Thought leadership

Customer service departments in the financial services (FS) sector are failing to resolve, on average, one in every four (25%) customer queries first time, according to research commissioned by enterprise knowledge solutions provider Transversal. Top reasons cited for escalating queries included a lack of information (39%) and a lack of technical skills (22%) amongst the teams tasked with responding to inbound enquiries.

The Vanson Bourne research, which questioned 50 UK decision makers from customer service departments throughout the FS sector, demonstrates how a siloed approach to customer service can result in an inconsistent experience for customers.

Despite almost nine in ten (88%) customer service decision makers acknowledging that the complex nature of financial services means that agents have to deal with more complicated enquiries than other industries:

· Only 40% of customer service teams make a note on their system of every single customer interaction

· Over a quarter (26%) do not currently pre-empt fluctuations in customer demand and 34% are not familiar with the use of pro-active customer service

· Half (50%) only share customer data with other departments within the business on a quarterly basis or less, if at all

· Only 11% are sharing customer data on a proactive, ad-hoc basis

· Two in ten (22%) share customer data reactively – when approached by another department to do so

While it’s clear that information is, for the most part, available, with seven in ten (70%) respondents saying they were confident or very confident that their team had the right information to respond to customer queries, almost a third (30%) expressed doubts about the consistency of the responses their agents would give if the same question was asked of different departments – in branch, online or through the contact center.

“Today’s connected consumers are less patient and more demanding than ever before. They expect a consistent response to their questions, 24 hours a day, no matter what method they use to contact customer service teams” said Stephen Sinclair, Business Development Director at Transversal. “With the research finding that organizations in the FS sector have, on average, four separate customer service teams using three different data sources to respond to customer questions, it is little wonder that such a high percentage of queries have to be escalated by customer service teams.”

Sinclair continued: “In order to ensure that customer service agents are fully equipped to respond to enquiries, decision makers in the FS sector should consider implementing a central knowledge solution across all departments that can be updated with real-time decision support.”



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