Siloed approach to customer service leaves one in four queries unanswered first time

With the next big digital innovation permanently just around the corner, today’s consumers expect customer service teams to be available – across multiple platforms – 24 hours a day seven days a week. In order to ensure consistency of responses across today’s multiple customer touch points, companies operating in the financial services (FS) sector need to invest in a single knowledge solution that can be rolled out to all customer facing departments in the business.

In order to assess the current situation in the FS sector, knowledge solutions company Transversal & Vanson Bourne conducted research with UK decision makers – from FS organisations – to assess consistency of the customer service operation.

The findings show that customer service departments in the 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.”

About Transversal
Transversal is the leading provider of enterprise knowledge solutions for the cloud. Our solutions are designed to help improve agent efficiencies in contact centers, deliver exceptional experiences in online self-service and increase business performance through employees and business partners. Transversal solutions are deployed at over one hundred blue chip companies providing mission critical answers to customers across the globe. Our focus is to connect people with knowledge, ensuring agents, customers and employees alike can find the right answer the first time and every time they need it.

To hear directly from Transversal customers, such as 1st Central Insurance, about solutions that can help ease the pressure on contact centers, register for the Transversal annual summit on 21st May https://www.transversal.com/events/2014/05/21/connecting-people-to-knowledge-summit-2014

Stephen TransversalStephen Sinclair
Business Development Director, Transversal.
As one of Transversal’s visionaries and regular thought leadership presenters Stephen has led the delivery of many large complex solutions and initiatives that have resulted in tremendous improvements across customer service departments.
Stephen’s track record in customer experience is bolstered by his work with many organizations including Barclaycard, AXA Group, Allianz, First Central Insurance, Mothercare, Carnival UK and Santander. His deep understanding of an organization’s aim to deliver consistent efficiencies and to recognize return on investment enables organizations to work closely with him, from project inception to a broadening wealth of customer journey initiatives.
Stephen’s team of Business Development Managers continues Transversal’s successful delivery of consistent decision support and customer experience initiatives for organizations wanting to provide super service in an ever changing omnichannel environment. His previous roles include Pan-European Director for Knowledge Management at Primus Knowledge Solutions and Quality Management and Customer Satisfaction Director EMEA at Comverse Infosys

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