Reported by: banking|Updated: April 15, 2020
Digital has transformed the way enterprises deal with customers, especially in grievance redressals. Proactive these enterprises need to be to retain customers
While digital transformation is forcing enterprises, especially those in the BFSI sector, to change their business models and adapt to the new market reality, it is interesting to note that it is the customer who is forcing these enterprises to change. Today, customers expect relevant products or services in relation to what they are doing anytime, anywhere and in the format and on the device of their choice. It is their whims that determine an enterprise’s strategy. Most organizations have already placed customers at the center of their activities and these organizations are adopting digital and online to improve the customer experience.
Some of the trending technologies that are getting into the customer experience realm are video, real-time messaging, chatbots, AI, self-service and blockchain. There are predictions that face-to-face video communication will increase and possibly replace call centers, real-time messaging will replace email, bots and AI will increasingly assist customer service professionals, blockchain will change e-commerce customer support and self-service will become an absolute necessity.
What are the underlying technologies that some of the Indian BFSI institutions use in enhancing customer experience?
API, MICRO SERVICES
Sachin Dutta, chief operating officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Co, points out that there is a greater reliance on driving API economy internally in financial services institutions. “Micro services architecture backed by API manager or ESB is going to provide a sharp and quick architectural reform helping customers finding it easy to interact with us and making journeys simpler and intuitive,” says he.
Dutta mentions that the company is improving its chatbots to ride on established platforms available. “We have chatbots powered by AI, which provide a differential experience to our customers. Fraud analytics helps us focus on proposals that need greater scrutiny without impacting experience of other customers. This is in the process of being backed by AI and flexible rule sets that help achieve the objective of DevOps,” he elaborates.
The company continues to provide interaction platforms to its customers so that customers find it familiar rather than providing a separate ecosystem in this space. Also WhatsApp integrations for business purposes act as a good solution that customers find easy to deal with.
The company has CRM and CCM (Customer Communications Management) solutions in place, backed by a robust dialer technology, which helps the company take customer service excellence agenda to the next level/ “Implementation of these solutions is in progress and full deployment is expected in the next 2-3 months,” says Dutta, adding: “Not only the standard set of back end applications are used, but we are trying to empower the staff with sourcing and servicing apps that can reduce the turnaround times.”
The company’s CRM solution is from MS Dynamics, which is hosted on the cloud, while the CCM solution is provided by in10se. These solutions ride on ESB technology that drives the API economy agenda. The company is also working with Amazon, Azure and their partners.
DATA LAKE, AI, ML
Digit Insurance uses Data Lake, AI, ML and Cloud for its technology platform to service customers. There is an in-house developed ticketing tool to understand customer interactions and conversation history for tracking. This avoids future grievances from TAT perspective. The company has also undertaken API integration with Digit Ticketing Tool and IRDAI IGMS CRM for 100% transparency, reconciliation and immediate action.
Universal Sompo General Insurance Co has done real time integration with complaint portals and this has helped reduce response times, which play a large role in customer satisfaction and which is arguably the biggest contributor to customer retention. Atul Tandon, national head, Operation and Customer Care at the company, says the company is using smart CRM software which helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page – which is important in establishing high customer service standards.
“Many consumers are turning to social networks (especially Facebook, Twitter) for customer queries and complaints. We utilize the power of social media to bridge the gap and also improve our response times on social media queries and provide effective solutions. We have also taken initiatives to ensure a high level of technology adoption like AI application, WhatsApp integration with agency portal to enhance customer satisfaction, says Tandon.
The company has also provided areas on its website for chatbot, quick links and social media tabs where customer can get quick answers of their questions. It is using Zendesk’s cloud-based CCM, which facilitates solving tickets and tracking customer complaints on any channel – text SMS, web, mobile app, phone, email, and social media. It also uses eTracker software to automate and track the full lifecycle of a customer complaint from registration to response, with space for attachments.
