Challenges Facing Financial Services Contact Centers

Posted by ConvergeOne + Avaya on Jul 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

According to our research with Avaya and CatalystMR, there are two main areas contact center challenges fall within: customer support and data/technology. Considering each of these key areas, the three biggest challenges contact centers face today in the support arena are:

  • Predicting customer behavior
  • Staffing needs and retention
  • Shifting customers toward a self-service model

Over one-third of the respondents in our study identified twelve categories as challenging. These categories can be grouped into:

  • Self-service
  • Staffing concerns
  • Handling complex issues
  • Omni-channel
  • Meeting higher customer expectations

Predicting customer behavior was ranked as the most challenging customer experience issue by 43% of decision-makers surveyed. Secondarily, staffing, shifting customers toward a self-service model, and staffing retention rates were rated extremely/very challenging. Organizations can overcome these challenges through the use of workflow optimization, analytics, and self-service AI to transform customer data into valuable insights, maximizing the quality and efficiency of contact center operations.

As it relates to data and technology area, 33% of decision-makers identified the following items as most challenging:

  • Sharing information across teams
  • High call volume
  • Customized solutions

As we look to studies and predictions shared over 10 years ago, the thinking was call volumes would be reduced as a result of other customer behaviors. It is interesting that over one-third of the institutions surveyed are still concerned with meeting the volume of calls. Although there are many other channels for customers to self-serve, companies are still gaining new customers.

One-third of respondents indicated the following data challenges:

  • Providing consistency across the journey (i.e., information sharing across the teams)
  • Holistic view of the customer
  • Access to data to serve customer needs

In addition, respondents are seeing challenges with scalability/growth, interoperability, and operating with antiquated systems. To combat these issues, organizations are using unified communications and interactive voice response related to self-service AI to successfully share information across teams and streamline calls to agents, providing consistency across the journey.

Impact of Customer Support and Technology Challenges

  • Systems going down/downtime/slow: 16%
  • Technology/Technology working with what we have: 9%
  • Long wait times/queues: 6%
  • Communication skills with customers: 5%
  • Customer satisfaction: 5%
  • Good/Lack of communication: 5%
  • Lack of good customer service/being respectful/courteous: 5%

In addition to customer support/employee and data/technology challenges, a host of communication system pain points were also identified by decision-makers. These pain points can be broken out into customer issues and system/technology issues. The top customer issue pain points are long wait times, lack of agent communication skills, and the ability for agents to provide customer satisfaction. Organizations can successfully combat these pain points through a unified communications solution by reducing call volume to agents, alleviating collaboration challenges and driving an improvement in customer satisfaction.

The major system and technology challenges identified are system downtime, suboptimal/legacy technology, and access to real-time information.

Top Challenges: Credit Unions vs. Regional Banks

Although our research suggests financial services organizations are open to adopting advanced technology to provide support for their agents and meet the needs of their customers, challenges appear to differ by division.

If we dive deeper into our findings and look at the differences in challenges credit unions and regional banks face: credit unions (CUs) feel better prepared for the future and the integration of AI. Further, CUs feel shifting toward a self-service model and having integrated systems to be most challenging. Regional banks expect to see more challenges in growth over time in adopting advanced technologies. Both will likely see the most changes and challenges in terms of analytics, predicting customer behaviors, personalization, and self-service applications.


This ConvergeOne + Avaya white paper is intended to provide insights into technology trends contact centers have adopted, future trends they intend to adopt and key attributes to consider for providers to help navigate the future of the contact center.

Download the white paper to learn the trends and future opportunities for contact centers in financial services.


Topics: Contact Center, Customer Experience, Avaya, Financial Services


ConvergeOne + Avaya
ConvergeOne + Avaya  -- The cloud isn’t a destination – it’s a toolkit. Customers want experiences that are effortless. Employees want easy access to the people and tools they need. With Avaya and ConvergeOne, there is an experience platform that makes it all possible.