Customer service in financial services: the bedrock, the building blocks, and the cornerstone of success
Written by: Greg Moser, Vice President, Dynamics 365 Client Engagement - ArganoArbela
Before we get into the technology and tactics currently fueling customer service/experience success in the financial services market—a.k.a., “the how and the what”—let’s dig into “the why.”
Because it’s the WHY that motivates organizations. Give people a reason to believe in a new approach or system, and you give them a reason to adopt and embrace a new approach or system.
In this case, the why is building customer trust.
It’s not an easy thing, to trust someone else with your money, your retirement funds, your future. But that’s what successful financial services companies accomplish every day: gaining that trust and keeping that trust.
It’s easy to think that that trust is built by successful investments and demonstrable ROI for every customer. Easy because it’s definitely true. But that’s not where that trust begins.
Trust begins with the very first contact a customer makes with a service provider. And it’s built up in every ensuing contact: every touchpoint, from the most in-depth 10K report you send to investor groups to the shortest text sent to an individual.
And in service industry segments like finance, legal, investing, and insurance, you may rest assured that the right kind of service—targeted, timely communications; knowing your customer’s needs before they have to state them; always being there when they need you—is truly the bedrock of success.
Extraordinary customer service will help ensure you have customers for life, through thick and thin, good times and bad (yes, we know: it sounds like a marriage). Because your customers will know that no matter what happens in the market or world at large, you are a trusted advisor. And they’ll stick by you.
Conversely, poor customer service—long wait times, a lack of customer information, forcing the customer to “meet you where you are” (rather than the inverse)—will result in customers leaving you for next offer they get. Poor service = no trust. No trust = no relationship. No relationship = no business.
The tools to optimize every touchpoint:
As stated, trust and relationships between financial service providers and their customers are built at every touch point—the building blocks.
The challenges are 1) identifying those touchpoints, 2) having the insight and ability to engage at those touchpoints, and 3) doing so without spending a fortune.
This is where technology is playing an ever-larger role. Platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, D365 Customer Service, D365 Marketing, and D365 Sales work in harmony, respectively to:
- capture a 360-degree view of the customer, and surface that information to a service representative;
- automate call-handling and routing, interact with customers via chatbots, and enable omnichannel communication (voice, SMS, email, etc.);
- launch personalized customer journeys and nurture campaigns; and
- help representatives equip customers with tailored product configurations.
The proper implementation and everyday use of such technology is the cornerstone of mutually rewarding customer experiences. Customers finding the information they need quickly or automatically, representatives handling more calls more quickly, customers spending less (or no) time on hold… it all results in happier customers and more efficient customer service operations: a win for all.
And it’s just getting started. The technology is constantly adapting to the how customers communicate their wants and needs. It’s critical that financial services providers meet the customer where they are—their preferred mode of communication; equipping them with the right information, enabling them to “self-serve” when they want.
One of the more recent developments in this space is IVR, interactive voice recognition, which is an extension of Dynamics 365 Customer Service Omnichannel.
IVR automates routine tasks and provides actionable insights to an agent in real-time. Agents spend less time saying, “let me look that up” and more time saying, “I have that information right here.” IVR also delivers extensive benefits across the customer service spectrum:
- Real-time transcription eliminates the need for taking notes, allowing agents to actively listen
- Proactive, AI-driven recommendations for similar cases and knowledge articles to resolve issues faster
- Live sentiment analysis provides a pulse on customer emotions throughout the call
- Real-time translation of transcripts for agents assisting customers in different regions
This functionality and these solutions are evolving almost daily and, with an assist by ArganoArbela’s CX Connect (a prepackaged solution that leverages Microsoft functionality, and ArganoArbela’s IP and industry expertise), can be implemented within a few months and completely transform customer service in the financial service space.
Want to learn more about transforming customer service in financial service and other industries? We can help.