For customer interactions occurring in high-risk sectors like financial services, trust and security go hand-in-hand. The personal and high-touch nature of the phone when communicating with customers provides a way to improve engagement, while protecting and promoting your brand. Unfortunately, due to robocalls, and scams, customers aren't answering the phone.
We turned to Vice President of Identity and Trust Solutions, Adam Russell, for insights on how financial institutions can restore trust with customers.
How important is the phone channel in the finance space?
AR: The phone channel is really important. Think about how you work with your bank. If you have a problem, you want to call in and talk to a person. So it's extremely important for servicing as well as for alerting and identity verification. All of us have dealt with getting a text from a bank or another institution as a multi-factor way of proving that we are who we say we are, so they can protect us and our accounts.
For the enterprise — especially banks who are dealing with your money, retirement savings or insurance policies — it’s incredibly important that also prove their identity, so you know you should answer their call. Banks need to overcome the spam tagging, call blocking and unknown caller syndrome that is plaguing everybody.
Using the phone channel to build trust is tricky because inherently, we've all been trained not to trust the phone calls anymore. Our skepticism is unfortunate for the enterprise, because the clients I work with are calling for very valid reasons. It’s an insurance company calling to follow up on a claim to help out their policy holders. It's a bank trying to verify an identity or fraud alert that could be happening on an account, to protect the consumer. It's a pharmacy calling a patient to remind them to pick up a refill. These things are all very legitimate purposes for calling, and unfortunately, a lot of these calls go unanswered.
Why is it important to rebuild trust in the financial services industry?
AR: It's incredibly important for banks and other financial services companies to build trust, because they're dealing with such important consumer interactions. We've all been subject to robo-dialing and fraud calls and spam, and are inherently skeptical of any call that comes in. So the biggest challenge is overcoming that skepticism.
In financial services, there needs to be a two-way interaction with the consumer so both sides can trust who they're talking to — because the impact of that breaking down can be catastrophic. It’s absolutely for high-risk industries like financial services and healthcare to employ multi-factor authentication and verification as a means of restoring trust in the voice channel.
How does TransUnion help the financial services industry improve outbound call answer rates?
AR: Most of our efforts with financial services clients have centered around four elements of the outbound dialing channel, including:
These are the milestones in building trust in the outbound channel. TransUnion addresses these challenges head on, with easy integration into your call centers.
Why is call authentication important and how does it work?
AR: One of the newer capabilities that's come out is the ability to truly authenticate calls on an outbound basis. The whole premise is to help consumers trust the call that's coming through.
If the first step in building trust in outbound dialing is getting your caller naming correct and avoiding spam tagging, the next step is moving through the authentication process. Customers will look to their phones as their authentication vehicle. In many cases, they will see that token show up with a blue check mark (much like social media platforms), and know they can actually trust who’s calling.
Authentication will become one of the most important components of solidifying trust in any incoming calls. It will hopefully will reduce a significant amount of the robodialing that's going on.
While the evolution and adoption of authentication in the phone channel is going to take some time, it’s important to take action now and work with an organization like TransUnion that can actually facilitate that start-to-finish authentication loop.
How does TruContact Branded Call Display (BCD), change the game?
AR: With our clients, we have been embarking on this journey of rebuilding trust in the phone channel. We've performed dozens of client pilots and analyses across different use cases in different industries. What we've consistently found is that the Branded Call Display solution moves the needle materially for all of them.
Answer rates improve when consumers know who is calling, and why. They want to engage. And because you were able to identify your organization and build trust within that interaction, achieving that conversion event you're looking for can be done much more effectively.
This is one of those rare instances where everybody — operations, compliance, risk, fraud, consumers — wants the same thing: which is one interaction that matters. The consumer picks up, has the conversation, and everyone moves on. We’ve enjoyed working with our clients to find different ways to help improve their engagement, operations and overall customer experience through our branded call solutions.
What’s the bottom line for the financial services industry?
AR: It's really important to reach your customers in the moments that matter for you and them. Since the phone channel has largely been compromised by spam callers and fraudsters, the path forward is to rebuild trust — whether you're a bank trying to reach out to customers for a payment reminder, or a pharmacy trying to alert customers to pick up a prescription.