Other parts of this series:
Financial services firms need a well-defined strategy for enhancing the talent and skills of contact center employees. Reinventing the hiring process, embracing technology-delivered training and applying new metrics to increase motivation and improve compensation are key elements of such a strategy.
As we have discussed in previous blogs, the need for enhanced contact center talent and skills is clear. Financial services firms, however, also need a well-defined strategy for achieving this objective. We see three key elements as central in developing an effective approach.
Reinventing the hiring process
Firms should re-think their criteria for choosing desirable candidates. Once the required skills are identified, firms then should align the overall screening process using analytics and other tools to attract candidates with attributes such as critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the willingness to see problems from the customer’s perspective. New candidates should be selected on the basis of their ability and willingness to cross-sell, to provide complex advice, and to build a strong rapport with customers. Analytics can be used to develop new criteria for identifying desirable candidates, as well as criteria used in candidate selection, interviews and background checks.
Embracing technology-delivered training
In an environment marked by challenging interactions and higher customer expectations, contact center employees need both a higher level of technical proficiency and deeper product knowledge to handle more difficult inquiries. Collaboration technologies can enhance the overall employee and customer experience, while simulations based on real-world experience can prepare employees both for routine inquiries and for highly unusual situations.
Applying new metrics to restructure motivation and enhance compensation
Rote, mechanical performance indicators such as number of calls handled or average duration of calls may not be the best way to evaluate contact center performance. New, outcome-based metrics mixed with new customer experience metrics can measure important elements such as customer satisfaction, first-touch resolution, customer retention and new products sold to recognize and reward high-value, proactive behavior. More sophisticated organizations will be able to reward successful customer education and other factors that must be measured over time.
Financial services firms that are able to attract, train and retain the right kind of people – and to equip them with the tools, analytics and other digital resources needed to exceed customer expectations – will have a significant competitive advantage over firms that do not undertake these initiatives. Companies investing in targeted contact center technologies, training and incentive programs can see rapid returns on these investments.