends are influencing the environment in which contact centers are now evolving. Among them:
1. Intensifying Competition.
2. Customer Backlash.
3. Organic Growth.

The Challenge: Irrelevant Offers and Inappropriate Interactions Undermine Relationships

Against this backdrop, financial firms are looking to their contact centers as a force for profitable growth. As the front line connection to customers, these centers are now expected to go beyond conventional forms of customer service and capitalize on opportunities to deepen customer relationships. Considering the diminishing returns and high risk of annoyance associated with outbound telemarketing, companies are becoming particularly interested in the possibilities of inbound marketing - which is initiated by the customer's call or visit to a Web site or even a face-to-face interaction in a retail branch.

The problem that contact center managers face is that their systems are inadequate for the growing demands being thrust upon them. They suffer from an:

1. Inability to Personalize Offers and Recommendations.
2. Inability to Manage Customers Across Channels.
3. Inability to Empower Front-Line Service Personnel.

The Opportunity: Intelligent Customer Interaction

Profit-minded contact centers are building their foundation on Customer Interaction Optimization platforms. This represents the next generation of intelligent interaction solutions - going beyond basic analytics to provide predictions around customer behavior and drive action that maximizes business benefits. Such platforms are software-driven solutions that provide recommendations to service representatives or communicate directly to customers, drawing on continually refreshed profiles of contextual and historical customer data. Such interactions may occur in the call center, within an IVR, on a Web Site or at an ATM or retail branch. These solutions are notable for their intelligence (drawn from real-time analytics and data on historic behavior),their orientation to the individual customer and their capacity to enable channel spanning interaction. Whereas today's call centers and Web sites are often siloed and rule-bound, the Customer Interaction Optimization approach is based on the principle that companies can most powerfully strengthen customer relationships through an integrated platform based on real-time intelligence.

Advanced Customer Interaction Optimization solutions are composed of several key elements including:
1. Real-Time, Personalized Guidance.
2. Multi-Channel Engagement.
3. Full-Spectrum Customer Insight.

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