Steven Perrins talks about how Financial Services will adjust to hybrid working practices now offices are reopening.
As we start to head back into our physical place of work, we realise that we live in a changed world. The last 18 months have seen workers not only adapt to home-working, but embrace it. In a recent Accenture survey of Financial Services professionals, just 8 per cent of respondents said they wanted to go back to five days a week in the office when the working from home advice and social distancing restrictions are fully dropped.
There are some fascinating statistics about how people want to work going forward, so how will the heavily regulated Financial Services sector adapt to hybrid working practices?
I pride myself in being a positive guy, so am going to take the position that Financial Services (FS) will flex to a new norm, simply because they must!
If you read the article, staff have been very clear that they want flexibility (24% of workers would prefer to work entirely from home) and in a market where top talent can have their pick of the roles, a 5 day commute is off the table.
But the major FS clients I look after are actually well ahead of the curve, because the pandemic has driven technology changes that have allowed safe, secure and compliant working practices to be available, regardless of staff location.
How have they done this?
1 Automation of processes for customer interaction
Automation has been around, in one form or another, for years, but the pandemic has driven the innovators to automate even more processes to, in part, compensate for the lack of proximity of teams and supervisors when handling customer issues.
Let’s put it simply, someone can’t swivel their chair to talk to their colleague or call over their supervisor for an instant response to a customer complaint when they are not located in the same office.
I have seen some outstanding work in this area but a special mention goes to NICE Enlighten A.I that has incredibly improved both customer and staff satisfaction by over 25% when put in place over the last year!!
I delivered this ground-breaking A.I package to a top ten UK bank this year and the results have been astounding!
2 Use analytics to protect staff and vulnerable customers
Automation can do a lot, but FS organisations still have focus on the “bread and butter”, the day-to-day interactions between the humans at each end of the conversation.
Analytics are crucial in monitoring calls/texts/tweets, however people communicate, but we also realise that the Financial Conduct Authority has recommended the use of speech analytics alongside your call recording package will help address the problem of the care for vulnerable customers
Installing analytics allows you to monitor and protect your staff and customers, and in FS this has been incredibly effective when staff work from home.
3 Using assisted agent guidance to improve agent decision-making
This has not been some rearguard action. The last 12 months has seen the creation of new revenue initiatives and this has been fuelled by the introduction of assisted agent guidance, software that boosts the performance of FS contact centre agents by assisting them in real-time, during live customer interactions.
So, I do genuinely believe that Financial Services sector is more than equipped to meet the challenges ahead of them and am always happy to talk to anyone who needs advice on this.
Steven Perrins is one of the UK’s foremost Enterprise Contact Centre specialists with almost 25 years in the sector.
SVL is based in East Kilbride for over 50 years, providing Voice Recording Software to the Contact Centre Industry.