Author: Andrew Bates, Executive Director – Financial Services
Outsourcing financial services contact centers is about much more than cost cutting based on a partners ability to leverage economies of scale. When it comes to outsourcing bank customer service transactions, the strategic approach should be to focus on sustainable improvements to efficiency and effectiveness with the end goal of achieving the service excellence that drives business objectives.
Take a Selective Approach
To address the key challenge of creating value beyond cost savings, consider selective outsourcing as a viable approach to begin managing expansion. Selective outsourcing is the act of selecting a customer support delivery partner to provide services for a specific line of business; deposits or credit card fraud for example. Once you have an established base for one line of business, scaling a selective service center into support for other lines of business becomes less risky, more efficient, and consolidates costs.
A few of the short-term benefits that can be realized from selective outsourcing include:
Design Scope of Contract for Results, Not Activity
When you consider the scope of the contract negotiated, are you buying activity or results?
Is the scope you defined all about numbers and speed, or does it prioritize the delivery of differentiated services that will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Cost can only be a meaningful measure when it is balanced against value. A contract based on results is focused on maximizing the cost of servicing the client in relation to the value the interaction provides to the organization. By removing cost as the primary concern, value can now come to the fore. An outsourced partner with experience in customer interaction design will be able to apply their expertise in developing processes focused on outcomes, as well as efficiency—and without sacrifice.
An activity-based contract will be focused on increasing speed to reduce costs. Metrics such as average handle time (AHT), calls per hour, and delay in queue lead the charge here. While the company line to agents may be customer satisfaction, the underlying message is loud and clear; Hurry up!
Research conducted across more than 100 contact centers in the UK by Aston University found that contact centers focused on outcomes operate at lower cost and deliver higher value to their organizations than those focused on reducing cost.
Ensure Multiple Delivery Options
How you approach an outsourced contact center presents a variety of options when considering how to manage the decision of keeping work onshore, incorporating virtual agents, moving to near shore, or transitioning to offshore locations to handle expansion needs.
Each of these options should be evaluated based on the type of support and services offered in conjunction with the expectations of the customers seeking service. Some considerations when considering delivery options include:
Regardless of which delivery model or combination of models you choose now, it’s wise to select an outsourced contact center partner that can handle any of these choices as future opportunities are revealed.
An Outsourced Contact Center is Not a Transfer, But a Transformation
A contact center that is primed to scale is one based on a long-term vision from the start. It may begin with a selective focus, but it is by doing so that the foundation is put into place for growth and evolution to produce transformative results for additional lines of business in the future. By ensuring that you define the experience your marketplace expects and design the contract based on results tied to business objectives, the value add can become far more substantial than incremental cost-per-call reductions.
Finally, to ensure this transformation is based on continuous improvement, your bank should continuously monitor quality, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance and performance improvements in collaboration with the partner. The marketplace is continually changing. Establishing a collaborative relationship with your outsourced contact center partner can also uncover additional opportunities and proactive adaptation that keeps your service excellence highly compatible with your customers’ expectations.
Taking a forward-leaning approach to outsourcing your contact center will not only enable the transformation of service to one line of business, but prime your contact center to scale rapidly as new lines of business make the transition.