By Mitch Mitchell – Industry Principal focused on lending and financial services at Pega
In the last three decades our financial lives have become much more sophisticated. We have more choices, more products and most importantly we have the internet! The challenge for financial services organisations is that existing technology infrastructure and working culture haven’t changed at the same pace as the market. Contact centers are still largely manned by individuals with the same skills that they had 20 or 30 years ago. Self-service channels can confuse, frustrate and alienate customers and ultimately fail, driving calls into the contact centre.
There is a significant disconnect in the complexity of the market and the ability of staff and customers to navigate the maze of services, products and regulations. This creates a significant challenge. How can financial organisations differentiate themselves for their increasingly challenged and challenging customers and deliver personalised, friendly and compliant service across multiple products, channels and relationships?
It could be said that technology has not always been the friend of the customer. When computers first made an appearance in financial services, customers, for a while, actually seemed to receive a lower level of individual and personal service as contact centers replaced branches and ATM’s replaced branch staff. The industry had more data about the customer than ever before, but no way to convert it into a better customer experience. Customers became anonymous as financial organisations searched for the holy grail of automation and cost reduction.
To steal a great line from the same era, ‘we have the technology, we can rebuild him’. For readers not familiar with Steve Austin, this is a reference to the science fiction technology used in the 70s TV series to rebuild the Six Million dollar man. The bionic implants given to this fictitious character provided him with exceptional strength and skills but he still remained the same person. In the same way, financial organisations need to rebuild customer service without wasting the resources they already have and losing their integrity.
At Pegasystems they deliver technology that can rebuild a great personal customer experience, from initial product offerings and account opening, through ongoing servicing, dispute management, collections and default management. Pega’s technology builds a bridge between complexes and ‘big’ customer data, call centres and self-service channels. Now, all knowledge about the customer, that was previously unconnected and expensive noise, can be converted into proactive activities for the customer. This enables organisations to craft tailored marketing offers and suggestions for the customer that can be presented either in self service channels or through inbound or outbound phone calls. Complexity can be dismantled, embraced and operationalised using technology that can assist contact center staff and customers alike in buying the right products, delivering the right actions and meeting complex compliance regulations all through step by step process guidance.
This ability to intelligently guide the user through a process has multiple benefits. Clearly financial organisations can now deliver an auditable, compliant, less error prone, orchestrated ‘on message’ experience that focusses more on the interaction than navigating a process, but there are other advantages. In their contact centres banks can now create more flexible, multi skilled teams that can manage cross functional enquiries and activities using the same underlying technology that dynamically guides each customer interaction and adapts to the context of the call and the needs of the customer. This delivers more flexible resource modeling that allows them to align their resources quickly and easily with the demands of the day, ultimately reducing fixed costs and optimising available resources.
So, now financial organisations have a technology that can simplify the life for the user and deliver a great customer experience, but what about the managers and technologists who know how fast the world changes? What are the questions they need answering? What they implement and design today is not going to work after the next round of regulatory changes or the launch of the next new ‘big thing’. How do they empower staff to not just keep up with the change, but to seek out improvements and innovation, to challenge the status quo using the powerful solutions that drive their business?
Pega technology allows business people to own their processes and guide their users not by speaking bits and bytes and techno babble, but in familiar methods and tools that give the business the confidence to exploit the power of the capabilities at their fingertips. People who know their businesses have been frustrated for years by their inability to control and develop their own business processes. There’s no fun in getting all excited about identifying a huge new productivity improvement and then lining up behind all the other changes that IT are going to work on for the next three years.
In contrast to existing solutions Pega’s software doesn’t require complex programming skills and allows business leaders to take full control of IT processes by enabling them to quickly introduce new changes and align business objectives with IT needs. This provides financial organisations with a long term competitive edge as it enables them to quickly adapt to market and regulatory conditions, whilst continuously improving their services. 80% of the world’s biggest banks have already realised the value of this proposition and are working with us to streamline their customer service operations, improve compliance and foster innovation.
So business friendly, customer friendly is what we at Pega are all about. Take data, turn it into valuable insights and use it for something helpful. Be relevant and accessible. Enable IT leaders to run their business and free them from the ball and chain that is old technology.
Imagine what technology can do if organisations could design the needed processes to meet their boldest expectations. Just like the story of Steve!
You can ‘rebuild it’ with the right technology. It’s called Pega.