Anjali Malhotra, chief customer, marketing & digital officer at Aviva Life India, says the company is using chatbots, which replicate the behavior of a human representative, while ensuring accuracy and efficiency of an advanced machine system.
“Our state-of the art CRM is integrated with customer portal, mobile application, website, IVR and call center. This helps us get a unified view of the customer’s journey with us,” she adds.
OMNI CHANNEL APPROACH
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co has adopted an omni channel approach and use speech analytics and AI for all customer calls. “Our Customer Labs helps us to interact with the customer and get live feedback from them about our products and services, says K.V. Dipu, head – Operations and Customer Service at the company.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has a unified desktop solution that has significantly helped in handling customer complaints. Puneet Kapoor, senior executive vice president at the bank, says 8 banking application interfaces have been integrated to provide information to customer care officers handling calls from customers regarding issues related with products and services. Also there is a one-stop solution for getting 360-degree view of customer’s past interactions with customer care officers and open/closed service requests help in finding all needed information in one go.
He adds: “Channel blocking access for fraud related queries and mechanism to raise service requests have been embedded to save time and to provide quicker resolution to customer queries. Integration of unified desktop with WhatsApp for sending one-way communication about the progress of escalations raised by the customers is being developed to keep the customer updated on his query.
Ratan Kesh, head – Process Transformation and Customer Experience at Axis Bank, lists the technologies/platforms the bank has:
LOW COMPLAINTS RATIO
He maintains that the bank has been able to achieve a complaints ratio of 0.29 per 1000 customers, which is the lowest in the industry. A ratio of 4 per 1000 is generally considered as decent. The bank works with CRM Next, Work Fusion, Verint (for content and speech analytics).
India Post Payments Bank allows its customers to lodge complaints even at their doorsteps through micro-ATMs. They also have this done at any of the post offices that are access points.
Currently, it is using the customer services module of its CBS and has plans to have a CRM package implemented fully integrating with all services.
Magma Fincorp has MS Dynamics CRM platform, which helps it record customer interactions and complaints. It can also, using analytics analyze repeat complaints and give leading indicators on customers who might have a complaint in the future. The company uses products/services from Salesforce.com, Freshdesk and Zoho.
Kirti Patil, chief technology officer, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co, says the core of handling customer queries lies in enabling proper, seamless communication stream with the customer. The company, he says. uses customized ticketing systems integrated with IGMS and a workflow to identify critical complaints so that these can be resolved at the earliest. “Our customer service executives who handle customer queries are equipped with a 360-degree view of the customers’ historical interactions and transactions. This not only helps them handle queries on the fly but also give a holistic resolution. We also use an out-of-the-box NPS solution to get a ground reality from our customers, which is sent to the various departments for taking appropriate preventive measures,” says Patil.
Fino Payments Bank is using a product from Sapphire Technologies that automates the workflow for handling complaints.
Samco Securities has developed in-house a ticketing system to handle complaints.
At Angel Broking, strong data analytics is used to proactively understand customer issues so that the agent knows the issue faced by customer before receiving his call. There are also omni-channel solutions offering multiple options to the customer reach the company – calls, emails, chat, website, app and social media.
Avanse Financial Services has a feedback mechanism to measure, rate and gauge the customers’ experience. “We have an online tracking mechanism in place to keep track of issues and complaints from our customers, says Amit Gainda, CEO. “The moment we spot a problem, we make sure that we respond to our customers on time and sort out the issue at the earliest. We conduct regular surveys to find out the pain points of our customers, ideate on processes to solve these issues and implement these ideas which ultimately contributes to the reduction of TAT,” he adds.
As a practice, the company measures customer experience through Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. This tool helps it to understand the customers’ sentiment post doing business with it. “We can thus keep track of whether we were able to meet their expectations and identify the gaps which needs to be taken care of. Our improved processes and gap-fixing ability have helped us reduce our TAT by 50% as compared to last year,” says Gainda.