The number of U.S. employees who worked from home five or more days per week increased from 17 percent to 44 percent with the onset of the pandemic. Lockdowns forced companies to accelerate their digital transformations to enable remote work, stave off a potential economic disaster, and cope with the extraordinary health crisis.
The financial services industry faced twin challenges in helping employees transition to remote work while also keeping customers calm in the face of economic uncertainty. Cloud based communications and collaboration platforms enabled them to address both of these challenges.
How Going Virtual Impacted the Financial Services Industry
Like most industries, financial services had to quickly adapt to hybrid and remote work models. The potential implications of this rapid shift included:
- Damaged employee morale. Employees were (and in some cases still are) under pressure to do their jobs, collaborate with colleagues, and interact with customers in a completely new way, often with ad hoc tools and limited training.
- Diminished customer experiences. With brick-and-mortar offices closed, financial institutions risked losing their customers’ trust because of the decreasing frequency and quality of customer interactions. Many firms were also under increasing pressure to implement digital-first interactions.
With the right technology, financial services firms adjusted to this new way of doing business while also addressing employee and customer concerns. One of the technologies that helped accomplish this is UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service. UCaaS brings together multiple communication channels in a single platform that is accessible anywhere from any mobile device. UC allowed these firms to address the collaboration needs of their employees, which in turn enabled high-quality customer experiences.
As the world returns to “normal,” hybrid work models are here to stay — and so are customers with high expectations for digital-first experiences. UCaaS has become a go-to solution for financial firms to satisfy their stakeholders.
How UCaaS Improves the Employee Experience
Financial services employees want to feel empowered to do their jobs effectively. With remote and hybrid work, employees need to be able to communicate and collaborate, whether they are in the office, at home, or in the field.
According to a report from McKinsey, effective communication can increase employee productivity by nearly 25 percent; an additional study by Clear Company revealed that companies with effective communication strategies are 50 percent more likely to have low employee turnover. These studies make it clear that there is a strong connection between efficient communication tools and high employee satisfaction.
Cloud based UCaaS solutions accomplish this with the following features:
- Unified communications. UCaaS combines all communication channels on one cloud based platform so employees can call, text, chat, video conference, screen share, and more from a single interface. This means they’re not frustrated with switching applications and can easily move from a chat to a call in a single session.
- One number. With UCaaS, an employee can have one business number and identity for all communications, regardless of location. This makes it easy for an employee to connect and collaborate with others seamlessly on any device.
- Mobility. Cloud based UC allows employees to work from anywhere, making it easier to complete tasks, meet goals, and serve customers — even when they’re not at their desks.
- Auto attendant and advanced call routing. With features like call routing and auto attendant, a UCaaS platform can route inbound calls to the right person, minimizing employee interruption and increasing customer satisfaction.
- Instant web meetings. With features like personalized web-conferencing links, UCaaS enables employees to start meetings with colleagues instantly with the click of a button, increasing their productivity and keeping them connected to their teammates.
- User control. Using a self-service portal, employees can better manage their communications needs and preferences, so they don’t have to wait on the IT department for help.
How an Improved Employee Experience Improves Customer Experiences
Research shows that 89 percent of executives believe a positive employee experience leads to a better customer experience. When employees are connected to one another and feel empowered to address customer needs, this positivity spreads to other stakeholders.
Employee effectiveness drives customer trust, which is critical in the banking and finance industries, where privacy, security, personalization, and ease of use are of utmost importance. According to Deloitte, “Banks’ success in digital transformation will ultimately depend on how strategy, technology, and operations work together across domains.”
Unified communications creates a strategically refined and consistent user experience for employees and customers, driving engagement and success. Here are a few examples of how UCaaS features improve the experience for customers and employees:
- Call routing. A UCaaS platform enables sophisticated call routing, allowing employees to focus on important tasks instead of juggling calls. Administrators can manage system features like auto attendants, call routing, and extensions to match work schedules, and internal and external calls can easily reach the intended party quickly and efficiently.
- Instant collaboration. UCaaS allows instant internal conferencing and collaboration, regardless of an employee’s location. With the click of a button, customer concerns are handled with the immediacy they deserve, and employees can fulfill goals more efficiently.
- Mobility. Enabling employees to reach others anywhere and anytime increases productivity. This ease of communication translates to customer satisfaction as internal collaboration leads to quicker problem-solving. In addition, customer-facing employees can take inbound customer calls no matter where they are.
- Personalization. A UCaaS system with built-in call center capabilities that integrates with the institution’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) enables inbound record matching and screen pops. Together, these features allow agents to quickly provide personalized answers to incoming callers, whether they are in the call center or at home.
Technologies like UCaaS enable financial services employees to satisfy customer needs in near real-time, building a reputation of reliability and service that will help attract new customers.
Contact us to learn more about how Broadvoice can help your financial services organization realize a higher return on technology investments with the Broadvoice b-hive all-in-one communications platform.