About the Customer
Russian Slavic Bank (AKB RUSSLAVBANK ZAO), a commercial bank, has specialized in serving individuals and legal entities since 1990, including nonresidents of the Russian Federation. The bank is the operator of CONTACT, Russia’s first money transfer and payment system, which operates not only in Russia but also in the CIS, Baltic States, and other foreign countries. Thanks to the integration of the CONTACT system and the big three mobile operators’ banking applications, the bank’s customers can send money transfers to 100 countries worldwide directly from their mobile phones. In 2013, the bank released the CONTACT MasterCard for Internet payments and transfers. By late 2012, AKB RUSSLAVBANK’s regional network had grown to 7 branches and 45 business units, 35 of which are additional offices located in Russia’s Northwestern, Central, and Southern Federal Districts.
The bank’s strategy is aimed at active development of the retail segment. The influx of foreign lending institutions that use dumping as a primary tool of competition has greatly escalated the scramble for individual customers in Russia’s banking sector. In this situation, the bank’s management decided to establish its own call center capable of ensuring the necessary sales growth for banking products and services. Along with the search for a suitable site, the task of choosing a modern technological automation platform for the call center was also assigned.
First, the customer wanted to make it possible to scale the call center without bringing its work to a halt, as plans were in place to double the staff of operators by the end of 2013. No less important for the customer was the system’s level of reliability and fail safety, as disruptions in the call center’s operations involve not only financial but also reputational losses. For the convenience of the call center’s operators, all customer data (from the automated banking system, CRM, and ERP) were to be displayed on a single desktop window. Finally, it was necessary to provide the possibility of using not only the telephone but also other communications channels, including e-mail and SMS-messaging, in order to automate the distribution of new banking product and service offers.
As a result, preference was expressed for the Noda Contact Center platform, which fully covers the functional and technical requirements indicated.
The Noda Contact Center includes a communication platform that enables acceptance and processing of requests from different channels (voice mail, e-mail, SMS, chat, etc.) and an information system that is responsible for managing customer service and contact center projects. The solution also comprises tools to manage inbound and outbound campaigns, voice menus (IVR), predictive dialing, call recording facilities, and statistical collection and analysis. A full history of all contacts with customers is entered into the information system—calls, email correspondence, SMS messages, chat messages, and so on. More than 300 call centers have been automated on the basis of the Noda Contact Center.
The project was divided into three stages. First, the system’s base functionality was rolled out on virtual machines. Noda specialists then configured the call center’s inbound and outbound project settings. In the final phase the system migration to the corporate data center was carried out (because the cloud architecture didn’t fully meet internal security policy standards). In parallel, an expansion of server capacity was carried out to account for the planned growth of the call center.
At present, the work of the 90 RUSSLAVBANK call center operators who provide approximately 90 percent of new banking product and service sales has been automated. The main tasks completed by the call center are support for CONTACT system customers, telemarketing, borrower relations, and support for existing customers. In order to service depositors from neighboring countries, the call center recruits specialists with knowledge of Tajik, Uzbek, Kirghiz, and other languages spoken in the former Soviet Union.
The system allows all customer information to be processed in a single window, including the history of interaction, which frees operators from the need to switch back and forth between different programs and increases the speed and quality of service.
Call reporting allows for both selective and comprehensive periodic evaluation of operators. Call center managers can select “bad,” “good,” and random calls, which makes it easier to search for and remove deficiencies (in both report forms and in operator training), simplifies selection of reference calls for training, and allows the performance of each operator to be evaluated objectively.
Under the project, Noda specialists configured an additional callback option in the system that eliminates the risk of lost or dropped calls. If a customer doesn’t wait for a response, the system automatically calls back and, upon establishing a connection, switches the caller to the operator. Furthermore, a Scheduling function was configured to schedule bank office visits by telephone.
Mikhail Samarin, director of customer relations at AKB RUSSLAVBANK
Today, our call center provides the bank with around 90 percent of new sales. Thanks to the automated routing and distribution of incoming calls, the use of operators supporting customers now approaches 90 percent. Of course, not everyone was prepared for the simultaneous increase in workload and monitoring—the staff of support operators saw significant turnover after the system’s launch.