Applied Customer Engagement (ACE) is more than a concept—it is a proven approach to re-thinking and revitalizing contact center operations. Financial services firms frustrated by slow growth and high costs can see significant and rapid return on investment (ROI) from ACE, with cost reductions accompanied by stronger and more rewarding customer relationships. See how we can help.

Delivering the customer experience

Financial services products are inherently complex and generate a high volume of inquiries to serve customer needs. Total contacts per product continue to increase with the addition of new channels and the drive for multiple product solutions, and customers continue to initiate contact via a mix of channels.

This channel mix is shifting rapidly—or, rather, blending rapidly. We anticipate that, within the next three years, contacts initiated by digital assistants across form factors (including mobile, app, voice, teller and ATM) will increase to 30 percent of the total, with voice calls dropping by 30 percent. This means that the contact center will see pressure to become an Artificial Inteligence(AI) and human chat service center.

All this will entail new means of collaboration between people and machines, as well as a willingness to enhance existing operating models and build new ones. Another foundational element will be the ability to collect and access data, integrating internal and external data sources to build and tune the evolving customer experience. The data informing the conversational customer experience spans traditional channel silos to blend digital, app, desktop, AI and contact center personnel.

Changing landscape

A wide range of maturing solutions—turning the initial contact into a conversation, orchestrating interactions and bringing in the “human touch” as needed—are changing the game to an interactive digital experience. These include:

  • Advancements in AI and machine learning platforms;
  • Significant improvements in natural language processing;
  • Better use of data and analytics—historical and in-conversation;
  • Growth in customer comfort with digital interactions and advice; and
  • More (and more intelligent) automation tools
The goal for the organization should be to create an exceptional customer experience to achieve significant savings in operating expenses.

About the Authors

Peter Kirk

Managing Director – Financial Services, Customer Insight & Growth


John F. McNally

Managing Director – Financial Services, Customer Insight & Growth


Rowena Maxwell

Managing Director – Financial Services, Customer Insight & Growth


Alessandro Secchi

Offering Development Lead – Financial Services, Customer Insight & Growth​

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