Lisette Lombard, Independent Financial Journalist
Momentum reduced regulatory complaints by 22% in the last year by addressing negative client call centre experiences.
Momentum Life, which manages four call centres to field thousands of calls every month, introduced new technology that uses artificial intelligence to improve client experiences and ultimately reduce regulatory complaints in the last year. Subsequently, the company saw a 22% drop in Ombudsman complaints in one of its first call centres that used the Voyc solution in the last year. The company wanted to not only tick the box in complying with Treating Customers Fairly legislation but endeavoured to improve client experiences significantly. One of the critical outcomes of Treating Customers Fairly is to ensure that clients are heard, their complaints are dealt with fairly and reasonably and that financial services companies can demonstrably deliver on this outcome.
“The cause of the drop in the Ombudsman complaints is as a direct result of monitoring by Voyc,” said Esther Nkosi, Head of Client Care and Client Experience at Momentum Life, in a recent interview. Voyc uses artificial intelligence to identify post-sale barrier complaints by monitoring critical keywords and phrases in client interactions with Momentum Life. Momentum Life saw a significant improvement in reducing complaints where Voyc alerted the team when a client expresses dissatisfaction helping to resolve potential issues before they escalate into formal complaints. The solution also helped improve the handling of complaints by their call centre agents. As such, Momentum rolled out the solution to two of its other call centres in Q4 of 2020, Nkosi said.
She notes that Voyc’s alerts feature has s helped the company to identify client concerns early on. “The Voyc alerts have helped us to address client concerns before they escalate. The solution has identified clients’ burning issues so that we could attend to those early on and service issues are rectified much quicker than before.” Companies use artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data globally to improve business outcomes. The technology is broadly used across industries. Artificial intelligence software is not new to the financial services industry. However, it is an innovative approach to mitigating negative client experiences in call centres.
Matthew Westaway, co-founder and CEO of Voyc, noted that it is vital to distinguish the signal from the noise to improve client experiences by using artificial intelligence. “Imagine if insurers could proactively identify key phrases before client complaints escalate to a reputation-damaging level?” notes Westaway. “Our voice analytics and machine-learning technology makes this possible and eases the client interaction process for financial services companies to treat clients fairly as part of their culture.”
SPEECH ANALYTICS PROACTIVELY IDENTIFIES ISSUES:
Voyc uses speech analytics artificial intelligence software to help firms in the financial services industry automatically identify interactions of regulatory importance, such as complaints and vulnerable clients, and create operational capacity to focus on business improvements that drive positive client experience…
“Apart from flagging specific words and phrases for complaint alerts, fraud alerts, product or advice objections, and vulnerable customers, the solution also identifies potential cross-sell opportunities,” says Lethabo Motsoaledi, Voyc co-founder and CTO. She notes that the technology extends beyond TCF requirements and adds value in fraud detection, product development, client experience and cross-selling for sales CRM systems. Nkosi agrees and says that the Voyc solution complements traditional industry tools, which are not enough by only using VOC and silent listening tools.
“We found that the existing industry tools don’t allow for proactive engagement. With these systems, you cannot monitor all 500 calls a day and just hope that bad ones get picked up. Meanwhile, call centre agents become very robotic when they are monitored via silent listening,” says Nkosi. “We want to be proactive in identifying client issues before they become problems and help upskill our call centre agents in the process to provide a better client experience.”
Voyc’s advanced analytics automatically identify high-risk compliance breaches, customer complaints or when a caller displays signs of vulnerability and pinpoint calls that require further attention, according to Westaway. He notes that the client’s unhappiness is addressed by calling back clients as a result of alerts flagging dissatisfaction. “Alerts, or what the regulator calls underreported complaints, are mostly not serious enough to pay attention to. However, it may lead to overall client dissatisfaction with more complaints coming to the fore. A typical example is someone who complains about their name being mispronounced. ‘You are addressing me as Mr Bothma and not Botha.
I want to speak to a manager. However, that may lead to further unhappiness with the company and could ultimately lead to further complaints,” says Westaway. Nkosi notes that the solution also assisted in improving call centre agents’ performance to better client experiences ultimately.
VOYC SOLUTION HELPS TO UPSKILL CALL CENTRE AGENTS:
Momentum’s contact centres saw an improvement of 14%, where the no adherence rate to contact centre scripts improved to 15% from 24% year on year. The lowest-performing contact centre agents that did not adhere to contact centre scripts improved by almost 50% to 17% from 33%. Voyc alerts indicate which agents require coaching. “We started to see certain agents featuring more than others in alerts.
So, we looked at various high and low volume call takers and started coaching them, and now some of these agents have the highest VOC ratings,” says Nkosi. “Specifically, we coached one of the agents, who never had high VOC ratings, on how to handle calls better. She is now trending on VOC ratings and is getting written letters of compliments.”
VOYC ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IMPROVES CLIENT SATISFACTION METRICS:
The improvement in complaints handling by contact centre agents will most certainly impress the regulator. It will hopefully lead to more financial services companies making use of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to significantly improve client experiences in the industry without complaining via the media or social media or the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance or The Pension Funds Adjudicator. Improvements to client satisfaction metrics is due to a direct result of contact centre agents that receive coaching and improved VOC ratings due to the Voyc solution. According to Momentum, overall social media complaints reduced by 27% to 72 from 98 complaints received over the last two years in the Investor contact centre that started as the pilot contact centre with the solution.
The statistics underscore the vital need for companies to use artificial intelligence as a necessity to improve overall client experiences by flagging contact centre staff that need coaching and calling clients back who are dissatisfied, thus reducing widespread complaints. The technology goes beyond just simply ticking another regulatory box. “Companies that use the Voyc solution are Momentum Life, MiWayLife, 1Life and Bryte Travel, which uses the technology to monitor all their calls from corporate financial services clients (Investec, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Absa Travel)”