Eavesdropping on Bank Call Centers

ABA Banking Journal, October 1996 | Go to article overview

Eavesdropping on Bank Call Centers


How do U.S. bank call-centers compare with one another? To answer this question, ABA embarked on a ten-month research study of U.S. bank call centers from coast to coast. Its partner was FTR, Inc., a consultant to financial institutions with a focus on improving the performance of call centers.

The research included three phases: a written survey sent to a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. banks, telephone interviews with bankers randomly selected from those responding to the written surveys, and a series of interviews featuring senior call center executives in banking, government, consumer finance, and consulting.

The result of this effort is an ABA book entitled, The Evolution of Bank Call Centers: A Focus on Profitability. The book presents the major findings of the study, emphasizing that the call center is an increasingly important delivery channel for U.S. banks today. Seventy-five percent of the respondents said that they had already established a bank call center; of the 25% who indicated that they did not have a call center, 87% said they were planning to launch one within the next 18 months.

One part of the survey asked banks to rate themselves against competitors. Overall, when compared to competitors (bank and non-bank), U.S. bankers rate their call centers as follows:

* Regarding quality service--66% said they are better than their

competitors, with 31% rating themselves as leading edge (the highest rating);

* Regarding quality of sales--Only 35% rated their call center as being better than competitors, with only 9% rating themselves as leading edge;

* Regarding technologies utilized--23% believe they are better than the competition, with 8% rating themselves as leading edge. …

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