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Lilit Hovhannisyan: Contact Center in Bank
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CALL CENTER IN BANKS


Call Center is a subdivision within a company serving a large number of clients by phone, with such service enabled by special technologies and equipment. Nowadays, with the whole world rapidly developing, it’s impossible to imagine a bank without a call center, one of the most effective tools for attracting and retaining customers. We discussed objectives and specifics of modern call centers in banking sectors with representatives of Ameriabank.

Interview by Diana Ananyants | Photo by Grigor Yepremyan
 


Lilit Hovhannisyan, Head of Ameriabank Contact Center



What problems does call center solve today?

-If we talk about global trends of contact center industry development, today, the concept of contact center no longer implies a telephone customer service only but also availability via all possible channels of communication. It is the receipt and processing of incoming and outgoing calls not only by phone, but also in live chat or through interactive voice response (IVR) automatic channels, email enquiries. The communication in social networks becomes increasingly important, too.
Nowadays, companies engaged in service not only face the problem of 24/7 availability for clients, but also the need of proactive inverse communication when the company itself initiates the contact. It may be both an informative message, interesting for the client, and target communication with offering of new products.
Today, when relevant solutions are present-automated outbound dialing system, tools for bulk SMS and Email, the call center can conduct surveys and make telephone sales quite effectively. Being first of all a client oriented company, Ameriabank has resources to establish competent communication with its clients through call center and to build long-term partnerships.

Does the call center in financial sector have distinctive characteristics?

- No doubt, unlike other industries, much attention in the financial sector is first and foremost paid to the confidentiality of provided information.
In terms of technology, shared security systems and codes, password, key word encryption approaches, and the encryption of all other possibilities of complete customer identification are at the forefront of the contact center activity. Frequently, this is the reason why a customer calling the bank`s contact center has to undergo complete identification by phone before the operator can provide the necessary information.
In the nearest future, we are planning to launch a phone banking facility which will allow clients not only to get information on bank accounts, transactions, card service (blocking and unblocking) by phone, through IVR and online, but also perform non-cash transactions 24 hours a day. In May, we will also launch a Contact Center providing customer support 24/7 for plastic card service and performance of fraud monitoring function.
The long-term goal of the Contact Center is establishing a virtual branch office. The framework of its activities will include delivering all products and services offered by Ameria Group of Companies, other than cash transactions, naturally.
 

What business benefits does a company that introduced a contact center get?

- Contact centers are very important for the successful business development. In the competitive environment the call-center first of all ensures the loyalty of our clients, simplicity and easy access to our services from anywhere in the world. In terms of operation effectiveness, it is a possibility to make the process of servicing faster and cut costs on face-to-face service, source of additional income from cross-sales, possibility optimize the resources and use them in other projects. We also intend to develop intensively sales through call center, which is, in our opinion, an effective means of retail banking.

What software is installed in Ameria and why exactly that one, that is, what were the choice criteria?

- Ameriabank Call Center runs on Avaya solutions. According to Gartner (world-famous company specialized in the competition analysis on the technology markets) it is one of the global market leaders. In order to launch a multifunctional Contact Center you need very flexible, versatile and business-oriented solutions, built on cloud technologies, solutions, with help of which it is possible to organize call flow segmentation, effective control and monitoring of the contact center online, as well as create numerous opportunities of mass communication through auto-redial, SMS channels and the internet. This software provides us with comprehensive solutions and that was the decisive criterion for us.

What type of call center is more effective: in-house or outsourcing?

- It all depends on the targets that a company sets. When it comes to a bank, taking into consideration the integration into client base and privacy requirements, it is important to have the call center inside the bank. It is critical for providing clients with the full range of services. However, the task to launch a call center from scratch is quite a challenging one, and its fulfillment requires specific knowledge and skills, as well as significant investments. If the organization is not ready to invest large funds, it can turn to professionals from outside.
Our bank had started the call center with outsourcing services and it offered only telephone consultations. That period gave us a valuable experience in understanding what human and financial resources are required to operate a call center. When we got the corresponding practice, and when we set the target to develop the service and sales channels, to establish a virtual branch office for providing clients with the complex services within the scope of the Contact Center, we created our own in-house Contact Center which fully complies with international call center standards.
 

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Updated 02.07.2014, 14:27
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