The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Financial Services Customer Care Centres lag other industries

In a rather damning report (dated Dec 2005) on financial services efforts, their Customer Care Centres are seen to be lagging almost all, along every axis, with the exception of Insurance, government, and Telcoms – three hardly known as exemplars.  I would suggest that this is partly because they have not made the leap from Call Centre to Customer Care Centre, the second have cross channel implications.

I see this tying into the need to develop proper benefit from CRM within Banks.  The report does note that Banks’ have been investing heavily, so benefits should be expected.

Despite comprising nearly 23 percent of the U.S. CCC market, behind only telecommunications and technology (25 percent) and retail and manufacturing (27 percent), the efficiency and effectiveness performance of financial services firms’ CCCs has lagged that of most other industries.

Source:  Integrating sales with service in financial services customer care centers  pdf

Elements of expected investment are:

  • Multi channel integration: expected to account for 28% of that investment.  Purpose is to integrate enterprise resources across channels, using a mix of technology and people-oriented solutions.
  • Efficiency:  various activities depicted in this diagram:


  • Cost reduction:  There is much focus on cost reduction activities including:
  • Migrating customers to lower-cost channels
  • Improving workforce deployment and agent productivity
  • Outsourcing CCC operations
  • Raise revenue:  This component has less meat in the report
    • Providing training tools and incentives that encourage
      and enable agents to cross- and up-sell
    • Segmenting customers and developing targeted
      sales efforts
    • Integrating product and channel strategies to
      optimize sales.
  • Customer retention (loyalty): 
    • Integrating channels to provide optimal, consistent
    • Sharing customer data across channels and LOBs
    • Tailoring services to customer needs and preferences
  • Contact flow management:  standardized processes, workflow and business rules cross the enterprise and across channels
    • Identify and segment incoming calls – Using interactive voice response (IVR) in combination with customer data to determine customer needs, existing relationships, past interactions and recent transactions across all channels. In  addition, by using customer lifetime value or tiered customer ratings (such as gold, silver and platinum), banks can also tee up segment aligned products and services that provide special
      price considerations
    • Direct calls to appropriate levels of service – Using skills-based routing and an agent proficiency matrix to route transactions to the agent who is best equipped to complete the call successfully on the first attempt
    • Increase levels of self-service, where appropriate –
      Directing customers to lower-cost channels, including IVR and the Web. However, this strategy must be well thought out since a poorly designed self-service offering risks increasing the number of online calls exponentially, to the detriment of the initial objective
  • Achieving optimal customer profitability: Optimal customer profitability requires identifying and targeting customer needs with tailored customer service and product offers, including the following actions:
    • Route customer calls to appropriate channel or media –
      Identifying and segmenting customers by needs and preferences, based on data from all interactions and
    • Build cross-selling and up-selling capabilities – Enabling
      agents to identify opportunities and close sales
    • Make outbound customer acquisition and retention
      calls – Targeting desirable existing and new customers
      in target segments.

    Its quote a sweeping paper, and worth the read for technology strategists, as well as business leaders trying to understand the leverage points of technology versus process, and when you need both for best impact.

    Finally this diagram trying to pull together some of the activities.


    Written by Colin Henderson

    December 4, 2006 at 15:20

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