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Bank call centers need strong infrastructure.

Most banks view call centers as the nucleus of their customer-service operation--but they need to improve key infrastructure areas to support successful call-center operations. A study by the American Bankers Association and Frontline Group FTR suggests that call centers are supporting an increasing amount of services, diverse business lines, and delivery channels. But several infrastructure-related issues are not being met.

Nearly a quarter of the respondents (23%) rated their call center as leading edge, giving their banks the highest possible rating in regard to quality of service, sales, personnel, and technology. But 62% of the bankers continue to view the call center as a cost center instead of a profit center (14%). Only 24% of respondents regard the call center as a competitive advantage.

The study also reveals that a majority of banks are not using their resources to provide adequate training for call-center managers, track customer satisfaction, or measure dimensions associated with call centers as profit centers or competitive advantages. Only about one-third of respondents offer call-monitor, sales-management, or leadership-skills training. Yet, the report reveals that call-center managers are concerned most about personnel-related issues. The majority cited hiring (79%), retaining quality people (76%), providing adequate training (78%), and improving team performance (59%) as their most important concerns. The report showed a large gap between what banks expected in terms of customer retention (65%) and what they actually realized (18%).
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Title Annotation:Industry Trend or Event
Comment:Bank call centers need strong infrastructure.(Industry Trend or Event)
Publication:Communications News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2000
Previous Article:Increased hiring in IT, telecom fields.
Next Article:Fiber- optic spending triples.

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