Improving the Efficiency of your Call Centre Security Experience

Matt Smallman
Matt Smallman
5 mins read
Last updated
22 May 2024

Efficiency is a critical dimension of contact centre Call Centre Security Experience performance. Many callers needs can easily be satisfied by self-service capabilities that they can’t go back to after speaking to an agent, but that requires knowing who the caller is and being confident in their identity before using. Even if self-service capabilities are not relevant, the vast majority of agent calls require the caller to be identified and authenticated which is a time-consuming and relatively low-value task for agents compared to resolving the caller’s query.

Options to Improve Efficiency

If you want to improve the Efficiency of your Call Centre Security Experience here are some things you could consider:

Introduce or improve automated identification

Identifying callers before they speak to agents might not save much time on each call, but as it’s invariably part of every call, the accumulated impact will be significant. Even telling an agent which of several customers, the caller might be can help them get to the heart of the customer’s problem quicker. Even for organisations that already use some automation, it will be worthwhile increasing the range of identification methods available to callers to increase overall identification success rates. Additional methods could include phone number lookups based on a number provided by the phone system or by the caller as mobile calling continues to increase in prevalence. Address lookups based on postal or zip codes can take advantage of improved accuracy in speech recognition technology.

Understand the customer’s reason for calling in their own words

We all struggle with phone-based menus, particularly if they are written from the organisation’s perspective and not the customer. Customers are already used to speaking to smart devices in the homes, cars and phones. Allowing them to express their reason for calling in their own words allows you to understand the real intent and get them to the right agent group or offer self-service capabilities where appropriate. This will increase the take up of self-service capabilities, reduce the need for subsequent agent transfers, forewarn them of the customer’s intentions and provide valuable insight into why customers call.

There have been significant improvements in Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology over the last few years with commoditised services available from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Twilio and others at price points within reach of every organisation. Specialist technology vendors and integration partners can provide solutions optimised for unique use cases and get started quickly with pre-built industry vocabularies.

Introduce or improve self-service capabilities to help customers help themselves

Many callers have straightforward needs that can be wholly or partially resolved by automated systems after being identified and authenticated. In many cases, even informational updates such as the status of the most recent enquiry, claim, or payment can reduce agent handle time and avoid calls altogether.

Even when this might not be possible having a clearer idea about the caller’s reason for calling before routing the call to the appropriate agent group will reduce the number of internal transfers later required.

Introduce inherence based authentication

Inherence based authentication, often known as biometrics, is based on the unique combination of callers’ physical and behavioural characteristics. While you may be able to use your fingerprint or face on your mobile device in the contact centre, this is usually based on the caller’s Voice. As a result, customers can’t forget their PINs or Passwords so are less likely to require manual authentication with an agent and are more likely to engage with automated systems. When a caller is connected to an agent, Voice Biometric technology can authenticate the caller during a normal conversation without knowledge-based authentication.

Voice Biometric technology is starting to become available as part of the core feature of platforms like Amazon Connect at exceptionally accessible prices. Specialist vendors can provide solutions that can authenticate callers even with the short utterances provided to Natural Language IVRs.

Balancing Efficiency with Usability and Security

Of course, efficiency isn’t the only dimension of the Call Centre Security Experience. It’s important to balance efficiency with both the usability and security of the process. The most efficient process may not always be the most secure or usable.

Matt Smallman is the expert in helping organisations find the right balance and implement new technologies and approaches to maintain this balance and improve all dimensions of the Call Centre Security Experience. We’ve written a separate article on Balancing Usability, Efficiency and Security in the Call Centre Security Experience that covers this in more depth.

Next Steps

These are only a small selection of the things you can do to improve your Call Centre Security Experience’s security. Of course, even these require a lot more thought and consideration before they can be implemented.

You can read more about these issues on this site or get in touch for a no-obligation confidential initial discussion. You can also take our free Call Centre Security Experience Scorecard assessment to see how your organisation performs and get recommendations customised to your unique situation.

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