It’s all about consistency…

September 19, 2011 (comments: 0)

Likely, many of you are now offering up to five different ways for customers/members to obtain their account balances. Yet amazingly, for most institutions, balance inquiry is still the #1 transaction for call center agents and it still ranks high as a primary reason for many branch visits.

Why is this? Why aren’t consumers taking greater advantage of self-service options? I believe that they have the perception that it is easier, and they are more likely to get accurate information, if they speak with a live representative.

Is this an accurate view of your organization’s delivery channels? Do channels exist in their own silos of data and processes?  

Whether this perception is accurate, or not, I believe the key to changing perceptions is consistency. Consistency in the content of a response and consistency in the delivery of information builds confidence in your institution in the eyes of customers/members and your staff (yes, your staff); and, we all know that confidence and trust is the foundation of any good relationship.

So, how do you achieve consistency? One, employ a single “system of record” approach to organizing data. If there is only one data source used by all channels – self-service as well as live agents – then the information will truly be consistent across the enterprise. When staff can count on the fact that they can easily pull up accurate, up-to-date information (customer/member and product data, transaction  histories, etc.) from your system every time they assist a customer/member, they are confident in the service they provide—and that confidence will then be conveyed to consumers. Not to mention, training staff to use a single system of record is significantly faster and easier.

Two, establish a single process flow for the delivery of information. Regardless of channel, a single process flow can be designed and executed which always moves the interaction through a predefined set of steps—this results in a sense of familiarity and comfort with how the information is retrieved and delivered. For example:

Step 1. Customer/member is greeted in a personalized way

Step 2. Customer/member is always identified

Step 3. The reason for the interaction is determined (How can we help you?). And so forth, through fulfillment or determining the next steps that will bring a satisfying close.

Consistency builds comfort and confidence. We all feel better when our expectations are based on experience—and delivering great customer experiences is the name of the game.

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