A guide to effective fintech in 2019

FinTech means much more than algorithmic trading, financial modeling and roboadvisory wealth management.

From small community banks and credit unions to multinational megabanks, the financial services industry has undergone myriad changes thanks to the fintech revolution. The technology shapes the products and services banks offer their customers like never before—and yet, fintech means much more than algorithmic trading, financial modeling and roboadvisory wealth management.

Workforce management and workforce engagement technologies may actually represent an even more valuable use of fintech, especially when it comes to cultivating exceptional customer experiences. Let’s take a closer look at how this works in the real banking world.

CX marks the spot

With more consumer choices than ever before—and institutions small and large vying for an increasingly discriminating consumer base—experts assert that customer experience (CX) marks the main competitive differentiator across industries, with mobile and other digital channels among the strongest influencers.

In this omnichannel customer experience environment, financial organizations can easily fall behind conventional and fintech startup competitors that outshine them on customer-centric initiatives (including customer interaction solutions). The customer contact center lies at the heart of CX, powering customer service functions from help desks to fraud prevention. But the workforce engagement management platforms on which these key components are built stand as even more crucial. After all, even the best customer service rep is helpless without the right tools. This overlooked aspect of fintech in banking combines analytics, intuitive tools and gamification to resolve banking customer issues faster with better outcomes.

Getting a hand from analytics

The key to successful omnichannel customer care for a banking institution lies in how it evaluates interactions between customers and its workforce via applications such as speech and contact center performance analytics. Making better sense of customer-related data means understanding what really makes for good CX by uncovering details that link employee capabilities and actions with overall business performance metrics. 

These insights can help decision-makers detect gaps in hard and soft skills they may otherwise overlook. So an agent who has a 60-second call time may seem like an efficient worker, for example, until analytics reveals that account holders who speak with that rep often have to seek help again shortly thereafter as their problem wasn’t fully resolved. 

These same workforce management analytics can help create intelligent algorithms that “learn” from previous customer interactions to predict outcomes in given situations—and provide suggestions on how to proceed. More significant issues can be recognized and flagged for escalated customer service quickly. These algorithms can even spot possible red flags and inform customer care teams so they can handle them before the account holder realizes there’s a problem.

Winning at gamification

The concept of gamifying customer service isn’t new; organizations have always incentivized employees with record-focused goal setting and friendly competitions as motivation. Points, leaderboards and completion achievements can also make employees feel like their contributions are recognized: a significant driver of employee engagement and satisfaction. And since happier employees result in greater productivity and happier customers, gamification can actually have a sizable impact on revenue.  (For more on gamification and the workplace, check out the BAI Banking Strategies podcast with John Findlay of Launchfire.)

The right workforce engagement management platform enhances this notion. It allows real-time analysis of employee actions and customer behaviors, then uses machine learning to predict outcomes. These metrics can be tied to both personal and organization-wide goals, which lets employees and manager improve or capitalize on positive attributes immediately.

Thus by tapping two types of motivation—intrinsic, personal desires to achieve and do well and extrinsic, tangible rewards to drive desired outcomes—contact centers can use gamification to better satisfy employee needs, foster professional growth and create a workplace conducive to achievement.

Montreal-based Sekure Merchant Solutions is one company at the forefront of leveraging technology to improve productivity and operational efficiency. With gamification, the company has transformed its culture into an employee-centric environment. Its business requires significant outbound calling activity; Sekure averages close to 120,000 calls per day. And like most large contact centers, agent attrition was a problem.

So Sekure established their macro key performance indicators and intelligently distilled them down to data points that were critical for agents to achieve. Through gamification, they drove competition, rewards, goals, status, recognition, collaboration and learning/training. This approach improved agent retention, customer satisfaction and profitability. Efficiency skyrocketed; Sekure calculated that it saved 1,500 management hours.

Putting it all together: No force like your workforce

As innovative banking tech continues to gather tremendous momentum, financial institutions must pay attention to burgeoning areas such as workforce engagement management.

This approach changes the focus from simple banking to a CX-centered model that not only advances financial services via digital tools but also makes the workforce a main driver of these fintech solutions—making them truly a workforce to be reckoned with.

Lee Allum is vice president of marketing for Noble Systems, an omnichannel contact center technology company.


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