Nearly every bank and financial services provider understands the intrinsic value of customer self-service. As early adopters of Interactive Voice Response (IVR), financial institutions were among the first companies to deploy automated phone portals – using the technology to affordably extend customer support hours, shorten wait times, and reduce the number of callers requiring assistance from expensive agents.
Until recently, the cost advantages of automation were greatly diminished by long development cycles, difficult integrations, high maintenance costs, and expensive upgrades tied to proprietary IVR solutions. Today these complex systems are increasingly being replaced by modern solutions, based on open standards such as VoiceXML and CCXML. A standards-based voice platform introduces simplicity, facilitates reuse of existing web assets, and eliminates hidden costs – all while supporting advanced technologies, such as speech, call routing, and personalization, to significantly improve the customer experience.
Standards-based voice platforms offer another important advantage of particular interest in today's challenging economy. By separating the application and execution layers of a voice solution, XML-based telephony enables businesses to maintain complete on-site control over their application and customer data while relying on a hosting provider for core telephony infrastructure. A hosted solution eliminates capital expenditures and lowers ongoing administration costs. Furthermore, a well-chosen hosting solution can provide affordable, “on- demand” capacity, access to constantly evolving functionality, and support for a growing number of customer interaction channels so that financial institutions can truly maximize the value of their investments.
In an industry where differentiation is largely based on price and customer service, the value proposition of a standards-based solution is hard to ignore. This whitepaper explores opportunities for financial institutions to slash costs while improving service quality, including strategies to:
· Deploy an open standards solution – quickly and without upfront capital expense · Simplify development and integration · Lower total cost of ownership · Obtain a level of reliability that is difficult to achieve in house · Benefit from the latest standards and technology advancements · Build customer loyalty with efficient, personalized service · Maximize investments in self-service with deep analytics · Monetize the phone portal with proactive service, cross selling and more · Provide cohesive support across many customer interaction channels