With their robust channel presence – online, on mobile & social media, banks like HDFC and ICICI have been able to deliver seamless banking experience to ever-demanding customers. While almost all private banks are on the edge of introducing chatbot support or have already got their hands dirty with it; HDFC in particular has gone a mile ahead by introducing banking with wearables. As wallet services such as PayTM, BHIM, Mobikwik and cryptocurrencies are taking consumers by storm, companies in the BFSI space need constant evolution to stay abreast the increasing competition & tech challenges. And with transactions getting cheaper, convenient and faster; BFSI needs strong channel innovation covering mobile, online, and branch all at the same time.
It has been repeatedly proven that customer experience is a large driving factor for the success of any organization, especially so in the BFSI space. And against this backdrop, delivering high quality customer service is mission critical. However, this is possible only if non-core functions are efficiently outsourced. Thus, there is a great need for increased customer service outsourcing in BFSI for myriad reasons. The most compelling ones being – the need to focus on product & channel innovation and technology enhancement.
The Challenge of Innovation
As per Deloitte 35% of banking revenue is at risk due to digital revolution.
From account opening, checking balance, performing transactions, procuring loans, and wealth management; all this needs to be digitally driven while being in sync with offline channels. Thus, banks and other financial institutions need to deliver an omni-channel experience to achieve the coveted level of customer experience. Yet, inflexible and complex infrastructures of banks, which were initially developed in the 70s and 80s, make them outdated in the current construct. Thus, omni-channel support in the middle of digital evolution will not come easy.
Outsourcing shows the Way Ahead
For banks and institutions it is imperative to focus their time, money, and resources on growing customer base while continuously increasing efficiency. BFSI makes up for about more than half of the global outsourcing market, followed by ITES and application management. Operators in the BFSI space have been extensively outsourcing various regulated and unregulated functions such as finance & accounting, back office operations, loan recovery, application support, infrastructure management, etc. to reduce costs and achieve operational efficiency. However, customer servicing is now increasingly changing as more customers are moving to online and mobile channels. This has made customer service outsourcing a crucial element of success for BFSI.
Call Centers Keep the Sunny Side Up
In the past, customer service outsourcing was looked at sceptically by financial institutions as customers cited offshore teams as primary reason for dissatisfaction. However, in the last decade, there has been great traction in the direction of customer service outsourcing to reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance customer experience. Lower costs, eliminated hiring and staffing issues, insulation from attrition, increased ability to handle large call volumes, increased business continuity and ability to focus on core functions and product innovation are the major benefits that it brings to the table.
Moreover, technology enhancements such as browser based call centre softwares are making it easy to maintain global call centre work force for a fraction of the cost. This new technology can be a ‘best of both worlds’ solution for institutions that have been shying away from outsourcing due to concerns over linguistic barriers. By the use of this technology, companies can outsource customer service to a location which is selected not merely on the basis of cost effectiveness, but can select the right location that suits their linguistic and cultural requirements.
AI-powered Bots Add Convenience
Chatbots globally has seen an increasing upsurge. Some prominent players in the global market have integrated AI bots into their online and mobile banking systems and large number of other players are expected to follow suit. This would have been an unfathomable shift in the BFSI space as it involves managing money matters and sensitive data. But studies suggest that the customers are more than ready for this shift. It has been surveyed and concluded that calls, though less inefficient than a branch visit, can be very tedious and time consuming. Today, with chats being a more widely used mode of communication, customers prefer to communicate with service providers over this mode, versus a call. Plus chats are seen as more reliable than calls, very similar to an email interaction where follow ups are more efficient. But here the conversation is more real time compared to an email. So chatbots bring reliability of an email conversation and the convenience of a real time call conversation in one go.
It is clear that market stance of customer service outsourcing is beneficial to the business. Companies can choose to outsource a segment of their customer servicing or do it entirely. This is crucial to achieve business objectives and remain competitive in the new cutting edge market. The overall return on this decision depends on factors such as an outsourcing partner’s level of involvement, tech capability, experience, and expertise. Companies should evaluate these factors and then go ahead with a suitable outsourcing model.