Lori Bocklund of Strategic Contact and DJ Haskins from Engageware outline what survey data of 100+ CU contact center leaders reveals about the changing contact center, and how your center can better respond to today’s member needs.
Highlights and key takeaways:
2020: The Year of the Agent
The January 2020 Strategic Contact study deemed 2020 the Year of the Agent:
“As centers tackle their challenges and pursue their priorities, I believe we will see a strong focus on the agent experience, and the result should be better member experience, as well.”
The 3 key areas that credit union leaders outlined as 2020 goals and challenges included:
- Improve employee engagement and empowerment
- Increase focus on training and development
- Lack of understand and respect for the contact center
Just 3 months in 2020, the world was forced to deal with the realities of COVID-19. The impact for credit unions, and specifically the contact center, was significant.
COVID-19’s Impact on credit union contact centers:
Data from over 120 institutions conducted in June of 2020 highlight just how significant COVID-19’s impact has been:
- 71% reported moving onsite agents to home offices
- 82% converted other staff to support the contact center
- 94% reported volume increase of 20% or greater
- 73% reported increases in handle times
- Average speed of answer has doubled from target goal of 52 seconds to an actual of 111 seconds.
In the midst of COVID-19, the needs of credit union members have never been higher. They are willing to wait to talk to your MSRs as they need service, support, and help. A remote workforce, elevated call volumes, and average speed of answer increase to 111 seconds has created the perfect storm for contact center leaders as they try to deliver the experience members demand.
August 2020 Benchmark Survey Results: Operations
Strategic Contact’s August 2020 Credit Union Benchmark Survey: Operations survey found that credit union contact center leaders are forced to deal with a variety of challenges:
- 55% reported using home-based agents, up from just 13% in in 2017
- Respondents reported having to support over 11 unique type of calls ranging from Digital Banking support (IT questions) to credit card servicing, and more
- Beyond inbound calls, respondents reported having to support 12 different channels ranging from email to social media to SMS/text messaging
- Training and onboarding time for new MSR increased from 2017
- 58% reported meeting their targeted number of coaching sessions per month
Credit union contact centers and MSRs are being asked to do more and more. As COVID-19 has illuminated, the need for knowledgeable MSRs that can meet member expectations have never been higher. To meet these increased demands, supervisors’ time needs to be freed up for ongoing coaching and agents need to be empowered to succeed from Day 1 with the right tools and access to information.
Knowledge Management: Make Every Conversation Count
Providing MSRs access to information that is easy to find and easy to follow is a great first step to empowering your MSRs and ensuring a great member experience. This includes:
- Giving employees confidence with access to the right information at their fingertips
- Providing step-by-step guides that easy to follow
- Creating consistency across your credit union
- Removing multiple versions by centralizing all information
- Allowing MSR feedback to get real-time input on what information is unclear or incorrect
Empowering MSRs to easily access information is an issue at almost all credit unions. Only 9% of survey participants responded that their existing knowledge management was meeting the needs of their MSRs. With the uncertainty of COVID-19, remote agents, and ever-changing member needs, credit unions need to make knowledge management a priority.
Resources to Get You Started: