“If you don’t know what’s happening, you don’t know what’s happening” is powerful statement about the missing knowledge that can complete an ideal banking customer experience. It is a reminder of the … Read more on Cisco Blogs

“If you don’t know what’s happening, you don’t know what’s happening” is powerful statement about the missing knowledge that can complete an ideal banking customer experience. It is a reminder of the critical role the contact center plays in the evolution of digital channels and modern cross-channel customer journeys in the financial services space. This is especially true in banking where the adaptability of contact centers ensured the continuity of financial services for consumers and small businesses in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Customer feedback

I realized a few weeks earlier that I was in the ‘you don’t know what’s happening’ camp after participating in BAI’s 2023 Banking Contact Center Executive Roundtable, sponsored by Cisco. Since 1924, BAI has helped financial services leaders prepare for what’s next through thought-leadership, training, business intelligence, and collaborative engagement including executive roundtables. This two day event was a great opportunity for me to learn from industry practitioners and I was particularly interested to hear how banking contact centers were supporting the increasing cross-channel customer journeys that result from ongoing digitization in financial services.

Listening to contact center leaders representing ten regional and super-regional banks raised my awareness of the unique value of contact centers, their challenges, and the ability of these leaders to manage what is possibly the most dynamic workforce and technology environment inside a bank.

‘Customer experience correlates with agent experience’ was a recurring theme throughout the roundtable, reflecting the importance of agent onboarding and training and the increasing significance of agent technology. The frequency and breadth of customer interaction often results in agents developing institutional knowledge faster than new bankers, but agent workloads also lead to high turnover. Leveraging technology to optimize agent workloads and providing advancement opportunities into other bank sales and service roles helps improve execution, talent retention, and growth. Notably, the roundtable institutions were satisfied with their ability to measure agent productivity whether agents primarily worked from home or are back in the office.

Contact center leaders are looking to take advantage of the next generation of self-service capabilities such as intelligent IVR’s, chatbots, and virtual agents to optimize customer experience, agent workload, and interaction costs.

Throughout the discussions, leaders highlighted the need for continued efforts and investments to reduce operational complexity, drive efficiency, and elevate the agent experience. The shared experience among these contact center leaders is that a world-class customer experience requires a world-class agent experience. To achieve this, a few north star objectives were identified:

Streamlining the agent desktop – fewer discrete apps and better app data integration
Extracting intelligent insights from full visibility of cross-channel customer journeys
Providing agents with the best guidance and options in real-time
Utilizing best-in-class workforce management and automation

Cisco expertise

The group also heard from my colleague Jono Luk – VP, Product Management for Webex who shared his knowledge about technology advances in contact center solutions that address these needs, notably the advantages of a unified CX platform, the flexibility of the cloud, and the power of AI across a broad scope of opportunities.

Jono highlighted the capabilities that agents need in order to support banking customer journeys that are increasingly personalized, cross-channel, and almost certainly involve the contact center at some point in the journey.

The banking industry, and safe to say most of financial services, currently have limited visibility of a customer’s journey prior to reaching a contact center agent. Part of the challenge is the need for more capable contact center platforms and continuing to consolidate the number of applications on the agent desktop.

Webex by Cisco

But it’s also clear the banking industry must continue to improve collaboration between LOB’s and the contact center to create awareness of the importance for holistic journey insights and to accelerate investment. Responsibility for the primary contact center is now with the Retail LOB, but many leaders cited the need for better coordination. Jono shared Cisco’s perspective on the benefits of a unified CX platform built specifically to support connected customer journeys across a customer lifecycle.

Webex by Cisco is designed for exactly that – a suite of integrated cloud-native capabilities that support a broader range of interactions (calling, video, messaging, SMS, Social, and more), with advanced AI functionality, business workflow integrations, mobile app integrations, and a robust contact center with a composable agent interface.

Financial institutions often have several contact centers supporting different LOB’s such as Credit Card, Wealth Management, and Mortgage, or even internal functions like the help desk. In my experience, it’s not that uncommon to find teams that still use spreadsheets to manage inbound and outbound calling. These represent good opportunities for institutions to quickly discover the transformative capabilities of a unified CX platform like Webex and to understand it’s potential for primary banking contact centers.

This year due to the ever increasing importance of contact centers in supporting cross-channel customer journeys we added it as a use case in the Cisco Portfolio Explorer for Financial Services. We annually review the use cases in it to make sure we are providing the latest trends and focuses we are hearing from our clients. As you have read the contact center is where it is at deliver exceptional client service and engaged and informative employees.

Having the opportunity to learn from an amazing set of contact center leaders was a great experience, as was working with the team BAI again. I’m also looking forward to sharing how Webex can help transform the banking customer and employee experience.

Learn more about creating customer delight with 

Webex Contact Center


  Financial services institutions have learned that world-class customer experience requires a world-class agent experience. The evolution of digital channels and modern cross-channel customer journeys increasingly rely on the contact center. If you don’t know what’s happening, you don’t know what’s happening — and that lack is visibility a problem.  Read More Cisco Blogs