In a research endeavor that Bank Innovation has undertaken – details of which will be released in full next week – we have found that even the largest banks in the nation have acute shortcomings in their telephone customer service.
Which is one reason why Jack Henry & Associates introduced its new “comprehensive telephone support and customer service solution” called jhaCall last month. We got the lowdown on bank telephone customer service from Scott Spain, general manager of core solutions at Jack Henry, and Susan Geiss, senior director of core operations at the company. The upshot: telephone customer service at the top banks still has a way to go. And judging by our research, it’s a significantly long way to go.
Typically, bank call centers have been put together piecemeal over the last 30 years or so, and this has led in some cases to segmentation and a less-than-ideal customer experience, Geiss said. We’ve all experienced this: After waiting on hold, you finally get through to a representative, but it turns out they don’t have the information you need, so you’re placed on hold again. (Cue the boring music.)
Geiss described telephone customer service that is a “first line of defense” staffed by representatives with strong general knowledge of the FI’s products, who can handle 85% of customer inquiries and route them appropriately. The remaining 15% will need to be directed to specialists.
“Traditional banking has evolved so that anyone you talk to should have a good base level knowledge and knowledge of products to help,” she said.
The customer service process should be streamlined to the point that front line agents do the correct level of verification, get callers to the right product, resolve any problems the caller brings up, and handle any escalations—in other words, have the caller moved to a manager, if needed.
Maintaining strong and consistent customer service across channels, since many customers now interact with banks on multiple channels, is an important consideration, she said.
Now we’re talking. Pun intended.