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How can financial services organisations deliver exceptional customer service in challenging times? That is the issue for many providers who have seen an acceleration in the move to digital interactions and a huge rise in demand for virtual consultations with customers over the past few months.

Financial services companies have had to cope with a spike in enquiries from both consumers and businesses who needed immediate assistance without the option of an in-person interaction. The move to online meetings has had to be swift. All documents and information needed to be filed digitally. Financial services companies have adapted to a fast-moving situation while managing a team of agents who are working at home with their own challenges and limitations.

Expectations are high – but so is demand

For financial services providers, the next phase of the digital evolution will be an even greater challenge. While customers were understanding about technical limitations in the early weeks of the pandemic, their expectations are growing. As the world starts to get back to work and life regains some semblance of normalcy, people are beginning to expect increased levels of service and engagement.

Demand is likely to remain high because many customers have ongoing financial pressures around the end of the furlough scheme, working from home or fewer hours, and redundancy.

For financial services companies, this presents a number of challenges. How can you recreate the personal touch involved in face to face contact while dealing with a significantly higher number of enquiries and managing a team of agents who are working remotely?

Brand is at stake, too. Financial services companies who deliver great service in difficult times will earn customer respect and loyalty. Those that fail to rise to the challenge may find their reputation is damaged.

So how can you engage your employees and customers and maintain a high touch experience in a digital world?

Building trust and fulfilling expectations

The key is continuously earning trust. In this industry, relationships rely on consistency and personalisation. Customers with money worries trust that their financial services provider has the full picture of their current circumstances, that they can offer valuable advice, and that when they make contact with an agent, the person they speak with has all the relevant information at hand.

Banks and financial services companies need to deliver on virtual meetings and digital appointment booking now to meet customer demand, reduce overcrowding in branches and ensure social distancing measures are followed. Research shows that 72% of customers expect all company representatives to have the same information about them when they get in touch.

How can Salesforce help?

At Salesforce we can help with scheduling virtual meetings to address high touch customer needs. Our products enable you to get started quickly, reduce call wait times, and leverage remote resources most effectively.

We can help you serve customers with the same degree of knowledge and personalisation that you would deliver for a meeting in person.

We can provide a streamlined appointment scheduling using Lightning Scheduler which can scale appointment capacity to meet urgent needs. It can also stabilise scheduling needs and make it easy for customers to get the help they need.

Within the detailed agent console, you have a 360 degree view of your customer. This means you can optimise client appointment scheduling and connect the right people to the right customer.

As an example, we helped one retail bank with 2,200 outstanding branch appointments to bring them all online in just 10 days. From the customer’s point of view, the ability to book a virtual appointment that suits their own schedule is a feature they find convenient and empowering.

Lightning Scheduler can provide a better customer experience and alleviate pressure on staff, reduce long wait times and employees while enabling financial services companies to enable resources remotely.

What does the future hold?

We believe that the growth of digital will accelerate. In response, companies need to embrace lasting change. The pace of customer expectations is accelerating, and agents need to have access to all the information on that customer from a single screen.

Whether agents are working remotely, or return to the office, they are able to manage their workflow so they can deliver great customer service in a virtual setting. Lightning Scheduler gives agents the best and most relevant information about the customer they are speaking to.

Despite digital acceleration, if customers have a tricky or distressing problem, they reach for the phone. Today, customers use an average of 10 channels to communicate with companies. Phone remains the number one channel for customer service. Managing the voice channel today is more important than ever.

Salesforce’s Service Cloud Voice can bring together telephony, digital conversations, and CRM data in real time to help you deliver great service.

Service Cloud Voice enables financial services companies to unify voice, digital channels and Customer 360 view. It can boost agent productivity with intelligence and leverage real time call transcription, allowing agents to focus on the conversation rather than note taking. With AI-powered productivity tools, agents will always know the next step to take in real time.

Service Cloud Voice can also deliver omni-channel visibility to supervisors. This empowers supervisors to jump into calls in real time for training, onboarding and post-call insights. As all digital channels are in one screen, it enables supervisors to coach, intervene and train.

Salesforce supporting you all the way – now and in the future

Innovation is at the heart of what we do. Salesforce for Service will empower financial services organisations to deliver a personalised customer experience across voice, WhatsApp, SMS, chat, and more. It can also help drive agent productivity and transform the contact centre.