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To retain customers, banks need to deliver on customer service

Paul Hutchins and Scott Andrick,
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The current Covid-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on how retail financial institutions engage with their customers. Even though most banks’ homepages refer to extensive delays in responding to customer requests, many customers want advice and services from a representative. Customers select an institution or leave their current one based on how they are treated at engagement. Now, more than ever, delivering a rapid, quality response to customer requests will be paramount to retaining those customers long-term.

A sea-change is taking in place in the way digital technologies are being leveraged by consumers who are no longer able to visit physical branches or reach contact center agents directly.

Because of the pandemic and related shelter-in-place orders, the volumes of these calls and the level of engagement have increased dramatically, and banks are now scrambling to support these requests as they deal with gaps in their ability to service a remote and digitally-focused customer base. Increased comfort and reliance on technology has created a fundamental change in the way customers now are forced to interact with their bank. Bank customers are now leveraging chat/chatbots and online banking portals for basic transactional services as well as requests for loan modifications, fee waivers, short-term cash disbursements, payment disputes, and other basic banking services.

This shift in consumer engagement has put a significant strain on the support model designed for a normal banking environment. That normal environment has disappeared in the near term and looks to have morphed into a model where increased digital support will continue to be likely after the crisis passes.

As banks look forward, a new kind of speed and agility to address costs and inefficiencies will be an absolute requirement.

Here are two recent examples:

  • A bank in North America was able to set up new intelligent digital forms for capturing crisis-related customer requests, along with supporting case management and routing in just 36 hours by leveraging their existing Pega Platform™ … as part of this effort, they even incorporated straight-through processing for certain requests and enabled automated direct deposits of government-provided relief funds into customer accounts.

  • A European government agency launched an online application for an emergency aid program in FIVE DAYS. They had 207k applications processed in the first two weeks with €229 million paid out.

To support banks’ critical customer service needs, Pega has created and placed on the Pega Marketplace the Crisis Customer Request Triage reference app.

Pega’s Crisis Customer Request Triage reference app helps bank clients:

  • Capture a myriad of customer requests from digital channels.
  • Expedite customer responses and relieve pressure on contact-centers.
  • Triage requests and route appropriately.
  • Manage and track exceptions with a full audit trail.

The reference app allows financial institutions a quick way to improve customer service by creating:

  • Pre-defined microjourneys and case types for common COVID-19 requests, with the ability to capture, route, and streamline the processing of requests for loan concessions, early withdrawal from term deposits, payment disputes, and fee waivers.

  • The ability to deliver consistent, omni-channel experiences to relieve pressure on call centers, with the ability for customers to make requests via website, online banking, or mobile app with intelligent forms to capture relevant info.

  • Documented connections to bank data and systems with hooks to call out and leverage existing back-end processes and data, insulating customer request processing from back-end complexity.

  • The ability to easily adapt rules to changing policies and regulatory guidelines by creating decision tables and patented Situational Layer Cake approach to make it easier to change rules and routing, including exception policies, prioritization, and service-level agreements (SLAs).

While this reference application is based on broad initial customer request types, banks can easily add support for more types of customer requests and customize how the Crisis Customer Request Triage reference application reacts under different conditions to meet the unique needs of their own bank policies and country mandates by leveraging features of Pega Platform microjourneys through a Pega Microjourney™ Kickstart.

With an intuitive visual approach, the Pega Platform development environment enables professional and citizen developers alike to configure software faster, more accurately, and at less cost. It also leverages intelligent automation, case management, AI, and robotics to drive business processes and customer journeys from end to end. Pega unifies these back-end processes with its customer engagement applications on the front end to empower businesses to provide superior customer experiences on any channel.

This kind of innovation accelerates the progress towards a digital banking environment and satisfies the need for speed and effectiveness in responding to customer requests in the “moments of truth” that will define banking relationships for years to come – crisis or not.

Learn more:

Tags

  • Challenge: Customer Service
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Product Area: Platform
  • Topic: Operational Excellence
  • Topic: Customer Service

About the Author

Paul Hutchins: In his role as Pega’s Senior Director and Industry Principal for Financial Services, Paul Hutchins advises some of the world’s most recognizable financial brands on opportunities for growth, engagement, and digital transformation.

Scott Andrick: With more than three decades of Financial Industry experience, and in his role as Senior Director and Industry Principal for Pega’s Financial Services Sales and Marketing solutions, Scott Andrick helps clients around the world strengthen customer relationships and accelerate digital transformation.